Durston House takes seriously its care of each individual boy, entrusted to it by parents who support the values of the school. To Durston, the term Pastoral Care is all-embracing; it is the complete care of a boy, in his whole education and the development of his character. The school community recognises that this care encompasses all that affects the human condition, the academic, the physical, the emotional, the spiritual, the moral and the cultural. Importance is given to each of these aspects, in all that is done to care for boys at school.
For a boy to thrive, these aspects of human nature should develop in balance, rather than be mutually exclusive, within an environment of care which is secure, happy and positive, such that each boy can achieve significant personal development. From a community that enthuses about respect and consideration for self and others, boys can learn what it means to be positive, happy, well-rounded members of society.
All staff take seriously this holistic care of boys and the need to safeguard them from harm. Each teacher and member of the non-teaching staff has responsibility for the Pastoral Care of all boys in the school, whether he or she might work directly with particular boys, or not. It is an interest in boys, as people, in what they do and how they go about their day, in their curricular work, their relationships and their play. Such care is imbued with the ethos of ‘mutual respect and understanding, fairness and opportunities for all…’ and reflects the school Mission, ‘…a disciplined environment within which security and happiness are paramount…’
The Pastoral Care given to boys occurs informally, as well as formally, directly and indirectly, within the Durston House community, dispensed by all stakeholder groups. It is evident in work done by the Governors to make sure the best resources are available to the school, in the management of those resources to offer the best care for all, in the easy, well-defined relationships between staff and boys, with a quiet word or an unspoken acknowledgement, with close supervision in and out of school, with a thorough knowledge of boys, and in the shared values and open communication between home and school.
The expectations of the school, expressed through its administration, policies and procedures, formalise Pastoral Care. Such structure is put in place to effect the best care for the boys. They are looked after by staff and each other through the horizontal system of the Form Class and the vertical system of the Houses. Year on year, the composition of the Form Class and its Form Teacher changes, allowing a variety of social interaction to occur, and care appropriate to his year group given. Conversely, through his time at Durston, a boy remains in the same House, and in the same Vertical Group within it, allowing for the development of an esprit de corps and the chance to care for boys in different year groups in the school. The Pastoral Care policies and procedures, such as those for Safeguarding, Behaviour, Anti-Bullying, and Rewards and Sanctions, as well as the Academic Policies and the work of PSHME (Personal, Social, Health, Moral and Economic education), are in place to reinforce the care given to a boy and to enhance the development of his character, his curiosity and his capability. These are reviewed regularly to ensure such care is of the highest quality.