Pastoral
Care


The care and wellbeing of our students

Pastoral Care at St Mary MacKillop College is an important aspect of the College. Every student is valued as a unique individual and pastoral care encompasses a commitment to the spiritual, physical, emotional and mental well-being of all students. It under pins what happens in each class and the interactions between all members of the College community. Students are nurtured and supported within a safe environment. Pastoral care is critical in enhancing academic outcomes, supporting students in their journey through adolescence and assisting in their personal development so that they may reach their full potential.

Structure

All students belong to a Pastoral Care Class and these are organised by Year group. Within each Year group all Pastoral Care Classes are aligned with one of four Houses: Mindygari, Gurabang, Meup Meup and Ngadyung.

Each Pastoral Care class meets together with their Pastoral Care teacher every morning. Students have contact with this teacher on a daily basis and develop strong rapport with the PC teacher over the course of the year. The Pastoral Care teacher is concerned with the holistic well-being of each student in the Pastoral Class and as such is the first point of reference for students if they have any concerns and for parents if they have enquiries of a general nature.

Pastoral Care Coordinators provide leadership and direction to each Year group and work closely with the PC teachers. Pastoral Care Coordinators are available to assist with any issues that students may experience and will work to try and resolve any such issues in a positive way.

Our pastoral structures provide quality learning experiences, leadership and mentoring opportunities that are centred on building relationships of trust and respect between all members of our College community.

Pastoral Program

The Pastoral Program at MacKillop is a key aspect of the pastoral care and wellbeing of students. A one-hour session is timetabled into each students program in every two week cycle. The content covered from Year 7 – 12 covers important elements of welfare and the healthy development of adolescents and young adults, complimenting and enriching the formal curriculum.

Each term is dedicated to a particular theme. From Year 7 to 12 these themes are consistent with each cohort focusing on a particular topic each term.

Pastoral Care

The themes and schedule for Pastoral Program are:

Term 1
Study Skills and Organisation
Term 2
Safe behaviours and well-being
Term 3
Relationships
Term 4
Community Service/Leadership

Additional Support

A number of programs are conducted for students that add to the Pastoral dimension of St Mary MacKillop College. Some of these are targeted programs for students with specific needs while others are of a more general nature. These include:

  • Seasons for Growth which explores the effects of change, loss and grief
  • The Young Carers Group which is for students who care for a family member who may be affected by an illness or disability
  • Drumbeat which uses rythym and music, is targeted at small groups to allow students to express themselves. It aims to increase self-confidence and social awareness, build healthy relationships and encourage personal reflection.

Other specialised programs are also run from time to time, in addition to the extra curricular life of the College, that support and enhance the development and well-being of students with their specific needs.

The College also provides counselling services to all students and families. A qualified counsellor is on the staff, as well as several counsellors who are employed by CatholicCare. These counsellors work within the school across both campuses, assisting students with a range of personal issues.

Quality Conduct

Quality conduct honours the dignity and needs of all individuals in the community including students, staff and parents. Restorative practices are followed at MacKillop which means we see each individual as being in a relationship with every other person in our community. If something goes wrong in a relationship we work to restore it. This restorative approach to learning, managing behaviour and resolving conflict educates and supports students through building and maintaining quality learning relationships and connectedness. Students learn and understand that rights come with responsibilities and that poor decisions and inappropriate behaviour have consequences.

It is a requirement that students of St Mary MacKillop College conduct themselves in a manner that shows respect and support for staff, for their peers and for their environment. Parents are viewed as the first teachers of their children and thus are an essential link in assisting students to meet College expectations.

The College is committed to the spiritual, physical, emotional and mental welfare of staff and students. To this end it seeks to affirm students whose conduct is responsible and redirect those whose behaviour is inappropriate.

Pastoral Care Policies within the College seek to promote growth, self-worth and dignity through:

  • The merit system.
  • Focused pastoral care programs.
  • Participation in social justice action within the College and the wider community.
  • Acknowledgement of good works and achievements through merit points, certificates, status awards, MacKillop reward tokens, assemblies and end of semester presentations.

The Quality Conduct Policy, based on restorative justice processes, seeks to have students understand that with rights come responsibilities. Students have the right to be treated with courtesy and with justice but must also accept responsibility for self-discipline and for accepting that poor decisions and inappropriate behaviour have consequences.

Management of inappropriate behaviour includes:

  • Communication with parents and guardians.
  • Consultation with relevant Pastoral staff such as Pastoral Care teachers, Pastoral Care Coordinators, Counsellors, Assistant Principal Pastoral Care and Campus Head.
  • Interviews with school personnel and outside agencies.
  • Counselling of students.
  • Consequences for inappropriate or unacceptable behaviour include:
  • A report of the incident recorded on MOLE.
  • Restorative meetings and reflective letters.
  • Removal of privileges i.e. school excursions, College representation, access to physical resources and use of school equipment/facilities.
  • College detention – school hours – post-school hours.
  • Withdrawal from classes.
  • Suspension.
  • Exclusion (as per CEO guidelines).

Acts of violence, vandalism, discrimination, racial vilification, harassment, bullying or intimidation are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Students may not be in possession of weapons of any kind at school or when involved with school-related activities.

St Mary MacKillop College strives to be a “no drugs” College. No student may be in possession of or receipt of illegal substances, alcohol or cigarettes at school, travelling to or from school, when engaged in a school activity or when representing the school at any sporting or other extra-curricular activity.

A student may be required to make available for inspection their school bag or locker if directed by the Principal, Campus Head or other senior member of staff. Lockers remain the property of the College.

Acknowledgement of Country

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop made the statement: “We are but travellers here, so while we are here we should do as much good as we can and live in peace with each other.”

With this is mind, the College respectfully acknowledges the Ngunnawal people who are the Traditional Custodians and First People of the land on which we gather each day. The College also pays its respects to the Elders past, present and emerging, and any other Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples living and working in the MacKillop community.

MacKillop crest

© 2022 St Mary MacKillop College, Canberra. All rights reserved.

ABN 80 979 302 259

Contact Us


Phone: 02 6209 0100
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PO Box 1211
Tuggeranong ACT 2901