Our pastoral care system is outstanding. Class teachers in Pre-Prep and Form teachers in Prep have close relationships with the children. Staff are easily approachable and children and teachers genuinely like and respect one another.

Close-Knit Community

Children are happy at Berkhampstead. It is a close-knit community, small enough for the staff to know each individual child’s strengths, needs and idiosyncrasies but large enough to offer opportunity on opportunity. Our children are engaged, involved and listened to; young characters are given the confidence to blossom both inside and outside the classroom. Our friendly atmosphere is regularly commented on by visitors and praised by the inspectors.

The school’s aim is to provide a happy, caring and fun environment which is met through robust pastoral systems and a clear culture of care, which promotes pupils’ self-knowledge, self-esteem and self-confidence.

— ISI Report, November 2023

Any pastoral concerns from pupils, staff or parents are referred to the form teacher. Issues are usually dealt with quickly and informally, but are passed on, when necessary, to the Head of School. There is a clear system for dealing with problems - Behaviour Policy.



Praise is a big part of the Berkhampstead way of life and children receive rewards for good behaviour or excellent effort in the form of ‘bonus points’ which are earned for the House and also count towards merit badges, issued when certain totals are achieved. For outstanding work or behaviour, above a child’s usual standard, commendation certificates are awarded in assembly.

Pupils’ behaviour is of a high standard and they have a clear sense of what is right and wrong.

— ISI Report, November 2023

Pre-Prep and Early Years

Children from Kindergarten to Year 2 are rewarded with pom-poms for their class jar. This may be for showing kindness, excellent effort or for completing a fantastic piece of work. These class jars are emptied into the big jar in Friday’s celebration assembly by the pupil who is ‘Star of Week’. The Star of the Week also receives a certificate to take home and their photograph is displayed outside their classroom. Everyone looks forward to the big pom-pom jar being full as the children then receive a treat such as an activity afternoon or party! Stickers are also used as rewards and for positive reinforcement.

Early Years children are also rewarded with leaves to display on the Values Tree if they display the Early Years values of Honesty, Perseverance, Kindness, Trust and Politeness. ‘Wow Vouchers’ are presented to the children to recognise good behaviour, and each week, children who display exemplary behaviour take home Berky and Edna Bear!

From the Kindergarten onwards the school is highly effective in meeting its aims to provide a happy, caring, family environment.

— ISI Report

The House System

In the Prep Department, all rewards count towards an Inter-House Competition. The Houses - St George’s, St Andrew’s, St David’s and St Patrick’s - were established by our founder in 1945. Children develop a real affinity with their House and it allows them to interact and develop friendships with others outside their teaching groups and forms.

Inter-House Sports competitions are keenly contested, as is the Pancake Challenge, which sees pupils running frantically around the MUGA, pausing to toss pancakes at pre-determined points, whilst being cheered on by the rest of the House! Pancakes are coloured to represent each House and the competition is fierce!

House Pancake Races!