The Runnymede College House System was established by Arthur F Powell in 1967 and comprises four Houses: Austen (yellow), Keynes (green), Locke (red) and Newton (blue). Every child is assigned to a House on joining the School and members of the same family are members of the same House.
An attempt is also made to ensure that there is the same number of pupils in each House in the School, and an equal spread of boys and girls and within each Form. The House System seeks to stimulate pupils through the opinions and enthusiasms of the group to achieve higher standards in studies, conduct and physical education. Teachers, including PE teachers, award Good and Bad House Points for conduct and work (especially for effort). At each half-term and at the end of term these House Points are added up and an Assembly is held in which the Headmaster announces the total scores. At the end of the school year, at Prize Giving, the winning House is awarded the House Cup and, likewise, an Interhouse Sports Cup is also awarded.
Pastoral care is concerned with promoting personal, social, emotional and intellectual development in order to help every child reach their full potential and be equipped with the skills to succeed in all aspects of life. Successful pastoral care depends on getting to know each student and on listening to and addressing his/her individual needs. The pastoral team includes all members of staff and promotes positive relationships in school and the active participation of every student in the education process in order to ensure that they benefit from all that the school has to offer.
The quality of pastoral care in any school is one of the major influences in creating a positive atmosphere in which every student feels valued, safe and happy about their educational experience.
At Runnymede College, we recognise that the attainment of academic excellence is directly related to, and affected by, all aspects of personal development. We strongly believe in providing an education that promotes and encourages the intellectual, emotional, social and physical development of every individual. We impart a broad and balanced curriculum that prepares our pupils for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
To promote a caring ethos and to encourage positive relationships between all of the members of the school community. Every student has the right to come to school and feel safe, happy and valued. Emphasis is placed on the importance of each individual within the school community, and on the need for mutual concern and respect between all of its members.
To provide the support for each student so that they can develop to the full in all areas. Close attention is given to the personal, social and intellectual needs of each student. They are encouraged to be aware of, and take an active role in his/her own development and to accept responsibility for it.
In order to give support and guidance for pupil achievement, the pastoral system will provide a point of personal contact for every pupil. The Form Teacher and other members of the pastoral team will listen to and understand their experience and views about academic and personal development.
The pastoral system will also respond quickly and appropriately when additional support is necessary, for example, in the event of parental illness; bereavement; parental separation; exam-related stress; bullying.
To ensure that each pupil knows and is known personally and in some depth by at least one member of staff.
As a result of the general daily contact, and by means of regular personal interviews, the Form Teacher develops a close knowledge of a particular individual’s circumstances. This knowledge is especially important during periods of stress for the pupil, for instance, when transferring from Junior School to Senior School, during GCSE exams, or when personal problems arise.
To monitor each individual pupil's progress and achievement across the whole curriculum, to maintain appropriate records and to create an overview of his/her approach to different learning tasks.
It is important to develop a learner's profile across the curriculum, and to create an overview of the pupil’s performance. Every pupil has a unique profile, and both the student themselves and their teachers can learn from it. We effectively record information relevant to the progess of individual pupils.
To encourage a caring and orderly environment within which all pupils can exercise initiative and develop. All members of staff of Runnymede College will encourage and reinforce an atmosphere in which each student feels important and can make their own personal contribution to the group. It is essential that each student feels that they can express their points of view, always in a respectful and constructive manner, and that these views will be taken into consideration. A positive and structured environment is a prerequisite of this. The pastoral care system will support the discipline system in reinforcing the school ethos of mutual respect and consideration for others. Students who behave in such a way that impede the existence of a positive atmosphere will be supported in their efforts to change in order to conduct themselves in a manner more in line with the values upheld at the school.
To impart proactive, preventive pastoral care.
Although it is inevitable that much of the pastoral care undertaken at school is a reaction to problematic situations that arise, the school recognises the importance of a curriculum that provides opportunities for personal development other than in a purely academic sense. We aim to offer activities that allow students to explore and develop in areas that complement their intellectual progress, and help them to face the demands that they experience as they grow. These activities will include PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education) such as Sex and Relationship Education (SRE), drugs education, health and personal safety, and citizenship. Other related aspects of pastoral care are academic support and careers and vocational education.
To provide a point of personal contact for parents to give their view of their child's progress, and to work with the home in all aspects of pupil development.
Regular contact with parents is vital, and will not happen only at parents’ evenings. The Form Teacher will co-ordinate the communication between home and school, and will work alongside the parents in order to enhance the progress in all areas of their child in the school.
Although Pastoral Care involves all members of staff at some level, the front line of pastoral care is the Form Teacher, who has the task of ensuring that each member of the form group is experiencing school in a positive and successful way.
The Form Teacher provides a daily point of contact between the student and the school, and has the opportunity of monitoring progress and general well-being. The Form Teacher also co-ordinates the communication between the student, parents, and staff in order to address the academic, personal and social needs of each pupil. It is vital not to reinforce the common idea of a conceptual split between pastoral care and academic progress – the academic success of each student is inextricably linked to his/her progress in all areas of personal development, and the role of the Form Teacher is the key to effective pastoral care.
If parents have any questions, doubts or problems regarding pastoral issues, their first port of call is the Form Teacher, who will then involve other members of staff and management as necessary (e-mail addresses can be found on the school website).
The School believes that group activities outside the classroom are not only culturally enriching but also that they make an important contribution to the development of personality and character.
Knowing how to behave in a group, helping to organize activities, accepting the authority of the leader – all these play an important role in developing the individual as a member of society.
Many of the children have never had the experience of going to a play or concert, nor visited museums or archaeological sites before going with the School.
The experience of spending a night, or week-end, with a group of classmates, away from parental control in a hotel or under canvas, plays a role in the personal development of a growing child in a way that even the most devoted parents cannot achieve alone.
Pupils of the Junior School visit farms (what an eyeopener it is to learn about animals on a farm!), the zoo, the mountains and lakes around Madrid. The Juniors visit the Roman site of Segóbriga whilst the Senior School annually visits Mérida: the geographers study the environment, the historians visit museums and places of historic interest whilst the Art and Music teachers introduce them to the wonders of the great art museums of Madrid and take them to youth concerts. A Choir and instrumental Ensemble meet during lunch breaks. In this way, for many children who are not members of Spanish clubs and youth organisations the School becomes a Club centre at break-time and after school.