Independence of mind is encouraged through the supportive, communicative atmosphere that permeates the UCS Junior Branch. Achievements are celebrated and pupils of all ages are invited to ‘think outside the box’.

The Form Teacher is the person primarily responsible for a JB boy’s pastoral care, being the staff member in closest and most frequent contact with a pupil’s parents. Each form has about 20 boys and pupils build special relationships with Form Teachers as they progress through school.

To promote a positive mental attitude, boys take part in our gratitude scheme and identify reasons to be grateful. As a school, we also practise mindfulness. Our learning characters, including resilience, are embedded across the curriculum and are also identified by boys during residential and outdoor learning trips. Inter year-group support networks are built through our peer-mentoring and buddy programmes. Pupils are awarded certificates for random acts of kindness in weekly assemblies. These are highly prized.

Safe and supportive

With an emphasis on respecting and tolerating others, pastoral matters are handled efficiently and with empathy, promoting an atmosphere in which the boys feel safe, supported, heard – through the School Council – and thus able to thrive. It is within this context that our children’s self-confidence, resilience and self-understanding really do blossom.

Pupils are allocated to one of four Houses – currently named Bentham, Campbell, Eve and Simmons – to provide opportunities for social links vertically through the school and for the purpose of sporting and other competitions. Such activities invite excellent teamwork and comradeship across the year groups.

Network of care

Throughout the school, a Peer Mentoring System enables older pupils to offer advice and support to younger boys. All teaching and support staff share responsibility for the social, cultural and moral wellbeing of our pupils, being further assisted by a full-time Nurse, School Doctor and two part-time Special Needs Teachers.

Such a supportive framework helps to consolidate a clear understanding of right and wrong among a pupil body which is self-disciplined, considerate and kind.