A legacy of care unique to Catholic education has laid the foundations for a robust and positive approach to wellbeing at Sydney Catholic Schools.
A HISTORY OF PASTORAL CARE
Catholic schools became synonymous with pastoral care in the 1980s when many adopted the work of Marist Brother and member of Little Brothers of Mary (FMS), Brother Kevin Treston.
The educator and author’s book, Pastoral Care for Schools, quickly became favoured for its philosophy of care across all aspects of school life.
It asked teachers to recognise and develop each child’s individual gifts and emphasised forming positive relationships.
Pastoral care is the integration of the academic, social and religious dimensions of a school so that an atmosphere of care prevails within the school community.
“Pastoral Care was a marker of Catholic school; then, with the emphasis on mental health and wellbeing, the language changed,” said Sydney Catholic Schools’ Manager: Student Wellbeing and Learning, Stephen Said.
“Pastoral care included making sure that every child had a friend, they weren’t bullied and there was peer support available.
Sydney Catholic Schools’ Manager: Student Wellbeing and Learning, Stephen Said.
“As we’ve become more vigilant to mental health needs, the field of wellbeing has got even more rigour about it” – Stephen Said
“Today, under a wellbeing focus, we have staff who are registered mental health practitioners with various qualifications in counselling, social work and psychology,” Mr Said explained.
“The Student Wellbeing Team also consists of educators with extensive knowledge and experience in maintaining the positive relationships that underpin learning and a cohesive family life.
“Wellbeing and positive relationships are seen as integral to learning.
“When referring to pastoral care and wellbeing one has really morphed into the other.
“But we can very confidently say that Catholic schools have a long tradition in pastoral care that has served our schools really well, and is addressing the current challenges families face.”