Pastoral Care & Student Wellbeing
The pastoral care of students is effected in many aspects of school life, and especially in our mission statement, policies and procedures, teaching and learning curriculum, student support and wellbeing services, behaviour management processes, co-curricular activities and the overall school climate. Enhanced student wellbeing is best achieved within a school environment that:
respects and values diversity
promotes positive relationships
has a focus on student connectedness and engagement
provides care and support for those in need.
School is an organisation of great relevance to young people and the sense of belonging or connectedness they have with their school is seen as a key protective factor in their development. School protective factors linked to a positive school climate include the presence of caring relationships, 'high expectations' messages and opportunities for meaningful participation and contribution. Research clearly indicates that enhanced student wellbeing within a school contributes significantly to improved student learning outcomes.
Pastoral care of students refers to action taken within a school by its leaders and community members to promote and enhance student wellbeing of a personal, social, physical, emotional, mental or spiritual nature. At Mount Lilydale Mercy College the promotion of student wellbeing is designed to foster:
positive self regard/self esteem.
respect for others.
the development of positive relationships.
A fundamental belief for Catholic schools is that in Jesus is seen God’s image and likeness in its human expression, and that Jesus’ values and teachings show all people ‘the way the truth and the life’ (John 14:6). In accordance with this belief, the values to be promoted within a Catholic school’s understanding and practice of pastoral care must include love, respect, compassion, tolerance, forgiveness, repentance, reconciliation and justice.
Each each year level consists of a group of homerooms. These are the primary source of care and encouragement for each student at Mount Lilydale.
It is as a homeroom group where peer friendships are built on the basis of respect and affirmation. From activities involving inter-homeroom 'challenges' through to the year level Camps - students are encouraged to further themselves by achieving their personal and learning goals for the year. The Homeroom teacher is also the first 'point of contact' for parents who also have any queries about their child's learning progress.
Each Tuesday, there is an especially created time for the delivery of 'life skills' activities, along with regular Campus or Year Level Assemblies. These sessions are also complemented with youth program initiatives such as 'Brainstorm Productions' and 'Motivational Media' who lead our students to discuss the issues they face such as Leadership, Drugs & Alcohol, Cyber-bullying, Risky Behaviours and Mental Wellbeing.
Our Year 7 students are supported in their first transition year at Mount Lilydale by nearly 40-50 Year 10 'Peer Support Leaders'. These 'older and wiser' students provide excellent support and encouragement both in the class during Pastoral Care Tuesdays, and in the schoolgrounds during the day.