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NAPCE News – January 2021

NAPCE News – January 2021

Making a positive difference to young people through pastoral care

FEATURE ARTICLE: “Twelve Months of Pastoral Care” – NAPCE Chair Phil Jones Shares a Calendar of Focus Areas in Pastoral Care for 2021

Twelve Months for Pastoral Care

One of the challenges for staff in pastoral roles is that you can often feel like there is no time to respond to all the challenges that you face. It is impossible to solve every problem and meet all the demands that are made on pastoral staff. It might help to have a different focus for every month in the year. The ideas in this article could be used as a stimulus for monthly pastoral team meetings to provide inspiration for sharing positive ideas and plans.

New Resolutions
An opportunity to think about what personal qualities could be improved

One of the positive things about working in schools is that there is always an opportunity to make a fresh start and to take advantage of lessons learnt form previous experiences. There is a new academic year, a new calendar year, a new term, a new timetable, a new week, a new class, and these are all opportunities to respond positively and with new energy to challenges. For pastoral staff, the new calendar year can be a time to think about what worked well in the first term and how practice could be adjusted to be more effective.  It is also a good opportunity to encourage learners to think about the personal qualities they would like to improve and the actions they could take to become better people.

Building Resilience
Making a commitment to not give up on achieving ambitious goals

This is a time of year when pastoral staff must summon up all their strength to maintain their determination to achieve their pastoral goals and to provide a positive culture for learning. A smile can make a huge difference, to motivating other people. The winter months can seem never ending. In the middle of lockdowns and a global pandemic this is even more likely to be true. The focus for pastoral staff, is on ‘keeping everybody going’, with the belief that investing time and effort now will bring rewards in the future. It is an opportunity to build resilience, through tutor time activities and assemblies. A clear message from pastoral staff, that effort now will achieve success in the future, provides a sense of purpose for each day. This will encourage young people to become more effective learners and support their personal development, in preparation for the challenges they will face in the world of work.

Using Resources
Making the most of available support and opportunities 

The spring is the time for pastoral leaders to review the resources that they have available to achieve their goals.  Budget planning, is an opportunity to identify where investment, could have the biggest impact and make a real difference for learners. The most valuable resource for pastoral work is staff. Time should be given to considering whether they are being deployed, so they can use their skills and expertise to support learners effectively. What opportunities can be provided for improving their pastoral skills and expertise, through good quality, continuous professional development? Pastoral leaders should review the pastoral support they are providing and how it is making a difference, in supporting young people to achieve their full potential. Is there effective support from counselling available? What additional support is provided to support learners’ academic progress and personal development? How are parents involved as active partners in the education of their children? How does the school form effective relationships with external agencies? It is important to make sure that learners and parents are aware of the support that is available.

Student Voice
Listen to feedback from learners about their experience

This month there is a focus on the opportunities provided for young people to contribute to their learning and to participate in the activities of the school. Review what opportunities are provided for young people, to feedback about their learning experience and the support provided for their personal development. This can inform future planning and ensure that time and effort are directed where they can be most effective. What systems and structures such as, school councils, can be used to ensure that this process is effective? How can young people, be given opportunities, to contribute to the work of the school, for example, as peer educators or peer mentors. Giving young people responsibility, helps to develop positive attitudes and social skills. If pastoral work can encourage young people, to feel that they belong to the school, they are more likely to be positive in their approach to learning and more ambitious about what they can achieve from education and in later life.

Raising Aspirations
Ensuring a positive response to any challenges.

This is the time of year when learners must demonstrate their knowledge and understanding through tests and examinations. For many young people this can be an experience where they feel under pressure and isolated from support. The pastoral structures and systems of the school need to encourage learners, to understand their feelings and to be positive about what they can achieve. In preparing for tests and examinations, young people will benefit from a positive pastoral message, that they are not on their own, and that the school is there to support them in facing the challenges. This can include providing guidance about time management, revision techniques and looking after their health and well-being. A positive pastoral strategy is to encourage learners to see tests and examinations as challenges they have prepared for and not as experiences to expose their weaknesses and lack of effort.

Long term targets and goals
Using recent experiences to inform decisions about future plans.

With a new academic year on the horizon, now is the time for pastoral leaders and pastoral staff to start planning. A new academic year will provide opportunities to change structures and to adapt pastoral systems, in a way that is not always possible during term time. This needs planning and needs to use recent experiences to inform decisions, to ensure that the focus is on the right priorities. Allowing time for planning, enables pastoral teams to be ambitious about what they believe they can achieve for the young people in their care. It provides time to research different options and to make preparations, to ensure that new initiatives are implemented effectively. Decision making can be informed by the views of staff, parents, and learners. Learners can be encouraged to think about their long-term goals for their education and for their later lives.

Recognising Achievement
Value progress and success to inspire future achievements. 

As the summer holidays approach, it is important to not miss the opportunity to identify and recognise achievements. Recording and celebrating, where progress has been made, ensures that those achievements are not lost and can be used as foundations for further success in the future. Pastoral leaders and pastoral staff can take the opportunity to record and share the achievements and success from the previous year. Pastoral staff should identify where their work has had a positive impact, in making a difference in the progress and achievements of learners and share this information with the school community. It is even more important for young people, that their achievements are recognised and celebrated, before they are forgotten over the summer and the opportunity to provide motivation is missed.

Taking time to think about priorities and to be clear about what is important.

For staff in pastoral roles, it is often difficult during a busy working week to find time to reflect on the goals we are trying to achieve for the benefit of the young people in our care. In term time pastoral staff rely on the structures and systems that have been established, to meet the different demands of young people, for support with their learning and personal development. The summer provides an opportunity to think about the values and beliefs that drive the work of pastoral staff. What are the priorities to be achieved from the resources available and how can they be used effectively to support young people? What are the challenges that pastoral staff and the pastoral systems in the school are likely to face in the future?  Are the current pastoral structures and systems appropriate for changing circumstances and demands being made on them? A period of reflection provides clarity about priorities and the motivation to approach challenges with confidence.

High Expectations and clear routines
A fresh start with the opportunity to establish clear routines

The start of the academic year is the opportunity for pastoral staff to reinforce the values and beliefs of the school. This is the opportunity to adapt systems and routines, to ensure that they are appropriate for meeting the needs of all learners. There is a short ‘honeymoon’ period at the start of the academic year, when learners will accept changes and new initiatives, before they start to test them, to expose their weaknesses. It is important that during the first few weeks, that pastoral staff allocate time, to explain the reasons for any changes in routines or procedures and how learners will benefit from them being implemented. This achieves clarity about the high expectations, the school has for its learners and its determination to support them in achieving their full potential. It highlights the school’s determination to support all learners in developing the skills and positive attitudes that will enable them to achieve success. The challenge is to gain the support of the majority, so there is a clear understanding and support for the values and ethos of the school. This helps to create a culture where there is a focus each day on achieving academic goals and personal development.

Developing Potential
Looking for opportunities to improve talents and skills
A challenge for pastoral leaders is to look for opportunities, where a small amount of effort will achieve maximum impact. A new initiative implemented now could be a real boost to raising achievement and supporting the personal development of young people. Including discussions about pastoral roles, in the performance management process for teachers and support staff, demonstrates that this work is important to the school and values the contribution that staff make. It is an opportunity to consider how the work of staff could be more effective in supporting the young people in their care. This is a good time to encourage learners to think about what additional efforts they could make to help them to make more progress in their learning and personal development. This places responsibility on individual learners to explore all options, for helping themselves to achieve their full potential and to prepare themselves for the challenges they will face in their later lives. Effective form tutoring can provide motivation for learners. This involves asking challenging questions about what they want to achieve and what actions they need to take to be successful.

Motivation and Well being
Encouragement that recognises opportunities to succeed and the different needs of individuals

In my experience, it is often this month when positive beliefs and ambitious goals start to be tested. The weather is getting worse, dark evenings make it more difficult to enjoy leisure time, more time is spent inside, and it will be several months before this gets better! This is the time for pastoral staff, who will have the same negative feelings as everybody else, to summon all their energy to focus on motivating and encouraging other people. Simple words of encouragement can have a huge impact on motivating young people and staff and make a difference in supporting well-being. At this time of year, it is even more important to remember the values and priorities agreed in September, so there is a sense of purpose for the daily work of staff in pastoral roles. It is important to keep the belief in the pastoral structures and systems, and to be confident that work done now will bring success later in the academic year.  Having empathy is important, to understand the different feelings and challenges for individuals and to ensure that well-being is a priority for staff and the young people they are working with. Thinking about each learner as an individual enables the school to provide appropriate support in response to their different needs.

Celebration and recognition
Recognising progress made and success achieved. 

As the end of the calendar year approaches, when from my experience all staff and especially pastoral staff are tired and motivation is in short supply, it is a good time to focus on what progress has been made in the first term and to recognise and reward success. Recognising where success has been achieved is a real motivator for achieving more success in the future. Having your own achievements recognised or celebrating the achievements of other people, encourages a positive and ambitious response from individuals. This is true for both adults and young people. A celebration assembly or positive letter home to parents demonstrates what the school values and reinforces high expectations. Rewards need to be awarded, with clarity about the reasons why they are being given. They will then have a positive impact on raising self-esteem and the aspirations of individuals. Pastoral care and support for learners will be more effective, if the people in the process are recognised for the contribution and effort they make.

Phil Jones
National Chair
The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education
January 2021

AWARDS: Entry Opens for National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2021

The National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education 2021 Launched

Following the huge success of the first National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education last year, we are delighted to announce that entry for 2021 is now open.

The Awards scheme is the first and only in the UK to recognise great practice of pastoral care providers in the education sector.

We were blown away by the success of the first NAPCE Awards and it was never in doubt that we were going to return even bigger and better.

We’ve added a new category in International Contribution to Pastoral Care this year, a worthy addition to the seven existing classifications which proved so popular in 2020.

Even COVID-19 didn’t stop us last year as we hosted a very busy and exciting Presentation Evening on Zoom in September and with the vaccine roll-out in full swing we’ll be taking a call on whether to hold a physical or virtual event a bit later this year.

The closing date for all categories this year will be Monday May 24th, 2021, so don’t hang around, get your entries in now.

Just like last year, the finalists of the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education will be selected by an independent judging panel and invited to attend the ceremony on Friday, September 24th, 2021 to share the experience with peers and find out who wins each Award.

Speaking about the Awards, Phil Jones, Chair of NAPCE, said: “It is even more important in 2021 to recognise the pastoral heroes who have done so much to support the pastoral care of young people through the challenges presented by the global pandemic.

“Please take a few minutes to make a nomination to recognise people who have made a real difference.” 

Criteria for Each Category

Pastoral School of the Year
A school that can demonstrate a commitment to pastoral care and support for learners that makes a real difference in the progress and personal development of young people in the school.

Pastoral Team of the Year
A team that works in pastoral care and can demonstrate a determination to support young people to achieve their full potential and a positive impact on the young people they work with.

Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year
A member of staff who works in pastoral care and who always makes the extra effort to support young people to enable them to become effective learners and achieve success.

Pastoral Leader of the Year
Has a passion for pastoral care that is shared with colleagues to inspire and motivate them to make a real difference in the lives of the young people they work with.

Pastoral Development of the Year
A pastoral initiative or idea that has achieved positive outcomes and has improved the learning experience and future life chances, for young people.

Raising Awareness about Pastoral Care
An individual, group or organisation who through their actions have raised awareness about pastoral care or pastoral issues and encouraged positive improvements for the benefit of young people.

Outstanding Contribution to Pastoral Care
A person, group or organisation that has made a real difference in pastoral care, for the benefit of young people.

International Contribution to Pastoral Care
An international school, organisation outside of the UK or an individual working in research or in an international school outside of the UK, that has promoted or delivered high quality pastoral care.

Any school or organisation can make a nomination for one or more of the categories. You do not need to be a member of NAPCE to make a nomination. Self-nominations are accepted.

Nominations are supported with information about how they meet the criteria for the category.

Nominations are for pastoral work during the 2020-21 academic year. The finalists and winners are selected by the judging panel of leading academics and practitioners in pastoral care and education. All finalists are invited to attend a presentation event when the winners are announced.

There is a prize of one hundred pounds for the school, university, or organisation that the winners represent, in each category, to support their future work in pastoral care. There are prizes and plaques for winners and certificates for finalists.

Nominations open on Monday 18th January and it is a good idea to make your nomination as soon as possible so you do not forget.

Activity Date 2021
Nominations Open Monday 18th January
Nominations Close Monday 24th May
Judging Completed Friday 25th June
Finalists informed Monday 28th June
Tickets for Presentation Available Monday 5th July
Invitations to attend Presentation Event sent Monday 5th July
Presentation Event Friday 24th September

To make your nomination

You can enter the NAPCE Awards here

Nominations are encouraged for awards in different categories from schools and educational establishments and you DO NOT need to currently be a member of NAPCE to take part.

FROM THE CHAIR: An update from NAPCE Chief Phil Jones


From the Chair with Phil Jones

“The start of a new year is an opportunity to look ahead and NAPCE has some exciting plans”.

That was what I wrote in my New Year message for the NAPCE newsletter in January 2020.

That article had pictures and information about NAPCE’s active involvement in conferences and other pastoral events in the previous year.

There were many plans to provide opportunities for our members to meet up at conferences and plans for other activities to raise NAPCE’s profile and involvement in the educational world.

What we had not planned for was a global pandemic and restrictions that prevented people from meeting up with each other.

Despite this unexpected situation NAPCE has continued to be active and to promote the importance of pastoral care as part of a young person’s education.

In many ways it has taken a pandemic to highlight that schools make a significant contribution to the socialisation, personal development and well-being of young people as well as supporting their academic progress to enable them to be successful in their future lives.

In 2020 NAPCE organised, for the first time, the National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education, which recognised the hard work and achievements of people contributing to pastoral care.

The presentation event in the autumn was the first time that NAPCE had organised a virtual event, which was a huge success.

Our academic journal continues to be well respected around the world, with articles that share good practice and the latest thinking about pastoral care.

Despite the restrictions imposed on us all because of the pandemic NAPCE has seen an increase in its membership, more people are engaging with the Association through social media and there has been increased interest in contributing to the work of the NAPCE as a member of the national executive.

There is every reason to be confident that NAPCE will continue to make a valuable contribution to educational thinking and practice. With the arrival of vaccines, there is hope of people being able to meet up again soon.

In January NAPCE will be involved in the planning and delivery of ASCL’s annual conference for Pastoral Leaders. I will be delivering a virtual workshop, along with Maria O’Neil the founder of UK Pastoral Chat at 11-30 on Monday 25th January as part of this conference.

NAPCE has been involved in the planning and will be supporting Safer Internet Day, which this year takes place online on Tuesday, 9th February.

The Annual General Meeting takes place on Saturday, 27th March, which with the lockdown currently in place is likely to be an online event.

All NAPCE members are welcome to attend and details will be available soon.

The 2021 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education has just been launched and will be important for recognising the ‘pastoral heroes’, during the pandemic. There are plans for a conference and awards presentation event and even if these must be virtual events, they will bring people together and celebrate good practice and new ideas.

I am pleased to welcome Anne and Susana who joined our administrative team in January. They will be working along with Mel to support the Association in working with its members to promote the importance of pastoral care and the difference it can make to a young person’s learning experience and future life chances.

They can be contacted on the following e-mail addresses.

I am also pleased to welcome the new members of the national executive.

  • Connor Acton
  • Dominic Riste
  • Luke Myer
  • Nadine Huseyin

I look forward to them being actively involved in the work of NAPCE as a member of the National Executive Committee and being able to meet them in person soon.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank all members of the NEC, the editorial board for the Journal and the team who provide the Association with administrative support for all your contributions and support for the work of NAPCE, through what has been a challenging time for everybody.

On behalf of NAPCE I would like to send my best wishes for a Happy New Year, which I hope will be a time when we can meet with people again and value the importance of that human contact.

Phil Jones
National Chair
The National Association for Pastoral Care in Education. 

MEET THE TEAM: Introducing New NAPCE Team Member Anne Jones


Introducing NAPCE’s Newest Team Member, Anne Jones

I wanted to introduce myself as I settle into my new role as the NAPCE administrator.

I am delighted to be part of NAPCE, having been on its periphery for so long and hearing about it from my husband Phil Jones!

I have just retired from teaching after 26 years in the job.

Before I went into teaching, I was a research Scientist and worked for The Schizophrenia Association of Great Britain, based at Bangor University and previously as a Molecular Biologist at Heidelberg University in Germany. I have two degrees – a BSc in Biochemistry and a BA with the Open University (which I did for fun when I first started teaching!)

I obtained my PGCE at Mansfield College Oxford and had a great time completing my training in a behavioural school in Oxford.

I will never forget the camping trip I went on with this school and the characters I met and supported. It was a real eye opener into the Pastoral needs of vulnerable young people.

My first school as a qualified teacher was in Basildon, where alongside Phil, I worked on the ‘2 Smart 4 Drugs’ and ‘Youth Voice’ projects.

These were truly inspirational and led me to a career in the Pastoral side of education. The students and colleagues I worked with in Basildon made me realise that teaching was the career for me and I made life-long friends there, who were incredible in their support and concern for the young people at the school.

I was a Head of Year for many years, following a year group throughout their time at The Sweyne Park School in Rayleigh. I enjoyed leading projects such as the BP Business and School Partnership Award, which we won alongside our Ford Partners.

I then worked in two schools in Brentwood where I worked on helping vulnerable students with vocational education, careers and work experience. This opened an avenue of making businesses aware of the help that they could give young people in supporting their education and I was lucky enough to speak at Rotary meetings and set up business partnerships.

I have always loved the Pastoral side of teaching and have been a form tutor for many different year groups and for Vertical Tutor groups. I delivered courses on ‘Being a Good Form Tutor’. However, it saddens me that Tutoring these days is veering more on the side of qualifications than on Pastoral care. I believe that children really need the support of Pastoral care, now more than ever!

I finished my teaching career as a Head of Physics. I retired from teaching this Christmas and am looking forward to being a part of the NAPCE team.

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