Pastoral Care and Personal Development

Pastoral care - safe and happy

We expect our students to follow clear guidelines to ensure that they reach their full potential and create a positive learning environment for all other students and staff.

All students and staff are expected to uphold these minimum expectations, in and outside of school:

  • Ambition

  • Respect

  • Care

  • Honesty

All our staff in school are here to support your child in being safe and happy. To see some key staff who will be useful for supporting your child with this, look at our staff list at the bottom of this page.

Bullying and child-on-child abuse

Child-on-Child abuse has been very much in the media recently. As social norms have changed, and society has become more enlightened, people are, quite rightly, drawing attention to historical and contemporary abuses in a host of fields. Child-on-child abuse is just one of those fields and, last summer, Ofsted published their report into peer-on-peer abuse in schools and colleges in England and Wales. You can find the full report here.

As a school, we have been raising our community awareness on this important issue and students have had an increased focus on related issues in ARCH Days, as well as in normal timetabled lessons and assemblies, where there are opportunities. We want our students to know what acceptable behaviour is, and what is not, and to understand the potential consequences of inappropriate actions. We also want our students to feel empowered to challenge inappropriate behaviour, whether it is directed at them of a peer.

The term ‘child-on-child’ sexual abuse includes:

  • sexual violence, such as rape, assault by penetration and sexual assault.
  • sexual harassment, such as sexual comments, remarks, jokes and online sexual harassment, which may be stand-alone or part of a broader pattern of abuse.
  • 'upskirting', which typically involves taking a picture under a person’s clothing without them knowing, with the intention of viewing their genitals or buttocks to obtain sexual gratification, or to cause the victim humiliation, distress or alarm.
  • sexting (also known as ‘youth-produced sexual imagery’).

Child-on-child abuse can often happen online. Again, it can take a variety of forms, including:

  • receiving explicit photographs or videos, (young people might use a slang term, such as ‘nudes’) which you haven’t asked for.
  • sending, or being pressured to send, nude and semi-nude photographs or videos (‘nudes’).
  • being sent or shown explicit material, such as pornographic videos You might have actively searched for these, or you might not.
  • Typical platforms for sharing material between peers tended to be WhatsApp or Snapchat.

Sadly, the Ofsted report concluded that child-on-child abuse of this nature is widespread. Their advice to ALL schools is to assume it is widespread in that institution, too, even if there has been no actual reports.

Since 2013, there has been a 267% increase in the reporting of child-on-child abuse. It is likely that this does not reveal a rise in incidences of these offences, but rather a rise in the confidence of victims to reveal what is happening to them, and greater feeling of empowerment. This empowerment must be maintained, and all young people should feel that they will be supported if they report their experiences any form of child-on-child abuse. 

As a wider initiative, we have relaunched our anonymous portal which allows students to report bullying or abuse anonymously. You can see this information contained within our suite of posters below. We are also reflecting on our practice and are considering how we investigate any allegations when they are reported so that any intrusion is minimised. 

Todmorden High School defines bullying as: 'the repetitive, intentional harming of one person or group by another person or group, where the relationship involves an imbalance of power.'

Our behaviour policy makes clear that bullying is not within the ARCH values or the ARCH Zone. The policy also identifies bullying as a form of child-on-child abuse and identifies how we deal with such instances. Where an incident of child-on-child abuse occurs, a staff members would upload details onto our internal system CPOMS. A weekly report is run from CPOMS to track all incidents of child-on-child abuse, including bullying. The SLPT (Student Learning and Progress Team) use this report to intervene, sanction and support students. The report is reviewed weekly to ensure the issues have been resolved or to offer further intervention where they may not have.

We hope that, through collaborative working and regular open dialogue, we can make Todmorden High School, and the wider community, a safe space when all can thrive, enabling all individuals to unlock their unique potential.

 If you are directly affected by bullying, or are aware of someone who is, you must report this in one of the following ways:

  • Speak to Mrs Pickles or to another member of staff in school.
  • Use our portal to report incidents of bullying.
  • Tell a trusted adult.

Embrace individuality

We pride ourselves on our students being safe and happy, and feeling able to express their own individuality in whatever form that comes in. All students and staff at THS are encouraged to be themselves and we do not tolerate any forms of discrimination. Students should feel able to speak to staff if they need support, advice, guidance or want to discuss their:

  • sexuality
  • gender
  • race
  • religion
  • mental health
  • Any other issue they may have.

We are here to support our students. If your child is struggling with, or exploring, any of these issues please see the list of staff at the bottom of this page and get in touch. We are here to help. 

Personal Development

At Todmorden High School it is our intent to develop engaged, active and well-informed young citizens. Our school vision: enabling individuals to unlock their unique potential, and our core values: Ambition, Respect, Care and Honesty lend themselves perfectly to this ongoing agenda. Students are rewarded for their engagement with these values on a day-by-day basis, leading to the development of character and grit within all learners. Every learning opportunity, be it in a classroom, on a trip, in an assembly or focus session, in an extracurricular club or within the wealth of additional provision offered, is designed with each student’s personal development in mind. Our curriculum is ambitious and goes beyond the limits of the National Curriculum in our desire to allow each student in our care to develop their knowledge skills and understanding through exposure to the best of what has been thought and written. It is the ambition of our school that every student leaves us ready for the next phase of their education, having secured the best outcomes for themselves that they possibly can so that they are ready to play an active role in the contemporary adult world.

The school values of ‘Ambition, Respect, Care & Honesty’ are how we drive SMSC in our school, by encouraging our students to embrace the fundamental British Values.

  • Democracy.
  • The rule of law.
  • Individual liberty.
  • Mutual respect.
  • Tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs.

To view our Relationships, Health and Sexual Education policy please see the policies area of our website. 

Statement on the duty to combat extremism

Key staff to know in school - we can support you

Gill Shirt
Headteacher/Deputy DSL
Emily Rawlinson
Deputy Headteacher
Gemma Cooper
Assistant Headteacher/SENCO/Deputy DSL/Mental Health Lead
Sharon Pickles
Safeguarding Manager/Deputy DSL
Judith Coates
Assistant Safeguarding Officer/Deputy DSL
Jen Pitchforth
Deputy SENCO / TAC Officer
Demi Kontogiannopoulou
Learning Manager for Year 7
Philippa Thompson
Learning Manager for Year 8
Alex Townend
Learning Manager for Year 9
Jemma James
Learning Manager for Year 10
Emily Stansfield
Learning Manager for Year 11
Niamh Clark-Hutchinson
Learning Manager for Attendance
Jason George
ARCH Restoration Manager
Gary Starr
ARCH Inclusion Manager/Mental Health Lead