In a large, modern comprehensive school such as Strathaven Academy, the guidance system is very important. It is vital that a pupil’s personal needs are not overlooked. Pupils should know that support exists and that advice is readily available from experienced and caring staff. In order to meet these needs, the school has given considerable thought to the question of how Guidance should be organised to ensure that the needs of all pupils are met.
At the time of enrolment, each pupil is allocated to one of five House Groups and specially-appointed Pupil Support teachers responsible for this House look after the pastoral care of the pupil at every stage of his/her school career. As other members of the same family come to the school, they join the same House Group, and in this way parents can establish a good working relationship with Guidance staff over a number of years.
Promoted Guidance staff work closely with all staff and in particular with register teachers. Wherever possible, a register teacher is assigned to look after pupils from S1-S6, thus providing valuable continuity, as pupils see their register teacher daily.
In Strathaven Academy, pupils are allocated to one of the five houses, and each member of the Guidance team looks after the pupils in one house.
J Kane – Depute Head Teacher
Pupil Support provides an important link between home and school. The role of Pupil Support staff is to provide help and care for all pupils and to ensure that they make the best use of their educational opportunities. Although all teachers in school have a responsibility for the child’s welfare, it is the Guidance teacher who has an “all-round” picture of an individual pupil’s progress.
The Personal and Social Education programme developed by Guidance involves developing appropriate skills and attitudes that will help young people to grow into stable, caring and well-balanced adults.
The Pupil Support teacher is closely involved in all aspects of a young person’s learning and development during his/her time in school. This will normally include matters relating to areas such as curriculum, health, attendance, careers and personal development. Guidance staff encourage parental involvement and seek to establish strong links between school and home.
On any occasion where there is a cause for concern, Pupil Support staff will contact parents by telephone or by letter.
Similarly, parents are urged to inform Pupil Support staff of any circumstances which may affect their child’s progress or behaviour in school.
When pupils come to make course choices in S2, S3, S4 and S5, Pupil Support staff, in consultation with teaching staff, parents and Skills Development Scotland (SDS), will help them to make the choices which best suit their needs and ambitions using the wide range of resources and expertise available. The school has excellent links with SDS and institutions of Further and Higher Education to ensure that pupils are made fully aware of the wide range of opportunities which exist.
S2 and S3 choices will be made within the guidelines of Curriculum for Excellence. S4/5 choices will be made from a wide range of National Qualification Courses.