The intrinsic philosophy of the Chesterhouse College Tutor Programme is summarised in one sentence – “Don’t know me just by name, but also by who I am.”
Chesterhouse prides itself on its Tutor Programme, a programme carefully designed to meet the needs of its pupils at a pastoral level.
But what does Pastoral Care entail? Pastoral care ensures that each pupil is taken care of within a group of his/her peers by a tutor who will remain with the group for at least one year. Through daily interaction, tutor periods and outings, the tutor succeeds in getting to know each child closely. Relevant issues are discussed so that the tutor has the opportunity to develop a better relationship, providing guidance and support where necessary.
The goal of the tutor programme is to meet the emotional, social and spiritual needs of our pupils. Quite often, the greatest impact made on a child’s life is thanks to the work that goes on behind the scenes that is not always spoken about; be it time spent with an individual just catching up early one morning before school. It is for this reason that we believe the tutor programme is one of the most important features of a Chesterhouse education.
The tutor programme operates in the following way ensuring continuity with our pupils and providing the backbone of the care of our pupils:
Daily registration and administration
Administrative duties and registration form part of a tutor’s responsibilities but a tutor’s job is so much more than a registration session. It is that opportunity, first thing in the morning, to see where the children are at. It is amazing what a tutor can recognize from his/her children in that brief session.
Weekly tutor and tutees meetings
This 30-minute session, once a week, allows the tutor and children to spend time together following a programme. The programme is there for the tutor to follow, however tutors may sometimes find that they may need to break away from the programme that week as there is something specific that needs to be tackled.
Weekly or fortnightly tutor meetings
The tutors initially meet on fortnightly to discuss the programme for that week and any issues pertaining to an individual or group.
These happen once a semester and are social occasions that allow the tutor and children to have fun and see each other outside of the classroom. Examples of popular outings are: paintball, ten-pin bowling, a social game of soccer at school or a braai. It is quite amazing to see how much enjoyment both tutor and children get out of these sessions.
Communication with parents
The tutor is the parent’s first port of call. Questions from parents are either dealt with by the tutor directly or are passed on to the relevant staff member. The tutor evening, which parents and children attend to link up with their tutor, at the start of the year is the best place to put a face to a name. Thereafter, communication can be done via email or telephone.
This happens twice a year and allows for the child and tutor to discuss any issues of concern and also to gauge how well the child is doing. These sessions are very beneficial to both.
Semesterly report This report gives the parents an overview of how their child is doing at school. The focus is from a non-academic front which gives the parents a holistic picture of his/her life at Chesterhouse.
Non-appointment time There are times in the year when a tutee experiences difficult circumstances. It is during these times that the tutor is a vital support for the child.
Grade 9 Tutors: Reinert Frauenknecht, Claire Coetzer, Rolien Van der Merwe, Jackie Matthee
Grade 10 Tutors: Kim Davenport, Dawn Swart, Robyn Kirsten
Grade 11 Tutors: Jen Patrick, Liam Bell, Natalie Lourens
Grade 12 Tutors: Kerryann Collier, Chelsea Munro