Gravesham School Pastors
Helping Christians to be relevant to and engaged with their communities.
The School Pastors have been a joy to work with. Their commitment, enthusiasm and willingness to help the youth, has been humbling and I for one have been blessed and encouraged by working alongside them. I am very proud of them and the positive impact that they have all had on the students and staff at Northfleet School for Girls.
Ruth Field, coordinator.
Quotes from the video:
“At Northfleet School for Girls (NFSG) 69% of the girls feel that they aren’t good enough.”
“Nationally 1 in 4 girls have admitted to having experienced sexual abuse.”
“School Pastors are there to mentor, develop relationships, and become role models for the students.”
“The work currently being done is very beneficial to our students.”
~ Fiona Collingridge
“School pastors have the potential to make a positive impact on student’s wellbeing and academic achievements.”
~ Donna Selmes
“There is clear evidence of compassion within the school.”
~ A student’s parent
“I’d say go for it, it’s brilliant!”
~ Chris Norwood – Head Teacher
Reverend Les Isaac, founder and director of The Ascension Trust, pioneered Street Pastors because of his belief in the Bible’s challenge to the church to be a catalyst for social action. School Pastors are also an initiative of Ascension Trust and started in Gravesham in 2013.
What is a School Pastor?
A School Pastor cares for and supports a ‘school community’. They promote safety and aim to reduce anti-social behaviour. School Pastor’s are there to listen, care and help young people to become good citizens.
What does a School Pastor do?
Some of a school pastors responsibilities include:
- To go on patrol at times and locations agreed with the school.
- To listen, be observant and look out for young people that are vulnerable and respond accordingly.
- To build links with school community – young people, parents, school crossing patrols etc.
- To observe school pastor principles, health and safety guidelines and to only work within the remit of the role of a school pastor.
- To be prayerfully aware of God’s direction and share that with your team.
Other duties, as requested by the school, e.g. mentoring, attending special events.
The role of the school pastor is also to work with pupils who are experiencing difficulties in some area of their school life. The school pastor will work with, build relationship and develop communication with pupils who are:
- disruptive in class;
- finding it difficult to participate/engage in classroom learning;
- regularly being excluded from class;
- on final warnings for exclusion from school;
- presenting with a host of social issues.
The aim of the school pastor is to engage with the pupils, identify their concerns and, in liaison with their tutor, develop an individual learning and behavioural support package that will enable personal development and an enriched school experience.
Benefits that School Pastors Provide
- Positive non-judgemental role-models
- Support and create an enriched schooling experience for students
- Additional pastoral support for schools
- The provision of a reassuring presence for the general public and shopkeepers
- Reduced levels of anti-social behaviour
- The opportunity to provide additional services, such as breakfast clubs, mentoring, assemblies and PSHE lessons.
‘I wanted to thank you and your team for the very valuable support you have given our students over the last few years. The pastors have positively touched lives where school staff may not have been able to and I do know that students were very grateful for this.’
Fiona Collingridge 7/20
‘At some point in the future, we look forward to working with you and your team again; the work you all do for us is very valuable and appreciated.’
Fiona Collingridge (Deputy Head NSFG) April 2020.
Recently the head teacher shared a comment from a parent. “There is clear evidence of compassion within the school.” He felt the presence of School Pastors contributed to this evaluation.
‘With regards to numbers for the mentoring: 11 students were referred for mentoring and 6 students engaged with the support. It has been very useful and a great help to us.’
Donna Selmes 29/6/2017
‘It’s been a very successful year, in terms of this initiative, and I know there are many students who’ve already benefited greatly from the pastors’ support and very much look forward to this continuing in 2017/18.’
Fiona Collingridge (Deputy Head) 28/6/2017
‘I think the mentoring has been going well and has been a real help, we are really grateful for the support.’
Donna Selmes 21/6/2017
‘I am really pleased with how they are settling in and making a difference.’
Chris Norwood 23/6/2017.
‘there are a lot of students who would find a “listening ear” with another supportive adult beneficial to discuss a variety of issues: friendship disputes; defusing tensions amongst a peer group; bullying concerns, feeling lonely and home issues (list not exhaustive). This will be where the help and support of School Pastors has the potential to have positive impact on a student not just in terms of their emotional wellbeing but in terms of attendance and academic achievement as well.’
Donna Selmes; Support Leader of Inclusion/deputy for safeguarding (30/6/2016).
‘I’m delighted to hear that you have more pastors who have shown an interest in joining us as I strongly feel the work currently being done is very beneficial to our students.’
Fiona Collingridge, 31/3/17.
If any group or church would like to know more or have one of us visit, you can contact us via email, we look forward to hearing from you.
Sponsorship by our partners help us to listen, care and help young people to become good citizens.