Saxmundham is a confident and happy place. Our students receive excellent pastoral care and support in a small school setting. Our staff know each of their students as individuals.
Since the school opened we have worked in close collaboration with our students and their families to put in place clear and open channels of communication. Parents/carers are informed at the start of each academic year of the teacher who has direct responsibility for their child’s pastoral care.
We are committed to promoting the safety and wellbeing of our students and Saxmundham’s senior leaders work very closely with the Suffolk Safeguarding Children Board. If anyone within the school community has concerns about a student, school policy requires them to share them with Mr D Lees (Designated Safeguarding Lead) or Miss S Marsden (Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead).
Our tutors are the main point of contact between school and home. They meet with their tutor group each morning for registration and have them for three periods each week as part of our unique enrichment programme. During that time the group might attend an assembly or take part in PSHE or Citizenship activities.
For parents/carers the tutor will be the first point of contact in the school for educational or pastoral issues.
We know that some students find it difficult to adjust to the demands of secondary school so we ensure that all of our Year 7s receive plenty of support when they join us. First year tutor groups are led by teachers who are experienced in the transition journey. Parents/carers are introduced to their son/daughter’s tutor at the start of the academic year and regular communications between home and school facilitate this process.
Students in Years 7 and 8 at Saxmundham are placed in mixed tutor groups, this encourages a strong community ethos by breaking down traditional age barriers. The younger students interact on a daily basis with older ones who have already embarked on some GCSE work and they quickly become mentors to their younger peers. Mrs Button is Head of Year 7 at Saxmundham and Mr Woolven is Head of Year 8. They support tutors whilst monitoring attendance, academic performance and liaising with external agencies as required.
Any student concerns should be referred to Miss Coles, the Pastoral Support Assistant for Lower School – HColes@saxmundhamfreeschool.org.uk
Year 9, 10 and 11 students are also placed in mixed tutor groups. This is all done under the leadership of Mr Battle (Head of Year 9), Miss Issac (Head of Year 10) and for Year 11, Mr Lees (Headteacher). They help our older students prepare for further education, training or employment once they have completed their GCSEs with us.
Any student concerns should be referred to Miss Howes, the Pastoral Support Officer for Upper School – KHowes@saxmundhamfreeschool.org.uk
Miss Coles and Miss Howes also work to support students who are young carers. To find out more about support on offer to young carers visit https://suffolkfamilycarers.org/