My name is Danny Swanson and I am the Head of Lower School. I work alongside my deputy, Laura Andrews, who is also responsible for pupils’ pastoral care and academic progress. Lower School is what we call the first two years at St Albans School. Each form has a form tutor who has been carefully selected because of their ability to work with younger pupils. They will see pupils throughout the week and remain their tutor during their two years in Lower School. The tutor groups will have about 24 pupils, although in many subjects the class sizes are half that number. The tutors and form prefects are able to get to know pupils well, helping them to settle in as quickly as possible.
There are many opportunities available for boys to make the most of in Lower School. Our aim is to help each boy to develop as an imaginative, inquisitive and empathetic pupil. There is something for everyone with a wide range of clubs, societies, trips, sports, music and drama to give them a really varied and exciting two years.
Every Tuesday and Thursday and some Wednesdays, pupils will have a tutor session. The tutors share needed information and encourage all pupils to demonstrate the School Values; the qualities that we expect to see in every pupil and an essential part of all we do here. The form prefect is present and mentoring takes place with First and Second Form pupils meeting regularly. The rewards and sanctions procedures are discussed and clearly explained so everybody understands what to expect. Headmaster Commendations and ‘praise postcards’ are used regularly to reward positive behaviour. The sanction system is in place to pick up both low level and then more serious behavioural issues, pupils are always listened to before decisions are reached. A Lower School Liaison Tutor is on hand to work with pupils who are finding the transition difficult or require extra help and a Lower School Homework Club is available every Wednesday for boys who would benefit from a supervised study period to catch up with homework.
Regular Lower School Assemblies tackle important concerns and topics facing pupils. Recent Lower School assemblies include: Anti-bullying; Happiness and Kindness; Healthy Relationships and Internet safety. A structured PSHE programme tackles age relevant issues and each form presents an assembly on their learning.
A residential trip to Pen Arthur in Wales and Activities’ Week help the bonding experience in the First Form and provide challenging activities to build resilience in Lower School Pupils. The Second Form have an Interpersonal Skills Day which helps develop self-knowledge, empathy and respect for others. The Lower School Pupil Council meets regularly to bring up any year wide issues that are affecting pupils and each form will nominate a representative to air their views. At termly Tutor meetings, the Lower School team discuss any issues that have arisen and agree on actions that need to be taken to allow each pupil to fulfill their potential. Contact with parents is encouraged and the School always likes to know of any issues as soon as possible, so that they can work to provide the best outcome for the child.
St Albans School believes in forming positive harmonious relationships and in Lower School, we aim to develop the qualities of self-discipline, independence and resilience that will enable our pupils to flourish during their time throughout the School.
St Albans School offers a curriculum broadly based on the National Curriculum, while giving pupils the opportunity to study additional subjects.
Pastoral care is a significant strength of the School and every teacher in the School has a pastoral role. The School’s 2014 ISI Inspection Report cited pastoral care as ‘excellent’ and noted that each pupil was ‘well-known and valued as an individual’ as the staff know their pupils ‘extremely well and foster an excellent atmosphere of trust and safety, leading to strong and positive relationships’.
All our pupils, from First to Sixth Form, are members of a tutor group, organised by year. The tutor is the first point of contact for parents and oversees the personal and academic welfare of pupils, through a combination of informal contact and tutor periods. Tutors meet with their tutees twice a day and play a key role in the delivery of our PSHEE programme and in ensuring that their tutees are healthy, both mentally and physically.
Coordinating the work of these tutors are the Heads of Section, who are all members of the Senior Management Team: Lower School (Years 7 & 8), Third Form (Year 9), Middle School (Years 10 & 11) and Sixth Form. A distinctive feature of our pastoral care is the supportive role played by form prefects, sixth formers chosen by a very careful selection process to assist the tutors.
The School Nurses and Chaplain make an important contribution to our pastoral provision, while the Counsellor, who is not a member of staff, is available each week for confidential consultation.
Parents can meet their child’s teachers and tutors at Parents’ Consultation Evenings and at a number of informal social occasions during the year.
|Registration Deadline:||Thursday 30 November 2017|
|Bursary Application Deadline:||Friday 15 December 2017|
|11+ Entrance exam:||Saturday 13 January 2018|
|11+ Callback sessions:||Wednesday 24, Thursday 25 or Friday 26 January 2018|
|11+ Choral Scholarship Auditions:||Friday 26 January 2018|
|11+ Offers posted:||Thursday 15 February 2018|
|11+ Acceptance of Offers:||
Thursday 1 March 2018 (Scholarships and Bursaries)
Monday 5 March 2018 (all other offers)