All teachers in the Upper School, however, have a role as a Tutor in one of the Houses as part of the broader House Pastoral Team that supports the House Master or House Mistress in their role. All Tutors play a role in the supervision and running of the House during the course of a week (including eating meals with boarders and day pupils, helping with running Evening Prep and activities, and helping to facilitate House discussion meetings) and one of them is a Resident House Tutor, who will deputise in the absence of the House Master or House Mistress.
The role of the House Pastoral Team is to provide additional and supportive mentoring to pupils on their overall academic progress (with a particular focus on their organisational skills, overall engagement with the learning process across different subjects, and target setting), their involvement in the extra-curricular programme and observations on their personal development. The Tutor’s time for this role is limited given their primary role as a Subject Teacher or Head of Department in the academic part of the School. However, through close communication with the House Master or House Mistress over their interactions with their Tutees, including a one-to-one meeting each week, they provide part of a wider ‘safety net’ to provide the strong pastoral care that we know also helps to ensure pupils’ academic potential is reached.
Whilst keeping accurate records and ensuring the smooth running of the House is an essential element of the role, much of what a House Master or House Mistress does is unquantifiable. It is about building strong relationships with each of the pupils in their care, spending time with them and guiding them through the challenges they face in these important years. They aim to develop a House environment that inspires a love of learning; encourages independence of thought; insists on good manners and gets pupils to appreciate the positive effect that their actions can have on others. It almost goes without saying that the role involves a huge time input, which is all-encompassing from Sunday evening to Friday evening for day pupils and weekly boarders.