At Malvern there is a wealth of opportunity for our pupils. There are the academic challenges posed by a rigorous programme of study and there is a vast range of co-curricular activities available to all. However, life itself can generate challenges of its own, particularly in the process of development from adolescence to adult. There are many ways of enabling this transition so that it can be as enjoyable as possible and the following structures are in place at Malvern that aim to do just that.
Any well-ordered community has a framework in place to guide its members. Malvern has a system of rewards and sanctions, recognising positive contributions to the community and signalling what we deem to be unacceptable. Above this clear foundation, there are many layers of guidance available, as pupils develop skills relating to working with others, enjoying positive relationships, taking responsibility and showing leadership. A network of support is in place to ensure that every pupil is shown the ultimate duty of care. The homely environment in the Houses is reinforced by an excellent tutor system which provides support at all ages. Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for others, and new pupils always appreciate the warm welcome they receive at Malvern.
The ability to develop good working relationships academically and socially is most important. This process can be built on the foundations established by the Tutorial System. In a boarding community it is particularly important that the pupils should have readily available access to the experience and advice of the adult members of that community and, if necessary, specialist advice outside the College.
The College’s pastoral team comprises:
Dr Lister, Senior Deputy Head
Mrs Bijl, Safeguarding Officer
Father Law, College Chaplain
Mrs Angus, Deputy Head: Pastoral
Mrs Bijl, as the College Safeguarding Officer, ensures that pupils are safe and supported appropriately. She is in charge of the counselling team, independent confidential counsellors who run a drop-in service. She works closely with the Medical Centre who also provide confidential advice. The Head of Sixth Form (Mr Grundy), the Deputy Head of Sixth Form (Mr Hutsby),the Head of Lower School (Mrs Swart) and the Assistant Head of Lower School (Mrs Brighton-Goedhals) also provide a valuable level of support: they are introduced to pupils during the induction process.
The school has a Christian foundation but respects the religious beliefs of all faiths.
Father Law is the College Chaplain; he is responsible for the spiritual life at the College and the Chapel is at the heart of our community. We believe that having a sense of spiritual awareness is as important in becoming a well-balanced individual as is academic achievement and good physical health. Father Law is available to offer support, guidance and counselling where it is needed. There are also two adult independent listeners whom pupils may contact.
To complement the Pastoral function in the Houses, all pupils also have an academic Tutor. In the Lower School, pupils are assigned to a Form Tutor, who meets a group, comprised of pupils drawn from across the Houses, at least three times per week. This tutor is concerned with supervising pupils’ academic and co-curricular progress and providing pastoral support. In the Foundation Year, the Tutor is a duty member of the House to which the tutee belongs. These tutors provide added support and ensure that pupils settle in well.
As the pupil moves up the school, Malvern continues to encourage maximum participation in the life of the College and all it has to offer. A most important aspect of education at all stages is for pupils to start to understand the nature of leadership and the kind of help and direction they can give within the House, the School or the community at large. This is reinforced by the Leadership Diploma which begins in the Lower School and by leadership training in the Sixth Form. Sixth Formers are able to choose their own Tutors and this is a feature of life at Malvern. The informal yet essential relationship between tutor and tutee is a part of Sixth Form life here, and may continue in the form of support as the pupil moves on to university.
As well as having individual staff to support them pupils follow a Life Skills course. This provides information to allow pupils to make informed choices about life and is designed to answer key questions on a vast range of topics, from how to choose universities to how to deal with bullying.
Sometimes pupils will want to talk to their peers rather than to a member of staff. The Chapel Prefects are an invaluable source of advice and act as a bridge between staff and the student body. New pupils are assigned a buddy and there are also trained pupil Peer Mentors in each House. They can help on a wide range of issues and will always be happy to listen. The Heads of House, their Deputies and the Lower School and Student Council representatives also welcome the chance to hear their fellow pupils’ views and are willing to do whatever they can to ensure that everyone’s time at Malvern is fulfilling and happy.
The most important aspect of a successful, fulfilled life at Malvern is the ability to communicate with others. Our message to each new member of our Malvern community is that “if you are unsure about anything, please ask. If you feel that something is unfair or if you do not understand the reasoning behind something please seek an answer”. Dwelling on problems and suppressing questions resolves nothing. Communicating with your peers and staff is a vital part of your development and also your day-to-day happiness. Then, when you leave Malvern, you will be an adult, articulate and able to listen, principled and courteous, independent-minded but ready to help others. You will be prepared for life ahead.