The Church teaches that the Catholic school should “guide men and women to human and Christian perfection and... [help] them to mature in their faith.” (The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School: Para.34).
Saint Mary Mackillop Colleges’ Pastoral Care Program creates structures by which students can do this.
The program is divided into three components:
general care of students.
the care of individual students experiencing difficulties.
the care of student-groups in the once-a- term Pastoral Care Session.
General Care of Students:
The school has devised a set of School Expectations of students. This describes in some detail the kinds of behaviours both inside and outside the classroom which are consistent with Christian values in relation to the pursuit of knowledge and human interaction. The expectations are based on the human virtues of Justice, Fortitude, Prudence and Temperance and are focussed on student appearance and comportment, student relations with teachers and fellow students, social interaction at recess and during bus travel, use of personal technologies and computer use.
Pastoral Care in Secondary School
Formation & Guidance
Students who experience difficulties in some aspect/s of the School Expectations are assisted to overcome these by means of :
Individual counselling by teachers or Pastoral Care Coordinators.
The application of corrective measures which include both incentives to improve and penalties to deter from negative behaviour.
The organisation of Once-Per-Term group Pastoral Care sessions.
Pastoral Care Coordinator
This coordinator is a senior teacher allocated to a specific body of students. It is our practice in high-school to allocate a male teacher to years 7-9 boys and another, to years 10-12 boys. Female teachers are allocated to the same groupings of high-school girls.
If a student’s behaviour in a class situation is either too serious or too persistent for management by the class-teacher, they are referred to the Pastoral Care Coordinator who counsels the student and makes decisions for greater penalties to be applied and for parents to be contacted.
More Serious Behavioural Problems:
Graver problems are referred to the Principal or High School Coordinator who may make decisions regarding various degrees of separation of the student from the school community for the good of all concerned.
Pastoral Care Sessions in Secondary School
These are tutorial-type meetings of students, grouped according to age, and pastoral care staff. They are held at least once per term and centre on practical moral and social topics such as:
Modesty in Dress and Speech
Respectful Treatment of the Opposite Sex
Efficient Study Attitudes and Methods
Internet Virtues and Vices
Church Teaching on Private Revelation
Fasting and Penance - in a teenager's life today!
Dealing with Peer Pressure
The Beauty of Marriage
Pastoral Care in Primary
In the primary school, classroom teachers handle matters at a local level whereafter students are supported by the principal in conjunction with parents. In the primary school students are reminded at the fortnightly assemblies of the areas they need to work on and the areas that they have performed well in.
If a student’s behaviour in a class situation is either too serious or too persistent for management by the class-teacher, they are referred to the Pastoral Care Coordinator who counsels the student and makes decisions for further action to be taken and/or for parents to be contacted.