Supporting our boys

A safe and welcoming environment

We believe that students need to feel safe and well to excel in their learning so the safeguarding and welfare of our students and staff is our first priority. We take great care in providing a safe and welcoming environment where everyone is respected and valued.

We have a range of ways to support your son if necessary and these link together to ensure he can get the right kind of support if he ever needs it.

 

Pastoral care and wellbeing

Our Study Centre team (from left): Miss Bryan - Wellbeing Coordinator, Mr Donoghue - School Counsellor, Mrs Priestley - SEN Coordinator,
and Mrs Watkins - Inclusion Coordinator.
 

The pastoral system at Victoria College is designed to ensure students have the support they need and know who to approach for advice.

We believe in cultivating a supportive partnership between the student, parents and staff to truly protect and care for our boys. We encourage parents to get to know the school and its staff, and want them to feel able to get in touch as soon as a concern arises. We are here to support you and your boys through every stage.

The first point of contact is usually your son’s Form Tutor, the teacher he sees twice every day for registration.

One of our Assistant Headmasters, Mr Mark Gosling, is dedicated to pastoral care and has responsibility for all boys in Years 7 to 11. All the Form Tutors liaise with him if there is a concern about a student.

Mr Gosling is the school’s Designated Safeguarding Lead and coordinates our Pastoral Team, a group of specialist professionals that includes a Special Educational Needs Coordinator (or SENCo), an Inclusion Coordinator and a Wellbeing Coordinator and a school counsellor. They are based in the Study Centre, where boys can go if they need help or advice at any time of the school day.

Counselling sessions are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8.30am to 3.30pm. All information shared during a counselling session is strictly confidential except when a risk of harm is disclosed.

To request a counselling session, contact School Counsellor, Matt Donoghue: m.donoghue@vcj.sch.je  

 

The House system

Victoria College places great emphasis on the development of team and community spirit through the House system and this is another source of support. It is a vertical system that enables students to mix with boys from other year groups and develop friendships outside their form. In each House, boys of different ages work together to fundraise, socialise and organise the annual House competitions in music, sport, drama, art and cooking.

Each House is led by a Housemaster who gets to know the boys through the activities and provides another source of pastoral support, particularly in social and relationship issues. Older boys become House Prefects and have a role in supporting and encouraging the younger students.

 

There are other schemes that enable our students to help each other and themselves:

  • Buddy system: Year 10 students get to know students from our Preparatory School to help them move up to secondary school.
  • Peer mentoring:  Sixth Form students are trained to support and guide younger boys. They meet regularly but informally to discuss school life and this can be a valuable source of advice.
  • Peer Educators: We know that in some sensitive subjects boys can be more receptive to lessons taught by people closer to their own age. We train Sixth Formers to deliver a series of mental health and wellbeing lessons to younger boys and this has been a great success. 

Learning life skills

Coping with personal challenges is part of life so it is also part of our curriculum. Our varied Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) programme anticipates some of the issues boys might face and further helps develop emotional literacy and good decision-making skills. We tackle issues including relationships and substance misuse and call on a range of experts to deliver the lessons.

We also offer more bespoke and targeted schemes:

  • Resilience Leadership training: a unique course taken by students, their parents and some of our teachers to give a common language to talk about problems and stress.
  • Decider Life Skills: helping boys to navigate challenges by giving them strategies to make well informed decisions.

Parents also have an important role to play and we ask that you to contact us as soon as a wellbeing concern arises. Click here for more Parent Support Resources 

Key support contacts

Assistant Headmaster Pastoral, Mr Mark Gosling: m.gosling@vcj.sch.je, or call 01534 638212.

Special Educational Needs Coordinator, Orla Priestley: o.priestley@vcj.sch.je

Inclusion Coordinator, Sue Watkins: s.watkins@vcj.sch.je

Wellbeing Coordinator, Jacqueline Bryan: j.bryan@vcj.sch.je

Support from the Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub

In rare cases, we may also work with expert professionals outside the school or external agencies for extra support. This includes the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub (MASH), an umbrella organisation that oversees safeguarding concerns for children and young people in Jersey.

MASH includes representatives from Government departments and other bodies whose work includes care for vulnerable children and young people. It provides a single point of contact for anyone who has concerns. Parents can contact MASH as well as professionals such as teachers and doctors, members of the public and family members.

MASH allows agencies to work together more closely, ensuring that information is shared appropriately, and that responses are timely and coordinated.

The Jersey MASH involves:

  • The Children's Service
  • States of Jersey Police
  • Health and Social Services
  • Education
  • Family Nursing and Home Care

Staff from these organisations can be contacted by telephone on 01534 519000 or email: enquiries-MASH@gov.je. Read more about MASH (information also available in Polish and Portuguese).

MASH hours are 8:30am to 5.00pm Monday to Thursday and 8.30am to 4.30pm on Friday.

Out-of-hours the Duty Social Worker can be reached by contacting either the Police on 01534 612612 or via the Hospital switchboard on 01534 442000.