Delivering outstanding pastoral care is a collective responsibility shared by all members of the college, who together seek to provide every boy with the support and encouragement that will enable them to get the very best from their time at Radley.
Each Social has a dedicated pastoral team and is characterised by a strong sense of family. Every effort is made to create a relaxed atmosphere within the Social, where boys can work and relax as they would at home.
Boys are looked after by a Social Tutor, supported by a resident Sub-Tutor (Assistant Housemaster) and a Pastoral Housemistress (Matron). Senior boys are given responsibility, as Prefects and Mentors, in helping with daily routines and settling new boys in to the Social.
New boys spend most of their time in Social Hall, a common room in which they sit down to prep in the evening, and sleeping accommodation is provided in cubicles arranged in small dormitory areas during the first year. From the second year onwards, all boys have their own individual study bedrooms. Each Social has a number of communal spaces where boys can relax together, whether that be watching television, playing table tennis or making toast in the Cocoa Room.
There is healthy competition between Socials and all strive to be the best. There are annual inter-social competitions in most major sports, as well as in music, drama, debating and declaiming to name but a few.However, the real measure of a Social’s success is in the cultivation of a happy and supportive community in which all feel valued and fulfilled.
Exeat weekends begin at 12:40pm on a Friday afternoon and end at 9:00pm on the Monday evening. On an Exeat weekend all boys go home or to guardians. There are two Exeats in the Michealmas Term, one either side of half term, and one Exeat weekend in the first half of the Lent Term. An Exeat weekend may be included in the calendar for the first half of the Summer Term as dates require.
A Privilege Weekend is intended as an opportunity for boys to be at home attending family functions such as birthdays, weddings and anniversaries. A Privilege Weekend begins after games on Saturday afternoon, with boys returning to Social by 9:00pm on Sunday evening. Arrangements are made through the Tutor.
The intention of a Sunday Out is to allow boys to go out for lunch with their parents after Chapel on Sunday morning. Boys are expected to be back in Social in the late afternoon and no later than 9:00pm in the evening.Arrangements for taking a boy out on a Sunday are made through the Tutor.
The Sub-Warden (Mr Ben Holden) is the designated member of staff with responsibility for Safeguarding and has responsibility for Child Protection issues in the school.
In his absence, any concerns or allegations should be referred to the Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mr Tom Ryder, or one of the pastoral team (Miss Suzie Naylor, Alex Gilley) or direct to the Warden.
Social Prayers is a weekly assembly held in the boarding house on a Wednesday evening in place of Chapel. All members of the Social attend Social Prayers and guest speakers are often invited. Social Prayers is widely used as an opportunity to celebrate the successes of individuals, teams or the Social as a whole, with awards being bestowed on those who have made significant contributions in the past week.
The visiting speaker’s address is always eagerly anticipated. A senior boy in the Social is given responsibility for inviting speakers for the term, both from Common Room and also boys from other Socials. We are always impressed by the confidence with which boys will deliver a talk to their peers in other Socials and seek to encourage this approach ever more widely. The talk can be on any subjectdear to the speaker’s heart and will usually have a strong moral message.
The Tutor will also use Social Prayers as an opportunity to communicate important notices.
Cocoa is an evening gathering in each social, and begins at the end of prep at 9pm.
Normally one sub-tutor per night brings in biscuits, cake and other snacks for Cocoa, which happens in the Social cocoa room. Boys are able to come and go as they wish, chat with the don on duty and other boys in a friendly environment. There are scheduled Cocoas given by the Resident Sub-Tutor, Tutor and PHM each week, while during the course of the term, other sub-tutors have a rota to be on cocoa duty. Usually, as the evening progresses, the older boys in the social are left with the last few biscuits and the final slice of cake, talking about the world and the things which matter to them. Cocoa comes to a close soon after 10.30pm as the boys go to bed.