“Pastoral care is a little like the chipping and putting of school life”

james shone

By James Shone

I recently heard a head teacher make this quote. Similarly to me he is clearly a golfing enthusiast and loves to use golf for many of his analogies about life at school! Golfers amongst us all understand that matches, tournaments or events are not won with bad chipping or putting. However, someone who is a good chipper or a good putter does not impress or catch the attention like a great / magnificent ball striker. Being able to drive the ball miles pulls in the crowds yet chipping it up close and putting without fault quite simply isn’t as impressive! In the same way, fabulous academic results, wining sports tournaments or striking theatrical performances pull in the crowds whilst the unseen pastoral work often fails to even be noticed. However, this is where individual lives can be truly impacted.
I think this man’s analogy is absolutely spot on and if a school is going to offer the complete service it mustn’t just attend to the show piece long game but it must pay full attention to the short game as well.

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