Pastoral Care

We are a caring school that sees the overall welfare of our students as being of central importance.  To this end we have developed a very effective pastoral system which provides support for students throughout their time with us.

Pastoral Care at John Spence

Even before a student starts at John Spence the Pastoral Team has liaised closely with their previous school to get as much information about them as possible.  This ensures that the transition to a new school happens as smoothly as possible.

Once they arrive they are assigned a Form Tutor who has at least two daily contacts with them during a morning and afternoon registration period.  Form Tutors are usually a student’s first port of call and are usually able to deal with minor day to day problems around attendance, punctuality, uniform and equipment.

Each year team of Form Tutors is led by a teaching Head of Year and they will always be involved in serious decisions about students.  A student’s Head of Year is usually the most suitable point of contact if a parent/carer needs to get in touch about a child’s work or welfare.  Every effort is made to ensure that Form Tutors and Heads of Year remain with their student groups for the full five years of their stay at John Spence.

The current Heads of Year are:

  • Mr J Betts (Head of Year 7)
  • Mr M Burnip (Head of Year 8)
  • Mr S Crowe (Head of Year 9)
  • Mrs K Wyllie (Head of Year 10)
  • Mrs L Brown (Head of Year 11)

The Pastoral Team is led by Mr C Brierley (Assistant Headteacher)

Central to the school’s pastoral system is the frequency and depth of communication between school and home.  Early intervention is key to preventing problems/issues escalating and also in finding solutions.  To this end the pastoral team is always available to speak to parents/carers before, during and at the end of the school day.  Similarly school will be in contact with home as soon as possible to discuss any concerns that may be beginning to develop.

If a student requires additional support for whatever reason it is usually the Head of Year, enabled by the Assistant Headteacher, who would initiate an individual action plan or make a referral to an outside agency.  In both instances parents/carers will be informed; it is essential that home, school and the student work together to bring about the best possible outcomes for the young person.

The Pastoral Team will endeavour to uphold a commonly understood set of Rules, Rewards and Consequences which guide and support our students’ behaviour and form the core of our Behaviour for Learning Policy.

Please find some useful links for you and your child in here, you can also contact CHAT Health (confidential texting advice and support) by texting 07507 332 532. Further information about this service can be found here.

Kooth is a free, web based, confidential support service fully commissioned in North Tyneside and is available to all young people aged 11-25 years. Kooth provides a safe and secure means of accessing mental health and wellbeing support designed specifically for young people.

Kooth offers young people the opportunity to have a text-based conversation with a qualified counsellor. Their online team is available from 12noon to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10pm at weekends, every day of the year on a drop-in basis. Young people can access regular booked online counselling sessions as needed. Outside counselling hours’ young people can message the team and get support by the next day.

When young people register with Kooth they will have support available to them now and in the future. Support can be gained not only through counselling but articles, forums and discussion boards. All content is age appropriate, clinically approved and fully moderated.

To find out more visit where young people can register for the service.

You can also view a short video about the service at:

Kooth recently launched the self help Mini Activities Hub, which you can see here.

For information about how to sign up to Kooth, please click here.

Childline Calm Zone – Provides lots of ways for children to stay calm including breathing exercises, activities, games and videos to help let go of stress.

Self care:

Self care advice for parents from the Anna Freud Centre can be found here

Self-care top tips for young parents and carers – booklet which offers some simple self-care advice for young parents and carers about the importance of self-care and looking after their own mental health and wellbeing whilst raising children.

Anna Freud Centre Crisis Messenger Parent and Carers poster can be found here:

Every Mind Matters – Provides expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing.

Free online course provided by Creative Education including ‘Supporting your worried child’, ‘Simple self sooth techniques’ and ‘Staying mentally well during Covid 19’. Found here: On-Demand Courses – Creative Education

Wellbeing Bingo: – for anyone, teachers and parent too!