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Pastoral Care @ GSG

Great Southern Grammar is a Christian school offering a K-12 education informed by Christian beliefs and values. One of the key undertakings of our commitment to the school community is “to encourage students, through their exposure to Christian teachings, to explore issues of faith, spirituality and values.”

The school community also seeks to implement the Nine Values for Australian Schooling:

1. Care and Compassion
2. Doing Your Best
3. Fair Go
4. Freedom
5. Honesty and Trustworthiness
6. Integrity
7. Respect
8. Responsibility
9. Understanding, Tolerance and Inclusion

Junior School Pastoral Care

Junior School classroom teachers are primarily responsible for the pastoral care of the students in their class and are the first port of call for students and their parents to discuss any concerns. Junior School staff aim to provide an environment that models positive behaviour, respect, compassion for others and good manners. Junior School staff meet regularly to discuss pastoral care issues and to initiate and monitor specific support programmes for individuals, groups or classes.

All Junior School staff and specialist teachers are informed of students with particular needs. Each
semester students receive a Pastoral Care comment as part of their report. This comment supports the child's progress as a social member of the class and school.

Middle School

A strong homeroom-based pastoral care system is the backbone of Middle School and provides students with the necessary support to grow into well-rounded, happy and secure young adults.

Each student in Middle School is a member of a homeroom class in which they spend most of their
academic time. Each class is headed by a homeroom teacher who takes primary responsibility for each student's academic and social wellbeing.

Each year group is supported by a Head of Year. Dedicated pastoral care periods see students spend time in their homeroom or House. This allows for a gradual transition between the traditional primary
school, one-teacher model and the Senior School system, where students generally have a different
teacher for each subject.

Senior School

In Senior School, the House-based pastoral care system is developed further and becomes the primary pastoral care grouping, building on students' strong identification with their House and supporting their development into mature and increasingly independent young adults. Each student belongs to a group of students from the same House, supported by a House tutor, with students from Years Ten to Twelve in homerooms supporting each other.

Student welfare is supported by your child's Head of House, a school counsellor, nurse and an
AISWA-employed psychologist.

Policies

From the Counsellor

Term Two, Week Two/Three: Seasons for Growth

Seasons for Growth is an educational programme for children and young people who have experienced significant loss, change and/or bereavement.

I have been trained as a Companion in Seasons for Growth, an education programme (not therapy) which supports young people who have experienced significant loss and change. Please find below some information about the programme. Ideally, I would need between four to seven children per group (age/stage homogeneous) and have eight sessions (of approx 40 minutes each) programmed or timetabled for the course to run in. Ideally, the programme starts in Week Six of Term Two and proceeds for five weeks, continuing for the first three weeks in Term Three.

I hope you will read the information below from the Seasons for Growth organisation. Parents are encouraged to nominate their child for this programme. If you consider your child to be suitable for inclusion, please email me via sheryl.moncur@gsg.wa.edu.au

It is important to note a fundamental requirement which is that the child must want to be involved in the programme. Some of the finer organisational details are still to be arranged. I am very happy to discuss this with you and look forward to your contact.

Children and Young People’s Programme

Seasons for Growth is a small group loss and grief education programme. The Children and Young People’s Programme strengthens the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people (aged six to18) who are dealing with significant loss or change. This may include the death of a loved one, parental divorce or separation, the experience and aftermath of natural disaster, moving house or school, as well as many other life changes and losses.

Small groups of four to seven children work with a trained adult Companion, (Ms Sheryl Moncur), who supports the children in learning new ways to share, think about and respond to the changes and losses in their lives. Children learn that they are not alone in dealing with the effects of change, loss and grief. They build their understanding and communication, decision-making and problem-solving skills as part of a supportive peer group.

The Seasons for Growth Children and Young People’s Programme takes place over a structured eight-week period filled with peer-to-peer learning opportunities, with time to talk and listen as well as take part in activities including drawing, music, art, journaling, roleplays and storytelling. A celebration session and two follow up ‘reconnector’ sessions complete the programme, and each session explores an age appropriate concept, for example, Change is a Part of Life and Caring for My Feelings. The story of the seasons is used to explain the cycles of life, including change and loss, and provides a valuable metaphor for children to explore and understand their own story.

The Seasons for Growth Children and Young People's Programme has four levels.

Primary school:

  • Level One for six to eight year olds
  • Level Two for nine to 10 year olds
  • Level Three for 11 to 12 year olds

Secondary School:

  • Level Four for 13 to 18 year olds

Seasons for Growth was developed in 1996 by Anne Graham in collaboration with education, health and welfare professionals. It is recognised within the national mental health initiatives for children and young people, KidsMatter and MindMatters. Adults who facilitate the Seasons for Growth programme have been endorsed by an agency, undertaken training and are accredited as Companions. Further information can be found at this link

Testimonials

“I feel a lot better because I was letting all the pain out. Sometimes in school I'd feel like crying about it, and I nearly cried. Then I just held it in. But when I went to Seasons, I could just let it out, and talk about it. I didn't need to cry because I could talk about it." (Matt, nine)

"Having other people with the same problem to talk to has really helped." (Antonio, 12)

"My life has got worse but what Seasons for Growth has done is help me come to terms with it all. I cope a lot better. No matter how bad things get, I now have somebody I trust to talk to." (Emma, 16)

"I'd like to think my son wasn't affected by the divorce but I know he was. The programme has helped him to know that it happens in others families, too." (Parent)

"The Seasons for Growth training has helped me to realise the impact that change and loss can have on a child's behaviour at school." (Teacher)

Ms Sheryl Moncur | Counsellor

EMBARK ON A JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY