North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2020 North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2021 North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2021

Wellbeing and pastoral care

Welcoming pupils into the GSAL family

We are proud of our pastoral care and use every opportunity to ensure that our students thrive in everything they do. We listen to our students and go to great lengths to make sure they feel welcome, happy and secure at every stage of their school journey, from childhood to young adulthood.

We have a generous teacher-pupil ratio and small class sizes, which means every student receives personal and individual attention. There are common rooms and dedicated outdoor areas for specific year groups and plenty of opportunities to make lasting friendships. Prioritising excellent pastoral care undoubtedly pays dividends and pupils achieve more, both in and out of the classroom. They are more confident and optimistic, more considerate and socially-integrated, while also developing a growing awareness of themselves and how to make their own mark on the world.

Tutor support

Each pupil belongs to a small tutor group who meet once a day. The tutor gives personalised support to each student and gets to know your child well. Tutors are the first point of contact and you can always contact them by email with any concerns you may have.

The house system

All pupils in Senior School are members of our dynamic house system. Each student is placed in one of eight houses, which bring pupils together from across the age groups and develops a real sense of solidarity and loyalty.

The house system strengthens your confidence because everyone joins in and contributes to the team’s success. Pupils mix socially and learn crucial team-building skills through an interesting programme of events that include music, sport, drama, debating, cookery and quizzes. Being mostly student led, house activities offer plenty of scope to expand leadership, negotiation and creative talents in a spirit of friendly competition.

Medical and counselling support

The Senior School’s medical suite is staffed by a team of fully-qualified nurses. We encourage our students to discuss any problems that may arise. We have a school counselling service, which is open for students to talk about any issues they may have. GSAL has a wellbeing mentoring scheme trains Year 12 students to support younger pupils. There is a dedicated wellbeing hub where students can meet.

In addition, the school has an arrangement with the Oakdale Centre in Harrogate and can refer young people to psychological therapy sessions at its specialist centre.


We are resolutely a multi-faith school with a large multi-cultural community which helps promote our culture of tolerance and understanding.

We have our own chaplain and faith co-ordinator with religious assemblies provided for the Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh faiths. All students are required to take a GCSE in religious studies to ensure they have an understanding of the main faiths.

Healthy for life

We all know that a healthy body goes hand in hand with a healthy mind. We encourage our students to strive for the healthiest choice in every facet of school life. Our refectory serves a delicious selection of freshly prepared meals using locally sourced ingredients.

Besides our inspiring menu of hot and cold food, we provide a fresh salad bar and a selection of fruit and healthy snacks. We don’t serve chips and we avoid fast food.

Teaching our students to keep themselves safe

Our personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) programme teaches our children to keep themselves safe and to look out for others. They are shown strategies to build resilience and to learn to understand and look after themselves. The programme covers such subjects as online safety, mental health, sex and relationships and developing healthy habits for life.

Sixth form mentors

As part of the school’s pastoral care system, our sixth formers are trained in mental first aid and take part in a peer-mentoring scheme to assist the younger students. This pioneering  initiative develops a sense of community and helps build a nurturing and warm-hearted attitude amongst our students.

Meet our pastoral team and take a tour with our students at one of our open events. Find out how to apply.

Or, if you prefer to chat to someone please call our admissions team. For Senior School call 0113 228 5121 and for Primary School call 0113 228 5113.