Pastoral care

Our College Pastoral Care Program embeds Professor Martian Seligman’s PERMAH approach to human flourishing and wellbeing, with a Catholic lens of our Core Values of Justice, Compassion, Excellence and Hospitality. PERMAH stands for POSITIVE EMOTION, engagement, relationships meaning, accomplishment and health.

The College employs a whole-school approach to creating safe and supportive learning and teaching communities, and acknowledges the strong interconnections between student safety, student wellbeing and learning. Harassment, aggression, violence and bullying are less likely to occur in a caring, respectful and supportive teaching and learning community.

An effective Pastoral Care structure:

  • behaviour support for productive choices
  • improves / addresses social skills (friendship issues, bullying)
  • provides a sense of community – belonging to a ‘family’
  • ensures safety and security – boosting self-esteem, enabling them to concentrate on learning and achieving to their full potential
  • provides a safe environment to address emotional and academic concerns.

Our vertical Homeclass system includes our 'Big Sister Buddy' Program, ensuring a sense of community and belonging. Student safety and wellbeing are enhanced when students feel connected to their school, have positive and respectful relationships with their peers and teachers, feel confident about their social and emotional skills and satisfied with their learning experiences at school. The wellbeing of all students is at the heart of Catholic education enabling a learning environment which provides for the spiritual, physical, emotional, cognitive, and social growth of its students and staff.

Staff and Student College Wellbeing Teams

At St Saviour’s College we acknowledge that students are under increasing pressure to navigate complex social situations both online and in person. Student safety is of the utmost priority for all Toowoomba Catholic Schools; therefore, it is paramount that our students receive clear guidance and support in this area.

Staff wellbeing

Our Staff Wellbeing Team actively encourages:

  • partnerships with other schools (St Mary’s College, St Saviour’s Primary School), our Mercy partner schools and other Toowoomba Diocesan and Catholic Colleges
  • family engagement by invitation to our regular College on-line and face to face information sessions and events, our fortnightly newsletter and social media platforms.
  • strong community ties with local support and social justice agencies such as St Patrick’s Parish, Toowoomba Transition Support Services, Rosie’s, St Vincent de Paul, Tony’s Kitchen and Protea Place.
  • intervention and Postvention strategies on campus for identification and referral for students who may need support, across all year levels.
  • a supportive Wellbeing Team, trained and with experience in restorative practices and mental health and wellbeing support, consisting of:
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Teen Mental First Aid

The College conducts annual training for staff and students in Teen Mental Health First Aid training (TMHFA). This training gives teenagers the skills they need to recognise and help with the mental health problems of and crises with their friends, and to get the help of an adult, quickly. Mrs Megan Schulze, Middle Leader Student Wellbeing Support conducts the training in-house, to ensure students have a staff member with who they identified well, and as a member of the College Wellbeing Team, knows students.

Session topics include the following.

Session 1
Discussions about mental health problems in general and understanding how common and disabling these can be in young people.

Session 2
Professionals who can help, the Action Plan (‘Look, Ask, Listen, Help Your Friend) and Crisis Management.

Session 3
Using the Action Plan (being a supportive friend, encouraging the friend to seek help, and knowing when it is time to get an adult involved).

Mental Health First Aid training for Teen/Youth plays a key role in providing assistance and tools to support those in our community who may be struggling will their wellness. We acknowledge and support the importance and effectiveness of training around mental health first aid.

House System

St Saviour’s College has a pastoral system of four houses – Coolock, Goretti, McAuley and Xavier.

Students are allocated to a house for their time at St Saviour’s College and these houses provide the foundation for the College Wellbeing program.

Each house contains four Homeclasses with students drawn vertically, from Years 7 to 12. This allows the older students to mentor the younger students in their group.

Daily Homeclass provides an environment where relationships between staff and students can be best developed, creating a welcoming culture where staff can be readily approached by students to address any questions or concerns, they might have.

Each House has a Student Elected Leader (SEL) who runs regular Wednesday House meetings on matters concerning upcoming events and giving a platform for student input. House Leaders promote House and College Spirit, and students can earn points for their house through involvement across any of the four domains: Academic, Faith and Mission, Sport and Culture throughout the year. Belonging to a House and Homeclass provides all staff, students, and their families with the opportunity to form positive and lasting relationships with students across all year levels.

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Leadership Structures

Student Elected Leaders (SELs)

At SSC, we empower our students to have the confidence to lead and support the College student (day and boarding) community in a manner that reflects our commitment to our Mercy traditions. In doing so, our students consistently strive to make a positive difference for the future in both the individual and the whole community. There is an expectation that all Student Leaders actively participate in College event planning and delivery in the spirit of Catherine McAuley – hospitably, compassionately, and willingly serving the community.

Student Leadership roles include:

  • College Captain
  • College Vice Captain
  • McAuley House Residential Leader
  • Mission and Identity Leader
  • First Nations Leader
  • Cultural Leader
  • Sports Leader

Anti-Bullying

There is no place for bullying (inclusive of cyberbullying) at St Saviour’s College.

Bullying is a repeated pattern of behaviour, which includes name-calling, taunting, mocking, making offensive comments, kicking, hitting, pushing, theft, inappropriate text messaging, sending offensive or degrading images by phone or internet, producing offensive graffiti, gossiping, excluding people from groups, and spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours.

Cyberbullying is a repeated pattern of behaviour, defined as, ‘the aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself’. St Saviour’s College is committed to promoting responsible and positive use of social media sites.

For further information about our approach, see our Student behaviour support plan.