Our focus here at St Patrick’s is on the overall wellbeing for our staff, students and connected families. As a Catholic school, we aim to encourage positive relationships and provide guidance to students, staff and families who are experiencing difficulties. Some of these issues may be, but not limited to; relationships, self -esteem, friendships or issues around anxiety. Support is also given around grief, loss, bereavement and family breakdowns. The Pastoral Team works very closely with our Learning Support team, Psychologist, teachers and Executive team in order to deliver the best support system across the whole school and with our associated families.
Wellbeing is the concept which underpins Pastoral Care in all schools. St Patrick's is focused on the wellbeing of the whole school community. Much of the pastoral work is done on a one-on-one basis, however small group sessions are also offered. Some of our great programs include:
Seasons for Growth - which is centred around grief and loss.
Shine Program - is aimed at young girls to empower their potential in all areas.
Rock and Water - focuses on self-control and individual strengths
Girl Wise - focuses on friendships and individual strengths and qualities.
Zones of Regulation - these are taught in the classrooms and revisited regularly by the Pastoral Care Team. They essentially teach the children to identify their emotions and helps give them strategies to regulate and manage their emotions.
Buddy Program - when students enrol at St Patrick’s in Kindergarten, they are supported in their transition by a buddy allocated to them. When they start school, their Year 6 buddy will be there for them all year to help, guide and encourage them every step of the way. These buddies work throughout the last two terms of the pre-school year to help the new Kindergarten children learn the routines of the school and settle into life at ‘big school’.
Whilst a lot of our programs are focused on the students, the Pastoral Team do offer a variety of workshops for parents. These include; ‘Turning into Teens Program’ and ‘123 Magic’, which are both designed to give parents the skills that they need to help manage their children’s behaviours and emotions.
Restorative Practices form the basis of our discipline procedures for times when students do not behave in a way that displays respect, responsibility and concern for the safety of self and others. The focus is on personal accountability and restoring the broken relationships rather than retribution and punishment. This means that we seek to help students learn from their mistakes, reconcile and resolve problems with others. Our Pastoral Care Team plays a vital part in helping us to liaise with our students when there have been behavioural issues and to help mediate between students for a positive outcome.
In summary, our Pastoral Care Team are an essential part of our educational and wellbeing framework here at St Patrick’s. They seek to promote success, growth, confidence and resilience while supporting our students in a positive and nurturing environment.
As well as delivering small group and individual tuition, the Learning Support Team provides support in the classroom with the classroom teacher and in a small group setting. The Learning Support Team is made up of two Learning Support Teachers, nine school Support Officers (one specialising in Aboriginal Support) and one EALD Teacher who lends assistance to students who have English as there second language.
The Learning Support Team have both an academic and wellbeing responsibility. Academically, the team deliver reading support through small group interventions using Minilit and Maclit which are highly respected reading intervention programs developed by Macquarie University. They carry out regular assessments of students and liaise very closely with families to facilitate any external testing or medical services which may be needed in order for their child to be able to adequately and effectively access the curriculum.
Everyone in the Learning Support Team is dedicated and committed to helping every child who requires extra help to effectively access the curriculum. They do this with the utmost of pride and respect.
St Patrick's has the services of a Psychologist, provided through the Catholic Schools Office, working at the school two days a week. Our Psychologist provides a lot of support with academic and social assessments. She liaises with our school families and makes relevant recommendations to assist parents and teachers to cater for the ongoing educational and emotional needs of their students.
Our Psychologist works very closely with the Learning Support Team, Pastoral Team and the School Executive in order to provide the most effective outcomes for all the students in her care.