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.
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.
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 House Heads 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.
Year 6 teachers remain the core pastoral carers for that year level as students arrive from the Junior School. From Years 6 – 12, students associate strongly with their House groups and tutors (seven per House) are the primary pastoral carers for Year 7-12 as well as additional support for Year 6. Middle School House Heads and the Senior School House Heads are also available to assist as needed. Every student is a valuable member of a ‘vertical’ House Tutor Group on a two year, rotational basis, consisting of students from Years 6 – 12 from within their House.
Years 7 and 8 have a team of three core subject teachers who can also assist with pastoral care as required. The Year 9/10 Coordinator and Year 11/12 Coordinator add yet another layer of support to the Tutors and House Heads for Years 9 – 12.
Every day in the Middle and Senior Schools, Period 5 is a dedicated ‘pastoral’ period. Students meet in a variety of forums to engage with pastoral issues and values. These periods include: vertical Tutor Group meetings, Year level meetings, assemblies, Chapel services, WAVE program (Wellbeing and Values Education), Round Square Baraza group meetings, and fantastic, thought provoking guest speakers.
In addition, pastoral programs are linked through camps, service events and co-curricular activities.
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.
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:
Author: Lea Waters AM, PhD, is a psychology professor at the University of Melbourne and executive board member of the International Positive Psychology Association
With all the tragic things that are happening in the world as a result of the coronavirus, now might seem like an unusual time to talk […]
Author: Michael Grose
The current social isolation policy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has confined people to their family cocoons. Life for parents is very different now that we can no longer share the parenting load with relatives, friends and professionals outside the family home.
Parenting success will require […]
Over the past few weeks, I have been speaking to many parents about the long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health. Some have asked why one of their children is far more effected than their others, other parents are concerned that their child doesn’t seem at all […]
With all our students having now received instruction online for the second week, the feedback in regard to e-learning has been overwhelmingly positive.
My days have been filled linking in with my current clients and picking up extras who are finding the isolation of learning at home challenging. Many students are […]
If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and struggling to keep up with the ever-growing list of cancellations, closures and other news surrounding COVID-19, you are definitely not alone!
Our students are out of school, many parents are working from home (or at least trying to, because kids are out of school), […]