Pastoral Care underpins the teaching and learning program on the Senior Campus as an essential element for student success in the high school years. We provide strong pastoral care support through our structures and policies, through attention to school culture and climate, through teaching and the curriculum, and through targeted support for students and families where necessary.
Our campus structure ensures all students are supported. As part of this structure the Student Support School Leader, Pastoral Care School Leader, Year Coordinators for each year group of students, Pathway Tutor Group (PTG) teachers, Youth Support Worker, School Counsellor and Indigenous Education Officer are all involved in providing support for students where appropriate. Our student management approach is based on the principles of Restorative Practice, which ensures that students are supported to develop pro-social behaviour.
Relational teaching underpins the curriculum and teachers work to develop strong relationships with students. In this way students develop a sense of identification with and connectedness to school, an important pre-requisite for academic success. The Pathway Tutor Group structure allows for close teacher monitoring of student attendance, welfare and academic progress and helps build connection with school through connection with the group. This is further strengthened with PTGs undertaking community service in the school and further developed through cross-age mentoring, beginning with Year 10 students being attached to Year 7 PTGs and being a presence for students from their first day of secondary schooling.
We work continually to maintain a strong and positive school culture to which students feel they belong. We have recently completed work to re-define and embed our school vision and values to further build positive school climate. This is done in consultation with students, to further enhance a sense of ownership, and there is a wide range of leadership, community service and service learning opportunities for students, as part of our strong commitment to student empowerment.
Aspects of wellbeing are embedded across the curriculum, as well as taught explicitly through the Health and Physical Education Curriculum. In addition we provide programs to explicitly teach social and emotional skills, optimism and resilience to prepare our young people for the real world. Examples include Family School Plus an evidence-based emotional skills and anti-bullying program; PLUS - aspects of Positive Psychology and the Penn Resiliency Program; and Mind Matters, a mental health and wellbeing program. Senior students also have the opportunity to be trained as peer supporters for mental health and wellbeing, through Lifeline and other peer leadership programs. Aspects of Positive Psychology are embedded throughout the curriculum, for example in community service (giving) and in our strengths-based approach to working with students.
Finally, we provide a support network in the school for students and their families, including targeted in-school programs and programs run by community agencies, and we link students and families to outside support agencies where appropriate.
The Senior Campus program recognises that schooling in the adolescent years needs to be engaging and relevant, as well as rigorous and challenging. Teachers use explicit and scaffolded learning to engage, support, challenge and extend all students, and develop a culture of learning, in which students learn how to learn. Where possible courses are co-constructed, encouraging students to have input into their learning, and teachers hold high expectations for all students.
There is a strong emphasis on developing literacy and numeracy skills, as these are fundamental to continued success at school. Literacy in particular now becomes students' most important tool for accessing all areas of the curriculum, and is taught in all subjects through a whole-campus approach to literacy learning for all students from years 7-10. Teachers are trained and supported to facilitate literacy learning in every class.
Students are diagnostically assessed in reading comprehension, writing and spelling and Maths skills, including Mental Computation during terms 1 and 4 of each school year to inform teaching and learning and track academic growth. Teachers use this data, along with their own class assessment and NAPLAN data, to design targeted learning experiences that cater for the needs of individual students in their classrooms. Through this range of programs and support, students develop their understanding of literacyand numeracy and/or extend their knowledge into all areas of their schooling and beyond.