GOOD PRACTICE: Sharing Good Practice from the 2022 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education
Sharing Good Practice from the 2022 National Awards for Pastoral Care in Education
The judges were very impressed with the excellent practice in pastoral care and brilliant support that is being provided for learners that was highlighted in the nominations for the 2022 Awards.
In this edition of NAPCE News we are sharing some more of the good practice that was highlighted, this time, in the Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year Award at the 2022 event.
Entry for the National Awards for Pastoral Care 2023 is now OPEN and you can enter here
Pastoral Member of Staff of the Year Award 2022 – Sponsored by NAPCE
The criteria for this category is:- “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.”
The 2022 Award Winner was:-
Frances Wood, Moulton College
The 2022 Finalists were:-
Conor Lavery, St Patricks College, Dungiven
Anna Marie Byrne, St Catherine’s College, Armagh
Shani Thorpe, Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School
Andrew Keep, St Bees School
Here is some of the information that was shared with NAPCE during the nominations process for these inspirational pastoral staff.
Frances Wood , Moulton College – Winner
Frances oversees the pastoral care at the Higham Campus and goes above and beyond, improving the enrichment activities in response to feedback from the students.
Since starting work at the campus in January, Frances has introduced 5-a-side football tournaments, created a safe space for students to play board games, card games and table tennis whilst offering a support outside the classroom.
Frances works extremely hard to ensure students feel valued, and supported with their pastoral needs, despite her own health challenges.
She has also up-skilled teaching colleagues, working with external organisations to ensure that the team is trained to recognise students with low mood and anxiety.
Of particular note is the “listening bench” project. Students wanted more outdoor seating, so Frances approached a local builders’ merchant to donate wood, worked with the tutors and students to plan and build the bench and then painted the bench with inclusive LGBTQ+ colours.
Harry Gell, student commented, “Everyone in my class looks forward to and enjoys pastoral lessons a lot. She has made lessons fun, and everyone is happy to speak. We have excellent conversations, and we have a great relationship with Frances. She is highly appreciated and cared for by all of us.”
Conor Lavery, St Patricks College , Dungiven
Mr Lavery has made wholesale changes in his year groups that resulted in significant improvements at a remarkable pace; this rapid and exceptional change in culture has been recognised by a massive increase in punctuality and attendance.
Students at St Patricks have a lower-than-average ability on entry, a higher-than-average SEN needs and over 40 % of students attending are in receipt of Free School Meals.
There are a significant number of students who are vulnerable. Life chances, aspiration and self-belief has increased within a short space of time impacting not only on these individuals but families within the local community.
Mr Lavery has prioritised pastoral care alongside academic achievement. The children in his year groups have achieved great things.
Mr Lavery is passionate about the mental health and wellbeing of the students in his groups. He ensures they have access to multiple after school activities. He also trains all the football groups in the school – which have been very successful. He has lead them to the ulster final this year plus also lead the girls first every football team to the semi-final.
Mr Lavery also supports access to therapies for pupils, such as Art therapy, Dry Arch therapy and yoga ,which have all had positive impact on student wellbeing and academic achievement.
He selflessly gives up their own time. Endless hours of contact and follow up before, during and after school with parents, pupils and outside agencies.
Mr Lavery constantly strives to be the best, leads by example. His natural leadership ensures that he takes staff, parents, governors, and students on a visionary journey.
Staff have been motivated and inspired by his management style, caring, emotionally intelligent yet uncompromising with regards to standards.
Mrs Anna Marie Byrne, St. Catherine’s College, Armagh
Anna Marie Byrne is literally and metaphorically the “hub” of St. Catherine’s College, Armagh. As Student Support Officer, based in our Pupil Hub, she exemplifies the core ethos of our Sacred Heart School. She is, in essence; kindness, fairness and respect personified.
In her daily interactions with pupils, she shows empathetic understanding and genuine concern, no issue is insignificant, no worry trivialised.
For her, pupil happiness and well-being are paramount. Quite simply, she KNOWS the pupils and their families, she understands them, and she has time for each and every one.
Anna Marie understands the centrality and primacy of pupil welfare, both emotional and physical. Her nurturing and caring persona is evident in abundance. She understands too, the importance of resilience and during the recent pandemic, supported pupils and their families in navigating the many challenging issues which arose as a consequence of Covid-19.
Encouraging, advising, offering practical support, and cajoling. Her role in supporting the entire school community cannot be underestimated.
Her interactions with pupils, staff and parents may be characterised as affable and considerate. She is approachable and obliging.
The “go to” person when things are not as they might be. As the conduit between home and school, her connectivity and rapport with families strengthens and consolidates an integral channel of communication.
Parents, pupils, and colleagues alike, trust and confide in Anna Marie.
For 34 years, Anna Marie Byrne has been at the centre of school life in her interactions with, and support of, every pupil, their family and member of staff in St. Catherine’s College. Self- effacing and unassuming, her irreplaceable contribution to the pastoral life of the school undoubtedly deserves recognition.
Shani Thorpe, Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School
Shani, in her role as Pastoral Support / DSL shows great care and commitment to all the pupils who she comes into contact with.
She goes above and beyond for the young people and their families – offering them support, kindness and empathy.
Shani’s role in the school is essential and key to the outstanding Pastoral care that is offered at Challoner.
She has managed to touch so many lives in a personal way, supporting the school’s motto ‘to do ordinary things extraordinarily well’.
To highlight one example, Challoner took a student who was a school refuser, who had had difficulties at primary.
Shani worked tirelessly to get him into school, with countless home-visits and developed a strong relationship of trust to get this young student to come in to school and as a result he has become fully integrated and is excelling academically.
With the recent, unexpected death of his father, this student and family have required further support, which Shani has offered willingly.
Shani has worked with a range of students who present with quite complex needs, including bereaved students, students with eating disorders, those students who resort to self-harming, students who have witnessed domestic violence and students living in poverty.
She has been able to support these students and sign post them to relevant agencies. Shani is someone who goes above and beyond in her care for others.
Andrew Keep, St Bees School
St Bees School is not an ordinary school. But Mr Andrew Keep is not an ordinary man. Mr Andrew Keep (Andy) knows how to glean respect from students, staff, peers, parents, and the entire teaching profession.
This is due to his heartfelt and raw honesty and integrity in which he delivers his teaching.
He epitomises the essence of an incredible teacher. His pastoral care for every single one of the students, goes above and beyond expectation.
He works tirelessly, 7 days a week, 12 hours a day, at least, on ensuring the welfare of both staff and students.
He directs and guides our Year 12 students into applying to university. including navigating the system for international students – no easy feat.
As the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Andy oversees every aspect of child safety, in addition to their mental welfare. All students can go to him at any time – but significantly, all staff can, and do, too.
He pioneers training, offers a safe space for all, and every single member of school community knows that he always has them at the forefront of his mind.
Andy treats every student as an individual. Several students have entered St Bees after finding schools that weren’t for them – and they have been transformed. All because of him.
Robin Silk, Head of St Bees, commented,“Andy has created a world class learning environment, not in its stature of comprehensive resources, fancy computers or high tech classrooms, but in creating an atmosphere of academic intellect, passion and curiosity, emanating from every young adult.”