“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”
Pastoral Care in Action
Pastoral care comes first
Children blossom when they feel secure, happy and valued. We put huge store on pastoral care to ensure every pupil gains the confidence to achieve their personal best.
No child has any doubt their teachers will lend a safe and sympathetic ear to their issues. Each child has a Pupil Pastoral Plan where pupils can note any private notes or worries so teachers can monitor their happiness and well-being. This tool, created by our headmistress Mrs Edwards, was recently shortlisted for a national educational award.
Our buddy system helps newcomers through their early days, and we encourage older children to mentor younger pupils, instilling a sense of responsibility.
The school’s house system encourages teamwork and a competitive spirit, allowing children to celebrate their own success as well as the achievement of others. Whole school events and charitable activities foster a sense of pride in belonging to a wider community.
We give our pupils the skills to achieve their personal best and go on to lead fulfilling and successful lives. In short, we teach children to fly.
Some children have the good fortune to be privately educated at schools with the drive, experience and resources to teach children to think for themselves.
At Orchard House School children learn their personal choices can make a real difference, and their opinion matters. Equally importantly, they learn to respect the opinions of others.
They learn the value of endeavour and of staying power, of developing social skills and of forming respectful relationships.
Why do so many hands fly into the air when a teacher asks a question at Orchard House School?
Our children feel confident and valued, so they are not worried about making mistakes and are willing to ‘have a go’. This eagerness to be involved and make a contribution is one of the most valuable life skills we nurture in our pupils.
“Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I’ll learn”
Activities for your child
Variety and new adventures are the life-blood of curiosity and enthusiasm (which we deem to be fundamental to personal and academic development).
Aside from being fun and exciting, extra-curricular activities can work wonders in building confidence. A child who once struggled with maths may well excel once they discover they’re a dab hand at abseiling.
Orchard House School offers a wide spectrum of activities which encourage self-expression and the development of talents outside the classroom. This also helps build relationships by allowing us to interact with our pupils in different environments.
Extra-curricular activities which take place outside the school timetable include:
Sports We like to keep our children active and our sports include football, netball, rugby, hockey, lacrosse, cross country, tennis, athletics, triathlon, cricket, rounders, swimming and gymnastics.
Music Visiting music teachers offer individual instrumental tuition on a variety of instruments. We have a school orchestra, Pippin choir, chamber choir, senior and junior choir and a parent and staff choir. There are many other instrumental groups including a pupil-led rock band.
Drama and performance All children act in assemblies, school plays, musical productions and concerts throughout the year. We have an inclusive approach to children performing, giving each child the opportunity to shine. Children in years 1 to 6 enjoy drama lessons and go on to perform in productions in a professional theatre.
Clubs Currently these include science, chess, drama (and LAMDA), debating, rugby, art, animation, hockey, netball, cricket, rounders, tennis, athletics, cookery, creative arts and yoga.
Exploring further afield
Fresh air and new experiences are vital for children to soar to greater heights.We encourage Orchard House children to gain independence, resilience, team skills, self-reliance, a willingness to take risks and an interest in the wider world by taking them on optional residential trips.These start at age 7 or 8 in year 3.We recognise that for many children, a school residential trip will give them the first night they spend away from family. So we focus on helping every child to feel secure and have fun in a new environment.
Our residential adventures include:
• a geography field trip to Suffolk, with after-dark nature trails and bug hunting
• history field trip to York for a week of cathedral city sights
• outward bound trip to the Isle of Wight
• spending a week at an outward bound château in France where only French is spoken.
“The parents' association isn't stuffy. It's an active and fun community that makes you feel very welcome”
Orchard House School parent
Communication is key to identifying individual needs
We actively encourage a close relationship between parents and all staff.
Sharing information gives us a deeper insight into the wellbeing and progress of each child, and our open-door policy means we’re readily available to discuss any concerns that arise.
Parents are encouraged to support their child’s learning and the school gives guidance on how best this can be achieved.
Parents are invited to regular parents’ evenings and open mornings, sports days, concerts, class assemblies and theatrical productions. They can also join in their child’s class to share special events or celebrate a religious festival.
It is thanks to our parents’ association we have a friendly, close-knit and supportive community extending a warm welcome to all.