Gloucester Learning Alliance

Pastoral Support

Here at the GLA, we know that sometimes individuals require additional support above and beyond the normal classroom structure to reach their full educational potential (Department of Education, 2017). Alongside additional and differentiated classroom interventions, each GLA school has access to an extensive range of internal pastoral support systems and interventions for our children.

Meet the team 

Each school has a dedicated pastoral support team.  The team below effectively work across all GLA schools to support the pastoral team and work directly with pupils too. 

Pastoral (ID 1146)

What is pastoral care?

Pastoral care is a provision schools provide, to ensure the social and emotional needs of their pupils are met.

  • A successful pastoral support program will have all children feeling safe, happy, involved in the school community, and able to perform to their full potential.
  • Teach important life skills that students can implement in their own lives.
  • Pastoral care understands the importance of keeping a child's needs at the centre of support and ensuring all pupils achieve their best.

Does pastoral support work?

The Pastoral provision utilised across all schools within the GLA is an exemplary practice as recognised by The Safeguarding Alliance, The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning Organisation (GHLL) and the Department of Education (DfE). All of our interventions used are research and evidence-based, proven to support children in their area of need.

What is the aim of the Pastoral team at each school?

  • Support children in their emotional, behavioural, and social development
  • Create a safe and happy school environment
  • To provide a link between the school and parents
  • To assist each student in enriching their personal life
  • To support teachers
  • Encourage school values
  • Build a rapport with the student based on trust, empathy, and active listening
  • Safeguard individuals
  • Provide support in delivering the PSHE curriculum

At its simplest, pastoral care is ensuring the social, emotional, and mental health welfare of pupils. It is the essential foundation upon which learning can take place and it is our primary focus at all our schools. If children are safe and happy, they learn.


All GLA Schools use carefully chosen interventions to support pupils’ positive social, emotional and mental health development. Within our schools we see pupils with a wide range of needs ranging from bereavement to social issues and we understand the vast impact these additional needs can have on not only academics but life too. To support this we have developed expertise in a range of interventions to help.

The interventions offered have been tried and tested and are proven to show a positive impact on the children we support. Interventions have several benefits:

  • To embed the core values of each school and the GLA in pupils for everyday school life.
  • To support pupils in how to remove their barriers to learning to enable them to reach their full potential.
  • To support the welfare of pupils and their families within the whole school community.
  • To promote life-long learning and individual growth.

Types of interventions

These are the types of interventions we offer:

Research & evidence-based interventions

A vast majority of interventions used within pastoral support are evidenced through extensive research to show a positive impact on children. Each intervention used may stipulate a set order, time, frequency or structure to the session to maximise this positive impact.

Some examples of researched and evidence-based interventions used within the GLA include:

  • Time to Talk
  • TalkAbout
  • All About Me
  • Banish your Self Esteem Thief
  • My Hidden Chimp
  • The Transporters
  • Starving the Anxiety Gremlin
  • Hamish and Milo


Nurture based interventions 

Nurture interventions are short-term, focused interventions for children with particular social, emotional and behavioural difficulties that create a barrier to learning within a mainstream class. There is great emphasis on emotional literacy, language development and communication. Pupils are immersed in an accepting and warm environment that helps replace missing/distorted early nurturing experiences and helps pupils develop positive relationships with both teachers and peers. (

Therapeutic interventions

A Therapeutic Intervention is an intervention to improve the well-being of someone who needs help but refuses it or is otherwise unable to initiate or accept help. Supporting traumatised children (ACES) often requires a therapeutic approach, which is usually required by social care.

Some therapeutic interventions used within the GLA include:

  • Draw and Talk
  • Lego Therapy
  • Sand Play
  • Circle Time
  • CBT

Each school operates an open-door policy which adds an element of a safe place in which all pupils can speak to an adult if needed. The open-door strategy is implemented during breaktime and lunchtime for all pupils to access.  

What is an SDQ?

An SDQ is a Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire.

The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a screening tool for children and adolescents aged 4 to 17 years old, developed by child psychiatrist Robert N. Goodman. The SDQ is completed by staff who work most closely with the child. When the questionnaire is evaluated, a “score” is reached. From this score, an intervention can be tailored for children in the area they may need support in. The Pastoral Support Team delivers evidence-based interventions across all of the year groups at every school.

 SDQs are completed on identified children several times a year and parents will be informed this will be happening and why. This could be in a conversation or phone call with the class teacher, or a conversation or phone call with the Pastoral Support Team/ Pastoral Lead. 

What are the Areas of Need?

Emotional Literacy

Emotional Literacy involves having self-awareness and recognition of your feelings and knowing how to manage them. The following principal skills have been identified to develop for emotional literacy –

  1. Knowing your feelings
  2. Having a heartfelt sense of empathy
  3. Learning to manage our emotions
  4. Repairing emotional damage
  5. Emotional interactivity – putting it all together.

Peer Relationships

Some people have an easier time establishing and maintaining friendships than others. And some of us long for closer friendships or try to figure out why an existing or promising relationship fizzled out. It is only our own behaviour that we can change, and there are certain personal characteristics it's essential to cultivate to build healthy, lasting friendships.


Some children may struggle to concentrate for prolonged periods of time, and may also find it challenging to complete tasks or stay on topic during conversations.

Appropriate Behaviour

The way in which a person behaves. Sometimes, some children may not behave appropriately in relation to the situation they are in. 

Pro-Social Skills

Pro-social behaviours are those intended to help other people. These actions are characterized by a concern for the rights, feelings, and welfare of other people. Behaviours that can be described as prosocial include feeling empathy and concern for others. Pro-social activities involve social skill building and often collaboration with similarly aged people.

What are Pro-Social skills?

They are any kind of behaviour intended to benefit others, such as;

  • Offer to volunteer
  • Raise your hand to offer suggestions (even if wrong)
  • Participate in group work
  • Help peers with tasks
  • Tell someone they’ve done a good job
  • Greet people independently
  • Smile at others
  • Give out equipment
  • Pick up things (even if not yours)
  • Ask questions
  • Expressing concern for others if ill, upset or hurt

Enhancing pro-social skills helps with;

  • Promoting self-esteem and general wellbeing
  • Enhances the immune system, promoting the release of oxytocin
  • Social competence
  • Effective and appropriate interaction
  • Skills to manage negative interaction
  • Developing empathy
  • Responsibility
  • Self-Control
  • Being more readily accepted by peers
  • Academic achievement
  • Success in adulthood
  • Promoting mutually supportive social interactions

Where do interventions take place?

Pastoral interventions happen in a dedicated room at each school's on-site Pastoral Support Unit. This is a safe space for children to talk and receive bespoke interventions, delivered by an experienced member of staff.


 There are five main ways to refer a child for pastoral support across the GLA. These are:

  • A verbal request to a member of the Pastoral Team.
  • A request for pastoral support from classroom-based staff within our Pupil Progress Meetings. This can include an electronic request for support through our online platform CPOMS.
  • A direct request for support from a parent.
  • A request for support direct from a pupil.
  • A request for support from an external agency which may be working with the child/family.

Should you feel your child requires additional support or help, please speak directly to the classroom teacher. 

 Self-help resources