Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care, in the context of a Catholic school, is modelled on the person of Jesus Christ, who recognised the dignity and uniqueness of each person and who, in his humanity, called people to the fullness of life.

St Joseph’s aspires to achieve this fullness of living for each community member through the many dimensions of Pastoral Care. These dimensions reflect the individual and communal nature of Pastoral Care and acknowledge spirituality as the very essence of what Pastoral Care is all about.

Every day students participate in a Pastoral Care lesson. These lessons are based around via character strengths and the message of the Gospels.

St Joseph’s High School recognises the significance of positive psychology in education and our staff participate in regular professional development opportunities to strengthen the ways in which wellbeing underpins education at our school.

Pastoral Care and Support Teams

While Pastoral Care is the responsibility of all staff, the direction of Pastoral Care is overseen by the Pastoral Care team. The Pastoral Care team is led by the Assistant Principals and comprises the five Student Coordinators, the Pastoral Care teachers, and the School Psychologist/Counsellor. When necessary, the Learning Support Coordinator, the Careers Coordinator, the Ministry Coordinator and others join the team. The team meets fortnightly to discuss overall pastoral programs, specific student programs and student needs. A number of support personnel are also employed to support the needs of students.

Pastoral Programs 

Looking after student wellbeing and making a conscious effort to build student resilience are part of all activities at St Joseph’s, whether through classroom learning, sporting activities, support programs or extra-curricular activities.

The school’s Breakfast Club program provides a warm and welcoming space and a healthy breakfast for students who may otherwise arrive at school hungry.

Students meet with their Pastoral Care class and teacher on a daily basis. The Pastoral Care program seeks to grow a student’s sense of connectedness, to develop their character and to provide them with support as they journey through their secondary school years. In addition, Years 7 to 10 students engage in a wellbeing lesson on a fortnightly basis. Year 10 students are invited to assist in the implementation of activities focusing on positive relationships. Through engagement in this program, Wellbeing Leaders develop new skills and capabilities that support participation, communication, collaboration, creativity and understanding.

The Pastoral Care program also includes Reflection Days for Years 7 to 10 students and the Retreat program for Years 11 and 12 students. These experiences seek to continue to build relationships with their teachers and peers and provide opportunities where students can reflect and share experiences about their faith and their relationship with God.

St Joseph’s works in partnership with Where There’s a Will Foundation to facilitate training for both staff and students to equip them with tools to improve wellbeing. These include:

  • Mental Health First Aid Training
  • Positive Education Student Leadership Summits
  • Visible Wellbeing Program which combines the science of wellbeing with the science of learning.

The Pastoral Team coordinate a school-wide Pastoral Care program that operates throughout the year, based on maximising the individual character strengths of each student. Our wellbeing program focuses on positive relationships and behaviour, understanding and improving mental health, building resilience, and self-understanding. We also run programs targeted to the needs of individual students, such as gender-specific and talent-based activities which are designed to enable all students to recognise, access and maximise their own unique strengths.

The school's relationship with the local and broader community is very important and this is evident in our commitment to such initiatives as the annual All Stars week for disabled community members, which is organised, catered and administered by over 150 student leaders during the summer school holidays. The Community Days run each term by the Student Representative Council members also build a spirit of community and raise funds for charitable causes, and a close relationship with the other schools in the region.

© 2019 St Joseph's High School, Aberdeen