Welcome from Head of School
My role as Head of School is to oversee student affairs in both the pastoral and academic departments of the school. Traditionally, the academic programme includes the curriculum, teaching and learning and performance in examinations, whilst the pastoral work of the school focuses on student welfare, extra-curricular activities and life in the boarding hostels. My view is that there is no real distinction between pastoral and academic life and that in a boarding school like Olashore, the two systems work closely together to support the overall development and welfare of each student.
The core of the pastoral structure is built around boarding life. Within the boarding hostels, the hostel parents support students in the many challenges they face in adjusting to boarding life. Many of our students are as young as ten years old when they join the school and this is often their first experience of life away from home. The hostel parents help the students to learn basic routines, such as washing clothes, tidying their personal areas and maintaining good personal hygiene. They also provide a lot of counselling, both to individual students and through regular group counselling sessions. Maintaining good relationships with peers are an important part of boarding life and the hostel parents work with student to promote good interaction and resolve the petty conflicts that inevitably arise.
A second major arm of our pastoral structure is our programme of extra-curricular activities. This includes not just sports, but also different clubs, debating groups, quiz competitions and our comprehensive programme of school visits. Through participating in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, students are able to explore their potential in different areas, whilst learning many new skills in areas such as ball sports, team-building and competitive awareness. The impact of this on personal development is often underestimated but experience shows that students who are fully involved in the extra-curricular programme often excel academically.
Of course, the health of our students is at the top of our priorities. Through our system of school refectories, we ensure that students are well-fed throughout the day with a healthy, balanced and varied menu of meals. Providing meals to meet every palate is quite a challenge, but we have a Food Committee which meets regularly and listens to the views of the students themselves in preparing future menus. Olashore does not encourage students to eat junk food, so we have no tuck shop and do not allow students to bring in food from outside when returning from vacation. Still on health, the school clinic operates under the pastoral umbrella. We have a well-qualified staff or doctors and nurses, living on site and on call 24 hours a day to attend to any health issues.
One other aspect to the pastoral system is the matter of student discipline. Olashore expects high standards of behaviour from its students and for the most part, our students and law-abiding live up to these expectations. However, when rules are broken, it is the pastoral staff who deal with the students concerned, applying appropriate sanctions in line with the school’s Code of Conduct, but also ensuring that the students involved are given the necessary counselling.
At Olashore, we believe in the development of the whole child and the pastoral system is there to ensure that each child has the support necessary to achieve his or her full potential.
R. John Toscano
Vice Principal - Head of School