Student Wellbeing and Pastoral Care
The wellbeing of all students is central to the mission of St Columba Anglican School. Research shows that students who are happy and well connected at school are more successful and find schooling more purposeful. St Columba provides students with opportunities which proactively promote relationships, community connection and personal development. The focus at St Columba is the development of the whole child. This involves the nurturing of their physical, social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual development.
The underlying premise of our programs from K-12 is based on prevention rather than cure, with five key areas forming the core of our practise. These are sourced from Martin Seligman’s work (2011) on the PERMA traits as well as Felicia Huppert and Tom Nehmy’s works (2014) into the components that promote humans who ‘flourish’ in society.
The five key areas transferred into a usable K-12 language are:
- Making connections with others including family, friends and work colleagues
- Teamwork skills
- Sharing common interests with others
- Forging positive relationships and social skills
- The benefits of exercise, or rather the negative impacts of inactivity, are well documented and recognised as an integral part of physical and mental wellbeing
- ‘Mindfulness’ and paying attention to others, and also to our behaviour and feelings
- Slowing down to be in the present moment free of distractions
- Being in control of our actions
- This concept includes an appreciation of nature and cultivation of gratitude, positive self-talk, listening to others, and compassion
- Development of a deep spiritual connection with God
- Developing and cultivating a love of learning and awe of the unknown and optimism for the future
- Developing creativity and new interests, and a habit of life-long learning
- Giving to others and to the community as a whole
- Giving to others through various means, such as time, help, love, genuine care and affection, laughter, support, care, kindness, friendship and selfless community service
These concepts are interwoven throughout the curriculum and Pastoral Care programs, with a focus week in Term 3- referred to as Wellness Week, emphasising the importance of all round wellness and skills needed to flourish in a changing world.
At St Columba Anglican School we have a comprehensive Pastoral Care system in place to care for the needs of every student. St Columba is a Kindergarten to Year 12 school and being on the one campus has many benefits including access to a wider choice of subjects and co-curricular activities as well as the provision of specialist teachers. Students participate in a variety of programs in which older students work with and share with younger students including reading programs, shared interest activities and Peer Support. We are however very aware of the importance of caring for the needs of each child as an individual within their year group. Our Pastoral Care system provides a helpful framework in which to care for the need of each individual and endeavours to meet the objectives outlined below. Classroom Teachers, Year Patrons and Tutors actively get to know all students and deliver support and guidance in a wide range of areas, with seniors having the opportunity for personal staff mentoring throughout their final year of Secondary School. All programs are structured, yet flexible to meet the needs of a vibrant and ever changing student body.
Pastoral Care objectives:
Provide a caring community in a Christian context in which each student feels valued and able to make a worthwhile contribution.
Encourage a sense of belonging to the school community and pride in the school.
Encourage an understanding of oneself and others and an appreciation of individual differences.
Encourage self-discipline and social responsibility.
Prepare students for the challenges of society.
Foster quality relationships between staff and students.
Establish strong, supportive relationships between parents and the School.
St Columba Anglican School is committed to providing an environment that is safe, supportive and one that nurtures individual students to achieve his or her potential. The School has the responsibility to foster an educational environment where every attempt is made to eliminate barriers to learning and where all students feel safe and valued. The School acknowledges that bullying does occur. Bullying behaviour is recognised as being anti-social and unacceptable and as such not only affects the victims of bullies and the perpetrators but also those who witness bullying. Left unchecked, bullying behaviours can have a profound long-term effect on the culture of a school.
St Columba aims to work with students, parents and teachers to prevent bullying, raise awareness and to encourage reporting. The Policy applies to all members of the school community which includes students, teaching and non-teaching staff, parents/caregivers and visitors to the School. It is the responsibility of all members of the community to support and promote our Anti-Bullying Policy. The School aims to create a safe, supportive and caring environment free from intimidation, where difference is respected. The School will not tolerate any behaviour that contradicts this philosophy. Each student is of equal importance at St Columba. Students who bully, in any of its forms, or harass others and do not respond to behaviour management strategies, which may include counselling, could ultimately be asked to leave the School.