Pastoral Care: enhancing spiritual and personal growth
Pastoral care has been an integral part of Northholm’s program since the School’s foundation.
Our pastoral care system is structured to provide a network of support, encouragement and guidance for every student in our care so that no student feels lost or overwhelmed.
The House System
Each student belongs to one of four Houses – Capell, Lincoln, Patteson or Rowland. Within this House structure, students are given the opportunity to know each other through a range of diverse activities. These activities help students understand the different attitudes and values of others and encourage friendships across the year levels.
In the Junior years the general welfare of each student is the responsibility of the class teacher. While students in these years may meet on occasion as mixed aged groups for a specific purpose such as a House meeting, the classroom teacher is the primary contact person on any matters relating to each student. The classroom teacher is also responsible for any communication with families or specialist staff relating to specific needs and issues of concern. Junior School students participate in House based activity groups once a week. This enables students from Kindergarten to Year Six to mix with different age groups and teachers whilst developing team spirit.
In Year Seven the role of tutor is the responsibility of one of the student’s Core Teachers who spends a significant part of each week with their tutor group. Tutors also play a critical role in helping the students in their care to identify and achieve their goals according to their interests, talents and needs. The tutor is the first point of contact for parents about issues or concerns relating to a student’s wellbeing or development.
Year Seven students are also placed in a House Tutorial Group. This Group forms the basis for their pastoral care in Year Eight.
Years 8 – 9
Year Eight students are cared for by a Tutor. They remain in this Tutorial Group for two years.
Years 10 – 12
At the beginning of Year Ten students move to a Senior Tutorial and remain in this group until they graduate at the end of Year Twelve. In Senior Tutorials the role of a Tutor changes to that of a coach.
Two specialist counsellors are available to assist students and their families in matters relating to their personal, academic and social wellbeing. Both counsellors have established networks of support and are able to provide advice on external service providers.
In recent years all tutors have undertaken training in a program called ‘Circle Solutions’. The strategies that are integral to this program ensure all students are included in tutor discussions and activities. Pastoral issues such as cybersafety, peer pressure and bullying, as well as academic priorities such as goal setting and study skills are addressed during these sessions.
The School does not tolerate bullying of any form and is proactive in its efforts to maintain a culture where students feel safe. This includes the regular delivery of programs and workshops to inform students of their rights and responsibilities in respect of both themselves and others.
The School has very clear practices in regard to cyber safety. These include the regular revision of policies to provide currency of practice, appropriate security measures for the school’s IT infrastructure and regular briefings on cybersafety for staff, students and parents.
The School is currently preparing to become a registered eSmart school.