Care beyond compare

Success at school depends on much more than just teaching and learning in the classroom. Every student is different and from time to time, some will need more help than others, and we ensure that we provide that help in whatever way it is needed to keep our whole school community happy and healthy, physically and emotionally.

Working closely with the students and their families from the moment they arrive at NGHS means that we build up a picture of every individual and their differing needs. Pastoral care here is second to none and begins with Form Tutors who are the first port of call should there be anything that needs attention.  We have a dedicated Pastoral Deputy Head, each Key Stage has its own Pastoral Head too, and there is a whole pastoral team of experts always on hand, each of whom have one thing in common – the health and welfare of our pupils, enabling them to achieve and succeed.


Meet our School Nurse

Brenda Williams, RGN/RSCN MSc Child Health, is a highly qualified paediatric nurse with over 25 years’ experience of working with children with complex medical needs. She spent 16 years working at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital at a senior managerial level, four years at Nottingham University Hospitals QMC where she was the manager of Children’s Outpatients, and has been the school nurse at NGHS since September 2009. 

The role of the School Nurse is to enable pupils to fulfil their educational potential by means of supporting their emotional and physical needs in the school environment. Brenda works very closely with all members of the pastoral care team, ensuring the emotional and physical health of all pupils is promoted.

Medical Care at School

Brenda is responsible for collating the medical details of all students at the school and liaising with parents and any relevant external bodies. She carries out a routine health check on all new pupils and oversees the administration of any medication in school.  Naturally, there will be some pupils with allergies and other medical conditions which need that extra attention, and we make sure that everybody is well versed in how to deal with these.

Brenda also arranges first-aid training for staff in all areas of the school so that a qualified first-aider is never far away should the need arise.

It’s not just us here at NGHS who value Brenda and all that she does – she is a true expert and great friend to everyone here, and we were delighted to see her amazing work with young people recognised in a very special way in May 2022..

Brenda was invited to attend Her Majesty the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in recognition of all the support she’s given to young people over the years. She is one of a select group of people who were nominated by their local communities for their hard work and positive impact.

They all enjoyed time in the Palace gardens for afternoon tea, where members of the Royal Family attended to chat with the guests. We can’t think of anyone more deserving!

Meet our Head of Educational Support and her Team

Mrs Jan Maxted is a specialist teacher and qualified assessor with expertise in supporting young people with Dyslexia, ASD, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Her role is to provide assistance to students with learning needs and/or disabilities and offer guidance to all pupils with learning and organisational skills, revision and exam techniques. We offer drop-in sessions, mentoring and more formal meetings. We understand that pupils’ needs vary enormously, sometimes requiring intense 1:1 sessions or more general moral support, and we cater for all of these as appropriate.

Mrs Keris Matthews and Miss Martyna Nalewajska are also members of the Educational Support Department, and are both Youth Mental Health First Aiders.

“The department is a friendly, inclusive and caring place with students coming and going throughout the day. We listen and chat to students, making sure they leave feeling better – sometimes it’s a regular thing or just a one-off, as required.”

These caring and supportive members of staff really get to know the students and their individual needs, so that they can be that person to turn to, to lend an ear or a shoulder if required. It’s essential that there is always somebody who will listen – it’s so important to talk, and our students recognise and appreciate this.


With all of these pastoral provisions in place, a robust set of policies and staff training on related issues such as safeguarding and child protection, we have everything covered to ensure that the whole school community here at NGHS is happy, healthy and safe.

Along with all that we do towards wellbeing (which you can see on our Wellbeing pages) every avenue really is covered. As a result, we have great working relationships between staff and pupils, between staff and parents, and between the pupils themselves. All members of our school community can rest assured that there is pastoral care, above and beyond, to make life at NGHS the positive experience that it is.