A safe and calm learning environment – that is the promise to every student, teacher and parent in the IES family. At the core of this collective effort is a commitment to a clear structure, daily routines, and good communication.
IES’ head of pastoral Jeremy Elder works with questions of student well-being and safety every day. “My role relates to social and emotional well-being, student behaviour, school culture and the school environment. It looks at our promise to provide a safe and calm environment where teachers can teach, and students learn” he said.
A lot of this work revolves around building trust and creating strong relationships between students, teachers and parents. Clear channels of communication and strong support systems are key to making that happen. Giving students an welcoming and safe space to learn and share in is essential to their well-being, and the IES framework enables teachers to catch any issues early on and give every student the support they need.
“It is also my job to provide management and staff with resources and training to face any societal issues we might have. We have to stay up-to-date and ahead of the game in order to know how to tackle these issues”, Jeremy Elder said.
In order to make those resources readily available, Jeremy Elder has established the pastoral library including guides, seminars and policy documents to help in this work. In addition, Mr Elder provides monthly ‘pastoral updates’, where he reports on what is going on throughout IES.
“I produce them because I want people to reach out to me, to share ideas. We want to link the schools together, so that they don’t feel like isolated islands.”
All of this is vital, culture-building work. It is a continuous process of listening, learning, adjusting, and improving. The work affects all parts of the organisation.
“It affects students, in terms of their well-being, their ability to study and the pride they take in their school. But it also affects the teachers in their well-being, their ability to teach, and the pride they take in their workplace. Of course, it affects the parents, who are sending their children to us, and who need to feel that their child is in a safe environment”, Jeremy Elder said.
Our shared values hold IES together. By making it clear what IES wants to accomplish, and committing to it, everyone is held accountable.
“It’s not just talking about it – but acting upon it.”