Advice & Help
Every student at some time needs support and help and at Farlingaye we strive to ensure that appropriate guidance is provided as soon as possible.
The pastoral system ensures that every student has contact with a tutor twice every day, this providing an immediate opportunity for students to raise any concerns or issues immediately and so enabling a response to be put into place quickly. The Heads of Year and Assistant Heads of Year are available to students too, as are the Senior Leadership Team. These people are visible around the school and operate an open door policy so students can approach them at any time, with any concern.
Mentoring is an exciting part of the support on offer to students and complements the formal pastoral programme.
Peer mentoring enables students to discuss their concerns frankly with another student. Year 11 students act as 'Aunts and Uncles' to the year 7. This support begins from the New Intake Day and lasts throughout year 7, with the older students adopting a tutor group and participating in the building of this mini-community during the transition from primary to secondary education. The 'Aunts and Uncles' listen, discuss and guide the new students to ensure they feel secure and positive about their experiences....this complements the work that the staff and tutors do across the curriculum.
The support offered by the 'Aunts and Uncles' is enhanced by the Sixth form students who mentor individual students who need extra support and care. Any student can be mentored and the time students are engaged with the mentoring process can vary from a few weeks during a crisis to a few months while the student gains the confidence to move on alone. A small group of Year 13 students mentor a group of year 9 students who have displayed difficulty in recognising the inappropriate behaviour they sometimes display. The On-Track programme is a year long scheme which involves the younger students in a range of activities led by a small team of staff and supported by the mentors. Demanding long term commitment and focus this programme has successfully enabled students to develop the strategies needed to succeed within a large High school.
Year 11 is a very intense year for students involved. Staff act as mentors for year 11 students, helping them to hone the study skills which will help to ensure success and supporting the students through the curriculum, revision and exam preparation necessary. Offering guidance, support and a sympathetic ear, the staff are able to ensure that the year 11 are in the best position to achieve their goals. A small number of students are mentored by a team of staff through the Assertive Mentoring programme. Here the same support is provided however targets are set and progress closely monitored in a more formal manner, to ensure that the students achieve the best grades possible.
The COMPACT Mentoring programme provides a group of Year 11 students with a mentor from local businesses. The support is the same as received from staff, however the mentors are able to apply the information they receive to a work situation and so help the students to understand the consequences of their decisions, actions, etc. in a wider context.
Students respond to the pressures of work in many ways; some thrive, enjoying the challenges, organising their time, etc. Others find the whole year daunting and need extra academic support. There are study and revision classes run across all the curriculum areas, and the staff give very generously of their time and energy to ensure that the students have every opportunity to access the help and support on offer. A number of more formal programmes are in place to support specific groups of students to achieve their best in the exams. The Mars Bar Challenge allows a group of high achievers to be rewarded for their effort and attitude during the months leading up to the GCSEs. Close monitoring of their reports enables the students to identify any areas for improvement needed and the Challenge recognises the work the students have put into addressing these areas. The "A2A" Group includes a number of C / D borderline students who with a little extra work and support might be able to secure the C grades they want. Lasting 6 months, the programme involves the students in a range of additional study and revision sessions and specifies the extra activities the students should be involved with, rewarding the success gained in their final GCSE exams with vouchers.
The extra activities mentioned above include the Residentials; during which the Year 11 spend two days involved in intense revision sessions, gaining the skills necessary to revise successfully and gaining the confidence to prepare well for the exams ahead. Coursework evenings are also held, at which any student can come along and have 3 hours of supported guidance after school. Students who are behind with, or could improve, their coursework receive a personal invitation to attend. A Revision Day kick starts the revision period, with all the year 11 receiving a comprehensive pack outlining the topics to be revised in each subject, useful websites to access, and examples to support the strategies outlined for thorough and successful exam preparation. There is also a Parents Evening for parents to help them to understand what the school is doing, and also to gain an understanding of the role they can play in supporting and encouraging their child over the next few months.
A number of external agencies work in partnership with Farlingaye to enhance the expertise available to support students across all the years. These agencies include the school nurse, other health professionals including mental health and dieticians, a school counsellor, educational welfare officers, Connexions advisors, etc. Together Farlingaye and these professionals are able to deliver a comprehensive support system to help meet the needs of all students.