We teach our pupils to take responsibility for themselves and others.

We encourage them to develop a strong moral code and make informed judgements about what is right or wrong, to respect each other, to display good behaviour and to promote the importance of caring for others. Pupils are expected to play their part in our community and take pride in their own and other’s achievements.

Pupils are made to feel safe and know that their problems will be listened to and dealt with. They are taught the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through our extensive Life Education programme which helps them to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to live confident, healthy, independent lives and contribute to the common good of society.

The excellent pastoral care is achieved through the dedication of the staff, having high expectations of the pupils and promoting open communication between the school, pupils and parents. Pupils are regularly consulted through school councils, focus groups and surveys. We have an active Parents’ Association and we keep parents and pupils regularly informed as to their progress through reports and parents’ evenings.

Our pastoral structure

Form tutor

Every pupil at Emanuel is part of a tutor group and is led by a form tutor, who oversees their holistic life and represents a consistent adult relationship. There are approximately 24 pupils per form in the Lower School, 20 in the Middle School and 16 in the Sixth Form. Tutor groups meet with their form tutor on a daily basis and the form tutor has an overall picture of the pupil’s life at school and an understanding of their life at home. They are the first point of contact for parents if any concerns arise.

Head of year

Beyond the form tutor is a head of year who meets with the form tutors on a regular basis. The head of year is responsible for monitoring pupils’ pastoral welfare, behaviour and general academic performance and will respond to any matters referred by staff, ensuring effective liaison with parents.

Heads of section

The heads of year, in turn, are responsible to the heads of section: Lower School (Hill form and Years 7 and 8), Middle School (Years 9, 10 and 11) and the Sixth Form. The heads of section provide leadership and advice to their heads of year and form tutors, monitoring the behaviour and performance of pupils in their sections and ensuring the smooth transition between year groups.

Pastoral structure 2020-2021:

School houses

Every pupil at Emanuel belongs to a house, which operate vertically throughout the school. Pupils are therefore integrated across year groups and the houses form a basis for much of the in-school sports, competitions and events.

Pupils from Hill form to Year 9 belong to a junior house. Upon reaching Year 10, they are automatically transferred to the connecting senior house. The houses at Emanuel are as follows:

  • Junior: Clyde (named after Field Marshall Sir Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde 1792-1863)
  • Senior: Howe (named after Admiral Earl Richard Howe 1726-1799)

  • Junior: Drake (named after explorer/navigator Sir Francis Drake 1541-1596)
  • Senior: Nelson (named after Admiral Horatio Nelson, Lord Viscount 1758-1805)

  • Junior: Lyons (named after Admiral Baron Edmund Lyons 1790-1858)
  • Senior: Marlborough (named after General John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough 1650-1722)

  • Junior: Wellington (General and Prime Minister Arthur Wellesley, First Duke of Wellington 1769-1852)
  • Senior: Rodney (Admiral Lord George Brydges Rodney 1719-1792)

The school houses have been in existence since the pupil population was boys only (girls were reintroduced to the school in 1994; now, the balance of boys and girls is approximately 50/50). The house names come from the old dormitories when the main building, designed by Henry Saxon Snell, was an orphanage in the Victorian era; the boarders lived in eight dormitories with the names of British naval and military heroes painted above the doors. These names reflected the service tradition of the patriotic school.

Life Education

Life Education (PSHE) forms an important part of a pupil’s curriculum throughout their time at Emanuel. The programme provides a valuable opportunity for pupils to broaden their understanding of issues that impact not only themselves, but the wider community, while preparing for their own futures as global citizens.

In Years 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11, pupils have one period of Life Education each week and learn about a range of relevant political, social and health issues through discussion-based activities led by their form tutor and head of year. In Year 10, pupils experience bespoke workshop mornings which allow pupils to explore in depth contemporary issues relevant to teenagers.

Life Education is additionally used to educate pupils on how to lead fulfilling, safe and healthy lives, covering topics such as mental and physical health, digital awareness and safety, the environment, careers and finance. The spiral structure of our programme ensures that key statutory topics are revisited as a pupil progresses through the school and can be revisited in age-appropriate ways. In the Lower School, pupils are specifically given the opportunity to develop their communication and presentation skills, while in the Middle School pupils begin to learn about social entrepreneurship and have the opportunity to practice these skills through an enterprise competition. Life Education lessons are supported by a programme of  external expert speakers who regularly present to individual year groups on a range of issues including relationship and sex education, drugs and risk awareness and study skills.

During the Sixth Form, students have two periods of Life Education each week. The focus switches to  preparing for an independent future through a range of challenging and thought-provoking presentations that provide guidance, inspiration and opportunity. Students are expertly steered through the UCAS process or given direction on other post-18 study and career options by their form tutor, head of year, the head of sixth form and head of careers.

Life Education newsletters

Mental and physical health


There is a confidential counselling service at Emanuel which is open to any pupil, with the three counsellors working Monday to Friday between them.

Counselling sessions last 30-50 minutes and pupils are generally offered 12 weekly sessions, although this can vary depending on the individual’s needs at the time. Pupils are welcome to make an appointment to visit the counsellor to discuss any concerns they may have, without the fear of them being discussed elsewhere. However, if there is any concern for the safety of the child or another person, this information will immediately be passed to the school’s deputy head: pastoral and designated safeguarding lead.

In addition, each of the counsellors offers a drop-in service over the lunch break where any pupil is able to drop in individually, or with a friend/s, to discuss anything which may be on their mind at the time. Often this is a positive space to discuss friendship dynamics and challenges.

Counselling can be accessed by any pupil, but for those in Years 6 and 7, parental consent will need to be sought. Pupils in years above can access without consent although, where possible, the counsellors always encourage pupils to share that they have chosen to access counselling with their parents.

Medical service

The medical room is staffed from 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. Pupils can see one of the school nurses during the course of the day if they are unwell, or to take any medication that may be prescribed during school hours.

Further information about our medical service can be found on our first aid policy (please refer to our policies).


In Emanuel, religious observance – the collective reflection on ultimate questions and consideration of moral issues – is as relevant now as in the past and draws not only upon the rich resources of Britain’s Christian heritage but also from other traditions and perspectives. Pupils and staff from faiths other than Christianity or with no faith commitment are supported in their own spiritual development. In practice, Emanuel School today continues a policy of Elizabethan comprehensiveness rather than religious exclusivism.

Under the care and ministry of the chaplain, chapel life in Emanuel is liberal, inclusive, themed and gently Anglican to give due honour and respect to the foundation of the school. There has always been a chaplain to the Foundation and the role of the chaplain today is to provide spiritual leadership and pastoral support to all members of the school as well as teaching. Emanuel recognises that all members of the community are on a spiritual pilgrimage towards an ever-deepening self-awareness of who they are and of their place in the world.

The present chapel stands at the physical centre of the school and pupils attend once each week in Years 6-9 and fortnightly in all other years. Services usually consist of a hymn, an address by the chaplain, prayers, an anthem sung by the chapel choir and a blessing. The address is accessible to pupils of all faiths and of none and is educational and reflective rather than homiletic or evangelical.

Key Services

Holy Communion, at which attendance is voluntary, is celebrated approximately eight times per year on significant days in the school and church’s calendar. Major occasions in the school’s life are marked by special services, using Westminster Abbey (every five years), St Luke’s Clapham, and St Mark’s Battersea at key points in the school year. The school chapel is also available for the occasional offices.

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