On entering the school, students find themselves part of a well developed, caring and supportive network designed to meet their personal, social and moral needs. The size of the school assists greatly in ensuring that each student receives a level of support and guidance which is not always possible in a larger school.
Coming to a new school can, for some, seem daunting. But, hopefully, not at the Sylvia Young Theatre School. Each new student is introduced to two mentors, usually one student of a similar age and one older student, who are there to be a friendly face and offer help and guidance when needed. Students always comment on how good it is to recognise and know faces when walking around the school. We are proud that our students settle here very quickly.
There are approximately 250 students in the school from years 6 to 11.
Year 6 is one form of entry and usually contains between 15 & 20 students. Year 7 to 11 have two forms in each year with generally between 20 & 24 students in each form. Each form group has a dedicated academic tutor overseeing their welfare. Tutor time presents an opportunity for information and support to be given to the group or on a one-to-one basis.
Careers guidance at the school is provided in years 10 and 11. Students are encouraged to consider a variety of options before making a final decision.
At SYTS we take the care, support and mental health of our students seriously and have put in place systems to ensure students feel safe, secure and supported throughout their time with us.
Every Tuesday and Friday Lunchtimes YourSpace is based Wellbeing room. A confidential drop in for students to come and speak without fear, favour or judgment to a member of staff trained in mental health first aid and a full-time teacher with many years experience.
Fully trained students who can facilitate restorative conversations/peer issues. Students can approach Peer Mediators or they can be referred by a member of staff. A place where students can feel safe and valued.
SYTS offers free therapy to students. Our school psychotherapist is highly qualified with many years working with both adults and adolescents. A student who self-refers or is referred by the Deputy Head or a parent will work initially with the therapist for 6 weeks meeting in the SYTS Wellbeing room and this will either finish or continue based on needs. There is a waiting list of up to a term for the school counsellor.
Our experienced school nurse, having worked at GOSH previously, is there to identify, monitor and support with the physical and mental health of the students. All students at SYTS have a personalised medical document that ensures that their needs are identified and academic and vocational staff are able to access the relevant information.
SYTS ensures students who are identified as requiring further support are given the tools they need to access the curriculum. We offer in-class support and some withdrawn sessions are available for students to work in small groups with our SEN teacher, depending on the need of the student.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation that helps build individual mental health and wellbeing through positive, pre-emptive tools. The successful integration of mindfulness practice into daily life helps to strengthen the skills and strategies that students can take with them into adulthood.The course we follow is from the non-profit organisation Smiling Mind, our sessions are adapted for 14-16 year olds . We run 10 week mindfulness programmes throughout the year.
Students have weekly lessons in PSHCE and frequent drop-down mornings throughout the academic year.
Staff can refer students to our Pastoral Hub which meets fortnightly to address pastoral areas of the school. This can include: academic, vocational, health and wellbeing, SEN, safeguarding.
Safeguarding Lead and Deputy Safeguarding Lead
Students and parents can speak with our DSL and Deputy DSL if they feel unable to cope. We can put in place specific support programmes and also have links with external agencies who work with families who are finding certain areas difficult to manage.