The Latymer Link - page 5

Latymer is incredibly lucky in having two school counsellors who visit the school once every week. Students
speak to their Head of Learning if they want to see a counsellor and then I liaise with either counsellor to fix
an appointment time. It’s really important that students know they can talk to someone in confidence about
anything that’s troubling them. Latymer is similar to many other schools across the country where there is an
increasing amount of students who are affected with issues around mental health. In June this year on our
Pastoral Training Day, staff spent time listening and understanding issues around young people’s mental health
in order to support staff, students and parents. I will be launching a Mental Health Strategy group in Autumn
2014 with the view to embedding a Mental Health Policy in school.
In addition to what’s already been mentioned, I meet every fortnight with the Head of Learning Support to
discuss those students with special educational needs as well as to plan strategically to ensure that their
learning experience is as personalised as possible. Naturally, I meet formally and informally with my SLT
colleagues. We are a close bunch and in a busy place like Latymer ensure that we not only support one
another but just as importantly the staff we work with and line manage.
I try to get out of my office as often as I can during the day so that I can meet and speak with students.
Many of them have been very welcoming this year and just a touch inquisitive about where I worked before,
which football team I support, where I bought my tie or whether I like Haribos and other such questions. I
particularly like to be about at the start of the day and at the end of lunch to chat and check on uniform. They
all know that I’m a stickler for uniform and most do their best to please. The one place I like to spend some of
my lunch time is managing the queue into the Dining Hall. I get to see students in a different light, talk to them
about this and that and get to know them a bit better. Their chatter, positivity and excitement are just some of
the many reasons why I love this job and, 17 years on, I know that my career change was the right thing to do.
Pete Hampson
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