We understand the challenges of being a young adult in the 21st century. Our students’ wellbeing is therefore of the utmost importance and there is a dedicated system of pastoral care in place to ensure that every young person thrives.

The Sixth Form plays a vital role in the Emanuel community. This is achieved through our team-building day, buddy scheme, numerous events such as Sixth Form barbecues, the Sixth Form Revue, charity week and the leavers’ ball. The leadership of the Sixth Form students as prefects, school council members, sports captains and lead performers and musicians is central to the spirit of the school.

Pastoral structure in the Sixth Form

Every member of the Sixth Form is part of a tutor group, with approximately 16 students in each group. Tutor groups meet with their form tutor on a daily basis and the form tutor has an overall picture of the student’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. The student’s tutor will also write their UCAS references and support students in planning their applications to university or planning their future career.

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

The heads of year, in turn, feed back to the head of sixth form. He provides leadership and advice to the heads of year and form tutors, monitoring the behaviour and performance of students and ensuring the smooth transition between year groups.

Pastoral structure in the Sixth Form 2020-2021:

School houses

Students belong to one of the school’s four senior houses, which operate vertically throughout the school. Students are therefore integrated with younger pupils in the school and the houses form a basis for much of the in-school sports, competitions and events. The four senior houses are Howe, Nelson, Marlborough and Rodney.

Life Education

A feature of Emanuel’s unique pastoral care is the ‘Life Education’ programme, overseen by the form tutor. These dedicated spaces in the weekly timetable are led by the form tutor or delivered by a range of exciting external speakers and are used to support each student as they navigate into adult life. Examples of topics in Sixth Form Life Education include A level study skills, higher education and career pathways, drug awareness, mindfulness, sex and relationships, leadership and financial awareness.

Find out more about the Life Education programme on this page.

Mental and physical health


There is a confidential counselling service at Emanuel which is open to any student, 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.

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).

DISCOVER Programme

Members of the lower sixth are able to attend DISCOVER,  a workshop-based programme designed by child psychologists from South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, that supports pupils in the sixth form to manage anxiety and low mood difficulties, and build their capacity to handle life stresses.

The programme consists of one-to-one sessions and group workshops covering a range of topics such as sleep, procrastination and how to manage anxiety and stress.


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 Sixth Form students attend fortnightly. 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.

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.

Learning Support

Emanuel has a dedicated Learning Support department. Our staff offer support and expertise to help resolve difficulties and promote positive solutions for students experiencing barriers to learning. Students and parents can access learning support by speaking with their form tutor. The tutor will liaise with subject teachers to review any concerns as they arise.

For more information, please see our Learning Support policy (please refer to our policies).

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