We know that supporting pupils’ wellbeing is key to their achieving fulfilment at school. So our approach says that providing excellent pastoral care is just as important as registering great exam results. We really believe that such care helps define our pupils and their happiness.

The strong and longstanding relationships that pupils form with teaching staff enable us to support them through highs and lows. Pupil wellbeing really is at the heart of all we do. Our Director of Wellbeing supervises this network, aided by the School Counsellor, Head of PSHE, School Nurse and dedicated pastoral team. The School Counsellor is available to every child and to support both pupils and, if needed, their families.

The importance of safeguarding student mental health cannot be overstated. No issue is too small. We also encourage our pupils to try new things – and to get them wrong. We know that with the right foundations for exploring the exciting and sometimes testing times of youth, our young people can live out their potential and be the happiest versions of themselves.

Through the years

In the Lower School (Years 7 and 8), each pupil works with the same team of Form Tutors and Head of Year for two years. This collaboration is overseen by the Head of Lower School, with additional support from the School Nurse, School Counsellor and Director of Wellbeing. Boys learn good habits both pastorally and academically: the ABCDs – aspiration, bravery, compassion and decision-making (plus the ‘s’ for self-reflection) – are our life values which run alongside the learning or academic values called the four Rs – resourcefulness, responsibility, relationships and resilience. Moreover, initiatives such as the Young Leaders Award, Headmaster’s Award and Pupil Champion Course offer opportunities for character education and self-reflection.

At the start of the Middle School (Year 9) each pupil joins one of the school Houses – dubbed Demes at UCS – which are a unique feature of the school. The term derives from the Greek ‘demos’ for a self-governing province of ancient Greece. There are six Demes, namely Baxters, Black Hawkins, Evans, Flooks, Olders and Underwoods. For the next three years, boys can count on the support of the same Form Tutor and Deme Warden (aka House Master), while the Head of Middle School helps to guide and oversee their progress through to the completion of GCSE exams. Our Nurse, Counsellor and Director of Wellbeing continue to be available throughout, and strong links exist between the pastoral and academic systems to ensure all support remains cohesive.

Developing self-confidence

UCS is different from many day schools in the commitment we make to the pastoral care of our pupils. This is because our aim is to develop self-confidence, maturity and self-esteem – not just exam results. We believe the importance we attach to pastoral care leads not only to good results at school but also, by producing well-balanced and assured school leavers, to continuing success thereafter.

Culture of tolerance and respect

Our UCS Code of Conduct stipulates that all members of the school community should treat others with tolerance, courtesy and respect – deliberate cruelty, teasing, abuse, bullying and intolerance are unacceptable. Everybody must abide by the school ethos and its emphasis on complete tolerance of differences in race, creed, gender, sexual orientation and physical ability. Be curious, confident and kind.

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Our Learning Values
Our Learning Values