We aim to give each pupil a challenging and well-balanced education in our Lower School. During these two years they have the opportunity to develop their talents in sport, music, drama as well as a wide range of other activities, whilst promoting their intellectual growth to the full. We help each boy to flourish as an individual and develop as an imaginative, inquisitive and empathetic pupil.
My name is Rosie Harris and I am the Head of Lower School. I oversee the wellbeing, pastoral care and discipline of pupils First and Second Form (years 7 and 8), as well as overseeing their academic progress. I work alongside my deputies, Mr Baker and Mrs Ginsburg who each take responsibility for a year group during their time in our section. Lower School is what we call the first two years at St Albans School. When boys join us in First Form, they are allocated to a tutor group. Each has a form tutor who has been carefully selected because of their ability to work with younger pupils. They will see pupils regularly 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 are able to get to know pupils well, helping them to settle in as quickly as possible. The Lower School team is always on hand to work with pupils who need a little bit more support, either with the transition, organisation, friendships or anything else that is bothering them.
Pupils see their tutors twice every day (except Fridays, where they have games to go to) for registration. Every Tuesday and Thursday and some Wednesdays, pupils will have a longer session with their tutors . Sometimes, they will do PSHEE lessons, sometimes there will be assemblies, perhaps on topics such as kindness and online safety, and sometimes tutors will help their tutees with specific concerns or help them bond with other members of their tutor group with games or activities.
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. Each group has a form prefect who is present for as many tutor times as possible. Mentoring also takes place with First and Second Form pupils meeting regularly, as well as between the middle School and Lower School. 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, but pupils are always listened to before decisions are reached.
Lower School Homework Club is available every Wednesday for boys who would benefit from a supervised study period to catch up with homework. 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 we can work alongside parents and pupils for the best outcome for the child.
There are many opportunities available for boys to make the most of in Lower School. Our aim is to help each boy to flourish as an individual, developing as an imaginative, inquisitive and empathetic pupil. There is something for everyone with a wide range of clubs, societies, trips, sports, music and drama which gives them a really varied and exciting two years.
The end of the first year culminates in a residential trip to Pen Arthur in Wales where pupils will go for 5 days away with their form and tutor. We also run a whole-School Enrichment Week which the First Form get stuck into, with trips and activities on offer. Both of these experiences help pupils to bond and provide challenging activities to build resilience in our Pupils. The Second Form will also participate in Enrichment week, with carefully selected activities to help them develop both learning skills and their demonstration of School Values, including empathy and respect for others.
St Albans School believes in forming positive harmonious relationships and in the 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.