As a Catholic school, St Catherine’s shares in the mission of the Catholic Church. Christ’s call to live together in Faith, Harmony and with Integrity is the basis of our school community. Pastoral care gathers all the qualities and practices within a community that seek to make Jesus real.
Wellbeing is the concept which underpins pastoral care. St Catherine’s is focused on the wellbeing of the whole school community. We are conscious of the need to promote healthy wellbeing in all areas of the human person. Mental health is of paramount importance and we recognise the flow on effects of mental wellbeing to academic achievement and whole of life satisfaction. We are embarking on a Positive Education journey and using this framework as a basis for student wellbeing, students are explicitly taught Positive Behaviours for Learning (PBL) and Visible Wellbeing Strategies. Each class is engaged in programs which teach students practical strategies to help them cope with the complexity of their everyday lives and learn how to “Bounce Back” when they experience sadness, difficulties, frustrations and challenging times.
Where a need for specific assistance is identified, St Catherine’s offers the services of a School Counsellor. The school runs a number of other programs throughout the year targeted to the needs of individual students. These include Zones of Regulation: Cool and Friendly (anger management) Restorative Justice and Seasons for Growth (bereavement).
When students enrol at St Catherine’s in Kindergarten, they are supported in their transition by a buddy who is allocated to them from the following year’s Stage 3 class (Year 5). These buddies work throughout the last two terms of the pre-school year to help the new Kindergartens learn the routines of the school and settle in the life of a ‘big schooler’.
Community Days are essential for providing students with a sense of belonging, which is so important in building personal wellbeing.
Students also participate in a community day at the end of the school year where they visit both the aged care at Mercy Services and celebrate the approach of Christmas with carols, morning tea and a friendly chat. Students and residents alike enjoy this valuable interaction.
Just to ensure we are all in the festive spirit, the students sing Christmas carols to the wider community as part of the John Street carols. As a tradition of more than a decade, we collect and donate up to 20 Christmas hampers to the St Vincent de Paul and is very much appreciated by the disadvantaged members of our town.
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. At the commencement of each year we remind students of these practices. The behavioural expectations of the students and the consequences if these are not met are outlined in the Student Handbook.
Students at St Catherine’s Catholic College are supported in their learning by Learning Support Teachers and Learning Support Assistants. The Learning Support team work to support both the pastoral and academic needs of the students.
St Catherine’s has the services of clinical psychologists, provided through the Catholic Schools Office, working at the school. The psychologists provides support with academic and social assessments and recommendations are made to assist parents and teachers to cater for the ongoing educational and psychological needs of the students.