St Patrick's is renowned for our strong emphasis on pastoral care. Our core values of mutual regard, mutual respect and dignity of the individual give focus and direction to our student management practices. True pastoral care can be seen in both formal and informal settings. The ongoing care and concern that staff show towards our students is evidence of our policy in action; in reflective times at the end of a student’s schooling they often comment that pastoral care is one of the most enduring memories of their time at St Patrick’s.
Classroom teachers are responsible for the pastoral care in their own classrooms. Students who are actively engaged in meaningful learning experiences will rarely need disciplining. There are structures in place at St Patrick’s to support children through what can be challenging times in their lives. We have a School Counsellor, from CatholicCare in Canberra, who visits the school each week. The counsellor is available for both individual and family counselling sessions. Our School Chaplain likewise assists individual students and, if necessary, their families in situations requiring support, comfort and guidance.
On the Kindergarten to Year 6 Campus an environment of mutual respect is fostered and reinforced through the recognition of student effort through, for example, the PARSA Awards (Promoting And Recognising Student Achievement) and also the Chook Lotto reward scheme.
At the Secondary Campus students are assigned to vertical roll groups with students from each of Years 7 to 10 and a Home Room teacher. The roll group meets each morning and time is set aside for administrative and/or pastoral matters each day. Recognition of student effort and achievement is an essential component of pastoral support; students may be presented with School Awards at an assembly each term as well as being acknowledged in the weekly newsletter.
The new House System introduced in 2010 continues to provide opportunities for mutual support and in doing so is an essential element of pastoral care.
We are fortunate to have a National School Chaplain and Student Welfare Officer (NSCSWP) who complements the pastoral programs within the school. The NSCSWP Officer is a federally-funded position. The Officer is available on a voluntary basis for students and families to address issues that may be impinging on the educational progress of students and he is contactable through the school office.