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Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care at Ripley St Thomas

The pastoral team are committed to encouraging and supporting all pupils’ to believe in themselves. Ripley offers pupils the chance to experience a broad and diverse curriculum which is complemented with the opportunity to access a wide range of optional extracurricular activities. Ripley recognises that qualifications are essential but only part of developing the whole child. 

The Pastoral team work alongside subject colleagues to support learning across the curriculum implementing a number of many strategies. The team has a experience, a breadth of knowledge and depth of skill which ensures everyone’s needs are catered for. 

Each year group has a Progress leader who tracks the progress and personal development of their pupils. They will challenge performance in a supportive and encouraging manner so each pupil achieves their best. Assistant progress leaders with no teaching commitment assist the progress leader nurturing pupils’ identified skills, talents and abilities. 

The pupils in each year group are organised into ten forms, each has a dedicated progress tutor. This is parents’ first point of contact, as the progress tutor they have an overview of each pupil’s education and can guide and support them through the many decisions faced. The year 7 progress tutor team is static so that they can use their extensive experience and knowledge of transition issues to settle and resolve concerns quickly. Progress tutors then remain with pupils from year 8 to 11 this enables the progress tutor to know the pupils and their families well. This relationship is key to supporting each pupil in the right way so they achieve their best. 

The pupils also belong to a house: Blackburn, Chester, Durham and York. Competitions in a variety of areas are organised and pupils compete for ‘Ripples’. ‘Ripples are accumulated and awards presented to those achieving the highest scores.

 We recognise that Ripley is a dynamic environment but we work hard to create respect and tolerance. This is underpinned by the work we do with regard to bullying. Anti-bullying issues are addressed through our PSHEE programme, assemblies, tutor time, National anti-bullying week and the curriculum. Pastoral logs indicate the number of bullying and racist incidents is low. Less that 1% of pupils had experienced homophobic bullying. 

There is a balance between giving support and structure and allowing pupils to take responsibility and make their own decisions as there is in any family. Pupils must own their behaviour and recognise that they cannot impede the learning of others. The behaviour for learning policy is promoted and adhered to across the academy. 

There are many opportunities available to pupils to show their care and compassion for others through the charity fundraising. The academy promotes the Duke of Edinburgh and Arch Bishop of York awards. There are bespoke schemes in year 8, Tristar and year 11, Ripley+.



“Students receive outstanding care, guidance and support.”

Ofsted 2012 

“Pastoral support is very strongly focused on the ‘Ripley family’ and students speak of being confident in having someone to ask if they need help.”

Ofsted 2012 

“The pastoral system is embedded and a distinct feature and strength of the school.”

Ofsted 2012 

“Students are considerate, polite, punctual and courteous.”

Ofsted 2012 

“The academy’s palpable family ethos means that students are confident and resilient in problem-solving; they relish challenge.”

Ofsted 2012 

“Staff are committed to removing any barriers to achievement that students might face and have made a remarkable difference to the achievements of students whose circumstances make them potentially vulnerable.”

Ofsted 2012