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Pastoral Information

Ms McDonaldMs McDonald

Can you believe it?  I am now in my seventh year as Pastoral Manager and it has been a wonderful and exciting journey getting to know our wonderful families and children at John Donne.                                      

Although my role has evolved with the requirements of our school community my objectives during the last three years have remained consistent:

  • to build on existing positive relationships with parent/carers;

  • to reach out to those families who need support from within the school or to signpost them helping them to engage with outside agencies; 

  • to ensure our families feel listened to and involved in achieving the best possible outcomes for your children.

To achieve these objectives I was aware that our school had to establish links with outside agencies. This has been accomplished by directly approaching a range of organisations including:

  • Southwark Law Centre;

  • Citizens Advice Bureau;

  • Southwark Housing;

  • Pecan;

  • Thomas Calton Adult Learning Centre;

  • Local businesses.

It quickly became apparent that there was support available but finding it and knowing how to access it could be challenging. Some of our families were unaware that these organisations were even available to them. I am proud that many of our families have worked collaboratively with me to identify the priority needs for their personal circumstances. As a result I have been able to sign post and accompany families as and when necessary to important appointments enabling them to successfully access the right support. 

It has been paramount that we built positive relationships within the community. John Donne Primary School is known for not only providing our children with a great education but a school that is caring and passionate about our families and the wider community we serve. As one person within the community said to me “I really wish that when my children were of school age there was a school like John Donne who not only cared about the best outcomes for both their children and families but for everyone within their community’.

Professionals from other schools often ask me about my role at John Donne and how we build positive relationships with our families. My answer is simple, without the families, we will not reach our full potential as a school. We value them and their opinions. We look to all our families as partners in their child’s education and we always welcome them with a smile and open arms each and every day.

Furthermore, staff at John Donne are aware of the importance role a parent plays developing their child’s aspirations. Staff understand that the home school communication is pivotal to all children achieving their potential. These positive connections ensure that all our families feel a sense of belonging within our diverse school community. This provides our parent/carers with a forum to share their ideas on how we can all work together to enhance the emotional and academic achievement of our children, becoming active learners both in school and the wider community.

As Pastoral Manager I will continue to support and develop positive relationships amongst our families and the wider community as we believe in bringing everyone together to accomplish success. We want our families to know how much we truly care about them at John Donne and we hope that every day they leave our school knowing how special they are and just how much potential they hold.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the families I have worked with during the last few years and look forward to working with existing and new families in the year ahead. As Pastoral Manager I feel privileged to be working with such wonderful families and want you all to know you play such an important role within our diverse school community.