Pastoral care at Holy Cross College is defined as the intentional actions and processes that foster in students a strong sense of well-being, belonging and security, where they are affirmed in their dignity and worth. Pastoral care is not merely a complementary
practice but is integrated into the fabric of all dimensions of the College; Learning, Inter-relationships, Faith and Enrichment.
The four LIFE Pillars of Holy Cross College that underpin the pastoral care programme include the following principles:
Structurally, pastoral care is fostered through the House system, where each student belongs to a particular House for the duration of their time at Holy Cross College. Family members are assigned to the same House. Here, students find a sense of belonging and support within a smaller community, and are inspired by the faith and life of their House patron. Students have the opportunity to represent their House in sports carnivals and other extra-curricular pursuits, where they can contribute to the spirit and identity of their House.
In the Junior School, students are supported within their year-level class. Their classroom teacher is best placed to care for the student, monitoring their progress socially, emotionally and academically. They are active in ensuring a holistic approach to the growth and development of each child and are the first point of contact for parents. Students also develop a sense of connection and belonging to their House through weekly Gospel reflections, as well as through House team-building activities, which occur twice a term. Students in Year Three to Year Six are provided with opportunities for leadership within their year level, as well as within their House.
In the Middle and Senior Schools, each student will belong to a vertical House Tutor Group. Implementing a small-team approach contributes to students’ sense of belonging and connectedness within our school. House Tutor Groups meet in the morning every day for prayer and administrative tasks. House Tutors are responsible for the overall welfare of students on a day-to-day basis. They will be the first point of contact with parents for pastoral care and general behavioural issues. A House Tutor’s role is central in both caring for students and, crucially, monitoring their progress both academically and socially, encouraging involvement, commitment, and high standards of work and behaviour. The House Tutor will be active in looking after the interests of the ‘whole child’. Furthermore, students will have the opportunity to develop leadership skills within their House and House Tutor Group.
Pastoral care is most effective when there is a strong partnership between home and school. Clear two-way communication, reminders and reinforcement at home and at school of strategies to support engagement and progress, and the early intervention in identifying and addressing problems are vital to the effective exercise of pastoral care.
Pastoral care at Holy Cross College is also reinforced through a number of relevant policies, which can be found under Policies.
Specialised pastoral care is offered through the Saint James Centre, in the form of social/emotional counselling and mental and physical health, with the services of the College Social Worker, Psychologist and Nurse.