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7. Pastoral Care and Wellbeing

Pastoral Care and Wellbeing Policy

Framework

  1. The Catholic Worldview is the context for pastoral care at St John’s.
  2. Pastoral care is enacted and wellbeing enhanced through relationships.
  3. Pastoral care involves a whole school approach and is dependent on policies and procedures that help facilitate this across all key domains of practice.
  4. The Christian dignity and wellbeing of the student is at the centre of all policies, procedures, decisions and activities at the College.

 

Rationale

Catholic Education at St John’s College, Woodlawn exists to enable all students to experience the fullness of life. Student Pastoral Care and Wellbeing is the heart of our mission in Catholic education. Student pastoral care encapsulates the nature of how we relate with one another in all aspects of St John’s, through everything we do. Hence, pastoral care and wellbeing frames our identity as educators and is essentially manifested through the way we engage with others by acknowledging the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in nurturing students’ human dignity. With Jesus Christ as our model, the Pastoral Care and Wellbeing policy draws upon the Catholic Worldview in our relationships where ‘we walk with’ and meet each other in partnership with mutual respect and understanding. While welfare is all encompassing in our lives, this policy acknowledges the need to target best practice in various domains of college life to ensure that each person is cared for, valued, supported respected and understood.

This policy is founded on gospel values and operates within the framework of Restorative Justice practices based on the dignity of the human person to build positive and respectful relations for all members of the College community. Every person in the school community should be valued and respected. The learning capabilities of each person will be enhanced by building inclusive, supportive and respectful relationships. Supportive and positive relationships between staff and students, promotes a sense of belonging and engagement that facilitates greater wellbeing and better school performance.

Scope

Pastoral care and wellbeing at St John’s applies to the entire College community. All staff play a pivotal role in student welfare and wellbeing across all domains of College life to ensure fair and equitable management of all students.

Principles of Pastoral Care:

  • Pastoral care is founded in Jesus Christ and Gospel Values.
  • Pastoral care is concerned with the dignity and wellbeing of each person.
  • Pastoral care is nurtured through a life of prayer and sacramental living.
  • Pastoral care is enacted through, and embedded within, reciprocal relationships between all members of the College community.
  • Effective relationships in which every individual experiences being cared for, respected and valued.
  • Parents/Carers play a key role in pastoral care and the College works closely and collaboratively with parents/carers in promoting the wellbeing of students.
  • Pastoral care and wellbeing is dependent on student participation. St John’s creates opportunities for students to have a voice in matters that concern them at school.
  • Pastoral care is embedded within and across all domains of school life.
  • Pastoral care promotes and enhances wellbeing, including spiritual, social, emotional, psychological, intellectual and physical dimensions.
  • Pastoral care requires a comprehensive, multi-level whole school approach on a continuum from universal to targeted needs. This includes primary intervention, early intervention, intervention and postvention responses and initiatives with students and families.

Pastoral care is at the heart of how we relate to one another at St John’s and should be reflected in everything we do. Pastoral care is centred on Jesus Christ and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit; Pastoral care is essentially a relational way of life in which every member of the college community is cared for, respected and valued, reflecting the God given dignity of each person. Pastoral care is expressed in love, respect, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, healing, reconciliation and social justice. Pastoral care is the shared responsibility of every person in the College community and the wider College community. Pastoral care is how we as adults provide the nurturing and educational setting for personal growth and create a growth mindset for the students to manage their own learning and build positive relationships guided by and built on the Catholic principles of solidarity and subsidiarity.  Lived out in the school setting by the policies, procedures and practices that the school enacts to ensure the wellbeing and care of students.

Wellbeing

The College has a Wellbeing Program to support self-efficacy and building capacity for individuals to gain insight into their own unique gifts and talents and how to face adversity and challenge.

Pastoral care and wellbeing is concerned with the inherent dignity and wellbeing of each person and, at St John’s College, is based on the following beliefs:

  • We believe in reconciliation and restorative justice practices based on the dignity of the human person and founded on the Gospel values promoted by Jesus Christ.
  • We believe each person in the school community should be valued and treated with respect.
  • We believe education is a collaborative venture with the school, family, parish and wider community.
  • We believe in just and fair processes to guide and develop the ability of all members of the community to make sound and moral decisions.
  • We believe in building inclusive, supportive and respectful relationships to enhance the wellbeing and learning capabilities of all in our community.

Reporting

Reporting to Police – Section 316 of the NSW Crimes Act requires that Serious Indictable Offences will be reported to Police.

Parent/caregivers and students are advised that it may not be possible for all matters raised in conversations between students, parent/caregivers and staff to be kept confidential. This is particularly the case of criminal conduct, or when a matter requiring mandatory reporting is disclosed.

Corporal Punishment

Staff at St John’s College are prohibited from using corporal punishment as a means of punishment or correction of students.

Corporal punishment is defined as the application of force in order to punish or correct a student but does not include the application of force taken to prevent personal injury to, or damage to or the destruction of property of, any person, including the student.