Fitzharrys School believes every student should receive special care in a positive environment of security and compassion, and Ofsted found that students “moral, social and cultural development is at the heart of the curriculum and staff passionately strive to ensure that their welfare needs are met. Parents’ faith in Fitzharrys is well founded; this is a very caring community.”
Each student has a range of champions at Fitzharrys. The first point of call is the form tutor who will ideally be with the same group of students throughout their first five years at Fitzharrys. Tutors offer one-on-one coaching and support meetings for students in Individual Mentoring sessions, available every week on Wednesday afternoons. We know that communication between school and home is vitally important, so we hold a ‘Meet the Tutor’ evening early in Year 7 to build those relationships.
The tutors are supported by Heads of Year and our Pastoral Director. In addition, students at Fitzharrys benefit from our unique team of Student Wellbeing Managers. Attached to particular year groups, this team has a wide variety of skills and experiences that make them ideally suited to resolving issues and ensuring that children always have a supportive adult that they can talk to. The team are greatly valued by students, staff and parents alike, and make a significant contribution to the happiness and success of all the students in their care.
In support of new students, we operate a buddy system at Fitzharrys. Buddies help their new classmates find their way to lessons and offer friendly advice. They are also on duty at break and lunchtimes in the dining and picnic areas.
A special feature of Fitzharrys pastoral care is our focus on positive mental health and wellbeing. Students benefit from visits by guest speakers, experts and performers raising awareness of these issues. We nurture resilience, develop growth mindsets and let children know that it is ok to make mistakes. We build up their confidence to express concerns and tackle issues. We also have links with the excellent local charity The Abingdon Bridge (TAB) which supports young people in challenging circumstances, and a regularly visiting school nurse to ensure students have good access to the right support.