What Does "Pastoral" Mean

I have been exploring the gibbon application and the online manual to get a very good idea of what pastoral mean. I have also explored this forum and searched for the word “pastoral”. Honestly, I don’t know what it means and how it applies in a school or in the software. Yet, it appears in many parts of the software. This implies that it is a very important part of the software. Please, what does “pastoral” mean and how is it to be used an set up?

I also want you to tell me the same thing about “rubrics”.

Thanks in advance.


Good questions!

Pastoral: means to play a caring role towards someone (guess it comes from a church pastor/priest). In the context of English schools it generally refers to student well being. Generally each student has a form tutor (aka roll group tutor, home room teacher), who is responsible for the student’s pastoral well being.

Rubric: a grid of outcomes/grades that is used to mark student work. Each cell in the grid contains some text describing what kind of work to expect for that combination of outcome and grade (e.g. “Student has created work that is well considered…”



Thanks for the answer Ross,

When I first saw pastoral, the first thing that came to my mind is the work of a church pastor. (Are you a Christian? I am a Christian.) But I have never heard of it being used in a school context.

I think what you are saying right now is that pastoral refers to everything (i.e. every care or service) a student receives from his form tutor and hostel warden.

One last thing please, does this have to be setup? If it does, please how do I set it up?

As for Rubrics, I quite clearly understand now. I had guessed that’s what it means.

Thanks in advance Ross.


Well deduced! I am not a Christian (or a believer of any sort), but I guess the schools I have worked at come from a Christian traditional (being English schools), and so this language has been used. Your interpretation of pastoral, as written about, is correct.

In this question “One last thing please, does this have to be setup? If it does, please how do I set it up?”, I am not sure what you are referring to. Can you please expand on this for me?



Thanks Ross.

I will put the software into practical (real-life) use to see how that functions then. If I come across any grey area, I will let you know.