STUDENT WELLBEING

PASTORAL
CARE

Pastoral Care at Scotch Oakburn College is multifaceted and wide-ranging with a comprehensive staff structure of teachers, leaders, Learning Support, coaches, tutors, mentors and specialised mental-health care experts who each have ‘pastoral care’ as one of their key, professional responsibilities.

Of equal importance are our values-based programs that continually reinforce and reward empathy, tolerance and connectedness in our community. These age-appropriate programs are a part of all aspects of College life and are passionately guided by our staff.

We focus on the personal, social, emotional, spiritual and physical development of every student. Each child is valued for who he or she is, learns the value of service and gratitude, and is supported and nurtured while being challenged and exposed to opportunities.

Our pastoral carers are always available to talk, and students and parents are warmly encouraged to engage with staff about any concerns, big or small.

Our Pastoral Care structure is intentionally interconnected, ensuring each student has the support and guidance needed to thrive in, and beyond, the College.

Dean of Students / Heads of School

Working across Years 6 to 12, the Dean of Students supports both staff and students in pastoral matters, as well as student transitions from Junior to Middle School, and Middle to Senior School. This role ensures continuity of pastoral care for students as they progress through the College or enter the Middle or Senior School as a new student.

Each section of the College also has a Head of School, and the Junior School has a Deputy Head of School, all of whom have the wellbeing of the students within their section of the College as a prime focus of their role.

Junior School

In the Junior School, the primary pastoral carer is the class teacher. Students are also members of a House, which provides for various intra-school activities that further add to the students’ sense of belonging and Heads of House provide another layer of pastoral care.  Smaller class sizes and a proactive approach to the development of growth mindsets are integral to this approach. Our Head of Junior School and Deputy Head of Junior School also support students, staff, and families throughout this period in all aspects of pastoral care.

The Junior School employs a raft of values-based programs including Connect@Elphin, LIVE@Elphin and the buddy program for all year groups, to name just a small selection. The class buddy program allows older students to buddy up with younger students – and younger students to have an older buddy – across the Junior School. This program provides leadership and support to students and encourages valuable relationships across year levels. As students progress through the Junior School and participate in different class buddy combinations, the network of year-level relationships grows and develops into a thriving and inclusive community.

The Junior School also has a Junior School Counsellor, a Social and Emotional Learning Coordinator and our College Chaplain is a regular visitor.

Middle School

Year 6 teachers remain the core pastoral carers for that year level as students arrive from the Junior School. Each year level (Year 6-8) in the Middle School has a Head of Year. Every student is a member of a Mentor Group and has a Mentor who is also a teacher they see regularly in class.  Mentor Groups in Middle School are year level based. Middle School students are also a part of a House.  Deputy Heads of House are based in Middle School and help support House activities for these students.

Every day in the Middle School, Period 3 is a dedicated ‘pastoral’ period. Students meet in their Mentor Groups three days a week and attend assembly, Chapel or Round Square meetings on other days.

In addition, pastoral programs are linked through camps, service events and co-curricular activities.

The Middle School has a dedicated Middle School Counsellor.  Our Penquite Campus has a Wellbeing Coordinator who is also a registered Psychologist, and a College Chaplain.

Senior School

Every student is a member of a Mentor Group and has a Mentor who is also a teacher within their House. Mentor Groups in Senior School are House based and consist of small groups of around 15 Year 9 and 10 students or Year 11 and 12 students.  Each House also has a Head of House.

Every day in the Senior School, Period 3 is a dedicated ‘pastoral’ period. Students meet in their Mentor Groups three days a week and attend assembly, Chapel or Round Square meetings on other days.

In addition, pastoral programs are linked through camps, service events and co-curricular activities.

The Senior School has a dedicated Senior School Counsellor.  Our Penquite Campus has a Wellbeing Coordinator who is also a registered Psychologist, and a College Chaplain.  Our Year 9 and 10 Coordinator and Year 11 and 12 Coordinator add another layer of support as needed.

Paddington

We are very fortunate to have Paddington, our therapy dog at the Middle and Senior School. Paddington is part of our everyday school life.  He is trained to comfort and support our students (and staff) as needed.  He can always be found in and around the Penquite campus.

Wellbeing articles – keeping parents informed

You will find articles in our College news every week provided by our Wellbeing Coordinator, Kylie Wolstencroft. Kylie is also a registered psychologist.  Read her most recently submitted articles below:

PARENT WEBINAR WITH PAUL DILLON

19 November, 2021|

Parenting, alcohol, parties and sleepovers in Year 9: Why this year group can be so challenging and the importance of putting things into place now.
Thursday, 20 January 2022
7.00-8.30pm (AEDT)

If you’re a parent of a child about to begin Year 9 it’s important […]

THE LANGUAGE OF RESPECTFUL RELATIONSHIPS

12 August, 2021|

Author: Michael Grose


 

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

This reply to playground name-calling has been taught to children by generations of parents. While the sentiments are true, it demonstrates how destructive language can be when it’s used to hurt or humiliate.

Name-calling dehumanises the […]

MAKE TIME FOR DOWN-TIME

6 August, 2021|

Author: Michael Grose


 

If your teenage children live wound-up, highly scheduled lives then they need to rediscover the lost art of down-time.

Down-time is like mucking around except that it’s passive. It’s about kids relaxing, doing whatever it is they feel like doing – whether that’s watching a screen, hanging around […]

COVID AND IT’S EFFECT ON OUR YOUNG PEOPLE

23 July, 2021|

Welcome to Term 3. I hope everyone had a relaxing break and are rejuvenated for the term ahead. As I indicate in my video address this week, there is a lot happening this Term and of course, it is also a very important Term for our TCE students, and Year […]

RECLAIMING CONTROL OF YOUR ELECTRONIC DEVICES

25 June, 2021|

Source: https://theresilienceproject.com.au/at-home/blog/reclaiming-control-of-your-electronic-devices/


 

Today, our reliance on electronic devices has undoubtedly increased, as has the long-held debate around the potentially negative effects of overusing these tools.

There is no doubt most of us have benefitted from the technology which allows us to stay connected, especially during COVID-19 lockdowns. Kitchen tables have become offices […]

ESTABLISHING DIGITAL BOUNDARIES FOR A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP

18 June, 2021|

Author: Dr Kristy Goodwin


 

It’s well established that sleep is vital for children and adolescents’ learning, physical health, mental wellbeing and emotional regulation. Yet, a concerning number of Australian children and adolescents aren’t meeting the national sleep guidelines according to a recent study*.

There are many reasons for young people’s poor […]