Pastoral care at Mowden is overseen by the Headmaster and his wife. Great attention is given to the details of each child’s life, so that we have a full understanding of every individual. The Headmaster’s wife meets regularly with the Head Matron to ensure that all issues – however large or small – are well communicated between the upstairs’ staff, the staff room and the Headmaster. There is regular contact between the School and parents on pastoral issues.
Our primary goal at Mowden is to ensure that the children are happy. We aim to achieve this by providing a friendly and cheerful environment where children feel safe, secure and relaxed. This security allows them to grow in confidence while they discover and pursue their individual talents and abilities.
The traditional values of good manners, self-discipline and respect and consideration for others are central to life at Mowden.
We believe that these values are fundamental to a good, all-round education.
The role of the Form Tutor is both academic and pastoral. Children meet with their form and Form Tutor at least once a day for fifteen minutes. In addition, all children in the Prep School are allocated a different House Tutor. Children meet with their tutors on a weekly basis. This is an opportunity to discuss any academic or pastoral issues that may arise. Tutor groups have a vertical structure (mixed year groups), allowing children of all ages to get to know each other.
There are four ‘Houses’, named after distinguished Northumbrians: Bewick, Stephenson, Grey and Collingwood. Each child is assigned a House on arrival in the Prep School, and throughout their time at the School they meet regularly with their House peers for social events and competitions. Each House has a pupil as a House Captain, and a member of staff as Housemaster or Mistress. The children and staff sit in their House groups for lunch each day. House Points are awarded in all areas of school life and count towards a termly House competition.
Great importance is placed on the quality and variety of school meals. A team of in-house caterers, managed by our own Head Chef, prepares and cooks fresh meals for the children on site. A healthy, balanced diet is achieved through carefully planned menus. The School eats as a community in House groups, and there is a formal end to every meal. Good manners are encouraged and expected of all children, and each House serves and waits on the other children on a rotational daily basis.
For the boarders’ breakfast there is cereal, toast and fruit juice as well as a hot option. At lunch there is a hot meal, or a salad bar option from Year 4 (age 8), and a pudding or fruit. Children have a mid-morning snack, fruit and milk break, and there are drinks and snacks, such as sandwiches and toasted fruit buns, in the afternoon, to ensure that energy levels are maintained until the end of the day.
The School is ‘nut and seed free’ and we ask parents to adhere to this policy by not sending in any products containing nuts and seeds.
The role of Honorary Chaplain at Mowden is multifaceted. The most important part of Reverend Sample’s role, however, is pastoral. It is vital to devote time to listening to children who need someone to talk to. Reverend Sample spends one afternoon a week in a Common Room, where she has visitors. As a music teacher, she meets the children regularly, hence her evident approachability. Confidentiality is paramount, although the children know that others may become involved in certain situations. As a priest in the Church of England, Reverend Sample’s work at Mowden is shaped by a Christian ethos.