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+.
In conjunction with Lancashire Police, Ripley St. Thomas Academy is involved in a national initiative called “Operation Encompass”. The purpose of Operation Encompass is to safeguard and support children and young people who have been involved in, heard or witnessed a domestic abuse incident.
Following an incident, children will often arrive at school distressed, upset, worried and unprepared. Operation Encompass aims to ensure that appropriate school staff are made aware early enough to help and support children and young people in a way that means they feel safe and included.
This is a valuable initiative that means we can help and support students and their families within our school when they need us most.
You can find out more information by visiting the Operation Encompass website (click the button below) or by contacting Mrs A.Casson or Mr P. Wilson at school.