Pastoral Care shares in the mission of Catholic Education in the Diocese of Wollongong, in Lighting the Way to create vibrant Catholic school communities, where every student finds meaning and purpose in their life.
The Light of the World, Jesus Christ, came so that all may have life and have it to the full. Pastoral Care at St Joseph’s is underpinned by a Diocesan Framework called Path to Life, which guides our role in providing safe and supportive environments, for our students.
This framework has 10 pathways, which provide a focus for effective practices in Pastoral Care. This encompasses student wellbeing, lifelong learning and fullness of life.
Pastoral Care has been referred to as the ‘oil of learning’ not the destination but the nourishment for the learning journey.
So, what does that look like at St Joseph’s?
Staff who develop a comprehensive knowledge of members of our school community and actively encourage a sense of belonging to and connection with St Joseph’s.
- Positive, caring and respectful student-peer relationships, teacher-teacher relationships, parent- teacher relationships, and connectedness with our school community.
- The promotion and recognition of positive student behaviours that support student learning, respect human dignity, are just and equitable and provide a continuum of support for every student’s needs.
- A learning community that recognises each student is different and entitled to individual care and attention. This continuity of that care throughout each student’s time at St Joseph’s, will help achieve the best possible outcomes for our young people.
- A restorative approach to the breakdown of relationships, repairing any hurt and harm to members of our school community.
- A student-centred focus on learning and teaching in calm, positive classrooms that develop individual strengths and celebrate growth.
At St Joseph’s every cohort is cared for by a Pastoral and Learning support (PALs) team to assist students to learn about acting justly, respectful relationships and taking a positive stand against aggression, violence and bullying. Our aim is to strengthen gospel values within our students to influence how they think and act, especially when faced with challenging situations that will confront them as they move through their adolescent years and into adulthood.
Social and emotional competence has a substantial impact on academic engagement, work ethic, commitment and ultimately, school achievement. Our pastoral programs include explicit teaching of social and emotional literacy and skills, such as effective communication, negotiation, sharing, empathic responding and ethical decision-making, problem solving and critical thinking.
St Joseph’s has developed just, compassionate and respectful processes for the early identification of students and families who may benefit from additional support.
We offer on-site, experienced counsellors from CatholicCare, who can provide students with individualised support on a range of issues including and not limited to: anxiety and stress management, positive relationships and conflict resolution, social skill development, body image concerns, goal-setting, suicide ideation and resilience. They also assist in liaising with external health organisations, in order to meet specific student and family needs.
We are also working collaboratively with parents and carers, in providing opportunities for education on issues related to pastoral care and wellbeing.
Pastoral Care is a whole school response to the wellbeing of our young people. In our supportive and safe environment we nurture and enable students at St Joseph’s to fulfil their potential by contributing in meaningful ways to our school and local communities and leading a just and hope-filled global society.
Effective Pastoral Care is at the heart of our school.