School Life

Junior School Pastoral Care

Children learn best when they have a positive, happy experience of childhood, feel valued and secure within the school community, and are enthusiastic about their education and school lives. At St Edmund’s, we seek to achieve this through the curriculum, our co-curricular programme, and the pastoral system – supported by the ethos and family atmosphere of the school.

Central to good pastoral care is the strong rapport between staff and pupils, made possible by small class sizes and shared experiences gained through a lively programme of clubs, activities, trips and tours.

Every pupil belongs to a Form, which is a pastoral unit and is the responsibility of a teacher or tutor who has oversight of academic progress, social development and the general wellbeing of the pupils. They are usually parents’ first point of contact, and their email addresses can be found in the Parent Handbook. Parents have the opportunity to meet them during the first half term.

In addition, children have access to many staff who can help them in a pastoral capacity:

  • houseparents and matrons who provide an additional layer of daily care for boarders
  • AEN (Additional Educational Needs) staff who support children requiring learning support or extension tasks
  • Mrs Swatman, Head of Lower School, and Mr Pellett, Head of Upper School
  • Mrs Relf, who is responsible for girls’ welfare in Upper School and runs the Girls on Board programme
  • Dr Goodwin, Deputy Head and Head of Pastoral Care, who also oversees the boys’ pastoral programme
  • the School Chaplain, who is available to children at any time
  • nursing staff in the school’s medical centre
  • our school counsellor, who visits weekly
  • Our wellbeing mentor, who specifically supports choristers.

We recognise the value of maintaining good communications with parents, and Deputy Head, Dr Holly Goodwin, and Head of the Junior School, Dr Emma Margrett, are always happy to meet. 

School routine

The academic life of the school operates five days a week, Monday to Friday.   All the regular extra-curricular clubs and activities take place during the week, before or after school or during the lunch break. Day pupils are occasionally required to attend school on a Saturday morning for Open Morning or Sports Day, but there are weekend activities provided every weekend for boarders.

On weekdays, pupils must arrive at school in time for registration at 8.30am, although school is open for arrivals from 8.00am when staff start their duties in the playground. Many children enjoy arriving early to allow them to socialise before the start of lessons.

During the morning, there are three lessons of 55 minutes, with a 25 minute break at 10.55am. Day pupils are allowed to bring a small, healthy snack (ideally fruit or cheese) for mid-morning break, and the same is provided for boarders.

Healthy lunch choices are available in the dining hall from 12.15pm. There is always a varied vegetarian option and our award-winning caterers Holroyd Howe, winners of the Healthy Eating Champion Catey Award 2018, are able to meet all dietary requirements. A lunch supervisor and the Junior School Matron supervise children in Forms 3-5 while Forms 6-8 eat under the general supervision of the teaching staff. All the staff share the dining hall with the children where there is an emphasis on good table manners. The lunch break lasts for an hour and five minutes and there is time for play, independent study or club activity before afternoon lessons.

The afternoon programme includes two (Lower School) or three (Upper School) academic or games lessons. Lesson times vary depending on year group. Please click here for a full matrix of the school day.

Late Stay, a supervised homework session separated into Upper and Lower School pupil groups, runs at the end of the school day until 5.30pm. There is no additional charge for this.

School bus services operating from pick up points across Kent deliver pupils in time for morning registration and depart at the end of the day by 5.30pm. Please contact the school office for details of routes and charges.