Pastoral Support

At Huntingdon Academy we want everyone involved with our school to feel well supported. We believe that good pastoral support focuses on nurturing the individual needs of each child. We aim to build trusting and empathetic relationships with all our pupils and their families. This is a whole school mission and every colleague in school shares this vision and adopts the school values of listening, thinking,collaborating and communication. All our colleagues model to students how to look after themselves and others; encouraging them to seek help, support or advice whenever they need it.

Our Inclusion Team is made up of dedicated professionals. This includes the Leader of Inclusion and Welfare, SENDCo, Pastoral and Attendance Lead and our Personal Development Coach and Mentor. Together our team works with students and families to support our young people to lead fulfilling and balanced lives at school and beyond.

Pastoral care underpins personal development and we know from experience that with outstanding pastoral care, students feel they belong and their self-esteem is able to flourish because they feel valued and cared for. Supporting the pastoral needs of pupils sometimes involves working with external agencies. In these situations we ensure that a confidential, professional, non-judgmental and sensitive service is provided.

How can the Pastoral Team help me as a parent, carer or family member?

Our Pastoral Team can offer support in a range of situations, such as:

  • advice and support with your child’s behaviour at home or at school.
  • advice and support about your child’s punctuality and attendance.
  • other concerns you may have relating to your child that you would like support with.
  • supporting you or someone you know who is suffering domestic abuse.
  • concerns about any child’s welfare.
  • support you to talk to your child’s teacher or to the school about any concerns or queries you may have.
  • help you to access information about difficulties you may be experiencing such as money worries, relationships, health for example.

Below are some of the things we have/do in school

Designated Safeguarding Leads – who meet regularly to consider all of the children who might be vulnerable for one reason or another, and together they decide on what support could be offered either from within the school or from an outside agency to support the parents, carers and family.

Early Help -We can make referrals to the Children’s Services Early Help team. This team are there to give families support, guidance and in some cases, training and the tools to help.

New Early Help offer:

Peep Learning Together Programme (0-2 years+)
The Peep Learning Together Programme supports parents/carers to improve their baby’s life chances and create the best start for their child, by making the most of everyday learning opportunities at home – listening, talking, playing, singing and sharing books and stories together. Peep sessions include discussions linked to the programmes five strands of learning: Communication and language; personal, social and emotional development; health and physical development; early literacy development and early numeracy development.
Triple P – Primary Care (Tip sheets)
Triple P Discussion Groups 2hr session (2-8 years)
Managing Fighting and Aggression
Dealing with Disobedience
Developing Good Bedtime Routines
Hassle-free shopping with children  
Parents with specific concerns about their child’s behaviour who would benefit from a specific topic Suitable if not able to commit to the 8 week programme. May be used as a “refresher” if parents have completed the 8 week programme.
Triple P – 8 weeks programme (2-8 years)
An 8-week parenting course. Parents will learn a combination of different strategies to support them with their children’s behaviour. The course is aimed at children aged 2-8 years
Please contact the Parenting Team for courses aimed at children over the age of 8 years.
Triple P – Stepping Stones (2-8 years)
A 9-week parenting course on positive parenting for parents with children who have a developmental disability. This programme is for under 8’s ONLY (a diagnosis is not required however; the child MUST have a developmental delay).
The course will cover:
-Developing good relationships with children
-Encouraging children to learn new skills and develop independence
-Promote children’s health development and wellbeing
-Managing misbehaviour
-3 telephone calls to support parents using strategies at home and within the community
Sleep Tight (2-8 years)
The Sleep Tight programme is for a child that is having long-standing sleep difficulties and the parent has already tried some sleep solutions. Sleep Tight is a 5-week programme, which looks into reasons why a child has sleep difficulties, how to manage these difficulties and put strategies in place for an improved sleep pattern.  
Young Mums Together
Young mum’s together is a drop in session for young parents up to the age of 25. This is a session for young parents to support mental health and wellbeing, with activities for parents and children and guest speakers. Sessions are delivered weekly in the Meadows and in Bestwood. These sessions are open to families from across the city.
Freedom Programme
The Freedom Programme is a 10-week information and support programme built around the realities and effects of domestic abuse for women only.  It runs for 2 hours a week over a 10-week period; supports Victims and Survivors of Domestic Abuse and looks at Healthily Relationships.

Our Senior Leadership team and pastoral team has an open door policy for parents so that parents and carers can talk through any worries they have.

Help with uniform including school shoes- we stock a variety of new school shoes as well as spare uniform.

Food bank vouchers to support parents and carers who are facing financial hardship.

Free school meal applications.

Support for families with transport issues for example providing bus tickets.             

Support for collecting children in emergency situations.

Support for families who are homeless – liaising with housing etc.

Working in partnership with various agencies and making referrals to various agencies to help support both child and families. Some of the agencies we work with are:


School nurse referrals

Consultants (pediatricians)             

Social Care

Our SENCos are available to meet with parents to work in partnership for how to best meet a child’s needs using reasonable adjustments and adaptive teaching.

We ensure Secondary transition work between Huntingdon Academy and Secondary schools.

Partnership with Family Mentor Service.  The Family Mentor service is part of Small Steps Big Changes, which is funded through the National Lottery Community Fund’s A Better Start Programme.

Workshops for Parents, Carers and Families

We are pleased to share with you that Huntingdon Academy has teamed up with Life Education. Life Education are a registered charity that work with schools to run workshops with parents and children.   These workshops are here to equip us as adults to help our children manage the stresses and strains of the modern world. The more knowledge we gain as adults on these strategies, the better we can look after ourselves and then provide the support our young people need.

Mental Health Support

As discussed above Huntingdon is a Mental Health Support Team School. MHST are based in school one day a week to help children access support and help to increase a whole school approach to mental health well-being.  There will be coffee mornings, drop in sessions and depending on the age of the child and the support needed, parents will be offered 1-1 support to help with strategies for their child.

We are aware that some parents and carers can sometimes feel reluctant to access workshops and we respect that some parents prefer to take the school up on 1:1 support.

Personal development and pastoral support for pupils runs through the ethos of our school. It is our mission to create and foster an environment where all our young people can grow and be the best versions of themselves. Below we have captured the universal offer that all our young people receive, the support that some children will receive and then the high level support that is available for those young people who need it.

The things we do as a school:

  • We are a ‘talking school’ and we encourage our children to share their concerns at all times.
  • We have open door policies for pupils with all colleagues, the leadership team and the pastoral team.
  • Colleagues have training on how to provide a nurturing environment and children are taught to speak to members of staff about any problems they have.
  • Colleagues are trained how to support children to manage their emotions using emotion coaching.
  • Colleagues are trained on trauma and are aware of how to support children who have experienced trauma.
  • Rigorous behaviour monitoring occurs in our school and looking for possible causes of the behaviour.  Rigorous investigations take place into all types of child-on child discrimination and bullying.
  • We have Equality Ambassadors who ensure that school celebrates diversity and is inclusive.
  • Assemblies focus on school values, British values, safeguarding, mental health and protected characteristics.
  • Our safeguarding curriculum provides our children with the essential knowledge and skills required to live a healthy and safe life now, and in the wider world.
  • Keeping mentally well is part of our personal, social and health education with a block of lessons specifically focusing on mental health for each year group.

Year 6 have The Great Project which promotes healthy relationships and domestic abuse awareness.

  1. Session One (Healthy Relationships) – Promotes the importance of children developing healthy, positive relationships 
  2. Session Two (Domestic Abuse) – Explores what domestic abuse is, how children can access support, and what support services are available
  3. Session Three (Excuses and Choices) – Considers the reasons behind domestic abuse, with a focus on dispelling commonly used excuses/myths
  4. Session Four (Respecting Each Other) – Looks at gender inequalities and promoting gender respect

Some children will receive:

  • Support from a Personal Development Coach and Mentor who will work with them to help them to overcome obstacles and access school life.
  • Theraplay – this is an adult-directed, structured play group that incorporates playful, cooperative and nurturing activities that enhance the emotional well-being of children. Learning is experiential so instead of talking about positive social behaviour, the group leaders and children DO positive social interaction.
  • Musical interaction – is an approach in which music and props are used to engage children through fun, familiar experiences and song. It enables children to express their emotions and their personality through musical play whilst also developing fundamental social and communication skills.
  • Access to our Mental Health Support Team School (MHST) This have been developed to increase earlier access to support with mental health and well being, they are based in school one day a week to help children access support and help to increase a whole school approach to mental health well being. 
  • Access to an Educational Mental Health Practitioner who is based in the school one day a week and works closely with Miss Yarnell and Mrs Bennett the mental health lead to ensure that the mental health needs within the school are identified and bespoke interventions offered. 
  • MHST (Mental Health Support in Schools) offer interventions that have been shown to help support children and young people overcome difficulties with their mental health and well being.  These may be offered on a 1-1 basis or with parents/caregivers. The majority of the interventions use Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approaches.
  • Support with domestic abuse – Starting in the Autumn term 2023 school will have a work from Imara in school one day a week. This is a Domestic Abuse Therapeutic Service for Children & Young People from 3-18 years. They provide a range of creative arts therapies, designed to allow children to communicate in ways that come most naturally to them, to process what they have experienced and overcome trauma.  This is to help empower our children and families to move forward from the impact of domestic abuse.
  • Enhanced Secondary Transition sessions for pupil who need further support managing change.

 High Level support for some children who will receive:

  • Sensory circuits and Proprioception activities.
  • Meet and greets in the morning by a key worker.
  • 1:1 time to talk through their thoughts and feelings with a mentor.
  • Key Worker at play and lunch times. This ensures that the social and emotional needs of vulnerable children are being addressed consistently.
  • Annual Reviews and EHCP applications.
  • Referrals for bereavement counselling via The Children’s Bereavement Centre Outreach Program.
  • Personalised timetables.