The Pastoral System at Latymer
Class and Year Groups
Each year group of 192 pupils is split into 6 classes, one for each of the School Houses. These class groups remain together through years 7 to 11, meeting for registration and form periods daily, and are taught as a class group in the younger years. A strong sense of coherence and team working is developed over these years, reinforced when each class goes together to our Field Centre in Cwm Penmachno in Year 7and in Year 9 there are half year group visits to Conwy, Anglesey to continue the Welsh experience.
Each form has a form tutor who has day to day responsibility for our pupils’ welfare whilst they are in the school. In the lower school this teacher takes lessons with the form on personal and social education.
Each year group has a Head of Learning and an Assistant Head of Learning who stays with the year group from Year 7 to Year 11 and so gets to know everyone very well. Heads of Learning are generally the primary point of contact for parents wishing to discuss progress or problems with the school. Assistant Heads of Learning also act as mentors to pupils experiencing barriers to learning.
High standards of conduct and discipline are expected of pupils. Whilst a body of formal school rules exists the School regards the development and application of self-discipline, resulting from wanting to learn and from an awareness of the needs of others, as rather more important. Students are expected at all times to consider the good of the school as a community, and to respect all members of that community.
The School’s expectations are embodied in a ‘Home School Agreeement’ which parents are asked to sign. For Years 7 to 11, the Agreement includes the requirement to wear school uniform.
The support of family at home plays an important part in our pupils’ learning. Homework is given on a daily basis and is designed to encourage the development of self-discipline and self-reliance. Homework tasks are varied in their range and demands. Each year group (7 - 11) has a balanced homework time-table: it means our pupils are expected to do 1 hour per night in Year 7, rising to about 2¼ hours in Year 10 and Year 11. There is a homework timetable which is published at the start of the year (please see example timetable below).
Parents are able to review the amount of homework being set by checking their child’s School Planner.
Our House system is embedded in the traditions of the School and is a great strength. There are 6 of them - Ashworth, Dolbe, Keats, Lamb, Latymer, Wyatt - and every pupil is linked to one of these through his or her class group. Most House activities are run by our senior pupils, elected by pupils in their House. Senior House Staff are involved too. The Houses operate competitively, in many sporting activities (netball, football and hockey tournaments in winter and in summer, athletics, tennis and cricket.) and non-sporting also, the House Music and Drama competitions for example.
Equally importantly they operate non-competitively, in organising community service activities and in charity fund raising. Each House chooses a charity each year and decides how to fund raise. There are some regular events, like the Dolbe/Keats Christmas Bazaar and others that are specially organised, like cake sales, Valentine’s day greetings letters, non-uniform days and sponsored silences.
Pupils in years 7 - 11 are required to wear school uniform. The uniform for boys is a navy blazer, navy jumper, white shirt, grey trousers and school tie and for girls navy skirt or trousers, white blouse, blazer or navy jumper and school tie. The uniform policy is available here with full details of all uniform requirements being provided to new parents in July prior to commencement. There is no uniform for Years 12 & 13 although they are expected to dress to appropriate standards. A fund for the provision of uniform and equipment for needy pupils has been established by a former pupil. The fund is administered by the Headteacher to whom applications for assistance should be addressed. All requests are dealt with confidentially.
The school conforms to the requirements of the Education Reform Act 1988 in respect of charges for school activities. Charges will be made for all out of school activities where necessary to cover the cost of providing the activity. Parents will be asked to contribute voluntarily to most visits or journeys which take place in school time and these activities will not normally take place unless parents generally are willing to make these voluntary contributions. For parents whose children are in receipt of the Free School Meal(FSM) award, all costs for curriculum visits will be met by the school. Parents whose circumstances may qualify their children for this award are encouraged to apply to their Local Authority as successful applications will in turn positively impact other aspects of school funding.
Communication with parents
The School regards effective and two-way communication with parents as vitally important. Our pupils and their parents receive progress reports, and these are supplemented by evenings set aside for each year group, when parents discuss pupils’ progress with their teachers. Parents are encouraged to contact the school at other times when they are concerned about any aspect of their child’s progress or welfare.
The School produces an annual diary, contained in the child’s School Planner, covering principal events through the year and there are many opportunities for parents to visit for concerts, matches, Speech day, and many others. A termly newspaper, Latymer Link, aims to keep the whole Latymer community - pupils, parents and old students - in touch with developments. The annual School Magazine includes many insights into the wide spectrum of school life.
Latymer Parents and Friends (LPF)
All parents are members. The Association has two main aims. Firstly, it engages in activities which support the School and advance the education of the pupils. Secondly, it fosters good relationships between staff, parents and others associated with the School. The Association is run by a committee of elected parents together with staff representation. It makes major contributions to the School environment, facilities and organising events for students, such as the Year 11 Prom.
The Head teacher is President of the Association and encourages parents to take part in its many fund-raising and social activities. There is a list of LPF events on the School Calendar. Click here to view the LPF pages.