Pastoral Care in St Columb’s College
The St Columb’s College community of pupils, staff, parents/guardians/carers, governors and the wider community is committed to creating and maintaining a positive climate of pastoral care in the College.
To create a pastoral climate based on Christian principles that is suitable for teaching and learning and to promote in the pupils a sense of responsibility and self-discipline. The Primary Aim of St Columb’s College is to promote in each pupil, through Catholic education, the fullest Christian human development of which he is capable. We are committed to developing each child's full potential to become a positive contributor to society in their adult life in a caring and pastoral spirit. We strive to achieve this by working in partnership with the child, their parent(s)/guardian(s)/carer(s) and the wider community, to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding, truly reflecting our values.
Preamble – Rationale – Catholic Ethos
St Columb’s College is a community, inspired by the Spirit of Christ. Christ’s commandment to love God and neighbour inspires a caring ethos, which is expressed in relationships within and beyond the College.
- Education in the College is person-centred. It promotes the dignity, self-esteem and full development of each person made in God’s image and uniquely loved by God.
- Education in the College is inclusive. It is respectful of, and engages with people of all beliefs; it encourages the religious development of all in their own faith.
- Education in the College is rooted in the Gospel values of Respect for Life, Love, Solidarity, Truth and Justice; it aims to harmonise faith and culture, build a better society and pursue the Common Good.
St Columb’s College provides a curriculum which offers high quality, rounded education for all pupils so that they can develop their full uniqueness and potential. Staff are committed to, and have opportunities for, teamwork and personal professional development.
In the College, the person and message of Christ find expression in:
- Faith, service, prayer and worship;
- The development of each person’s full potential in a climate of joy, freedom, respect, challenge, co-operation and celebration;
- The enrichment of pupil and staff life – intellectual, physical, spiritual, moral, social and emotional;
- The promotion of a spirit of charity, social justice, global awareness and concern for others leading to practical outreach and partnerships;
- A culture of tolerance where staff, pupils and visitors of diverse identities are recognised, welcomed, respected and cherished;
- Listening, mutual understanding, trust, reconciliation, healing and peace;
- The preparation of pupils to lead fulfilling and purposeful lives which will contribute to the Common Good.
St Columb’s College leads the way as a strong learning community, co-operating fully with others to provide a breadth of opportunity for the young people of this area.
Our Pastoral Care system is summarised in the Five Steps and The Core Values:
THE FIVE STEPS
I know the code of conduct and what it means for me.
Translate the School Code of Conduct into the language and context of your class, form class, year group, role, son, etc.
I keep a constructive tone and level of voice.
I instil respect by using appropriate and mannerly forms of address.
E.g. use of ‘excuse me’, first names and titles (when appropriate), acknowledgements, congratulations and praise.
I seek calmness and resolution; I avoid escalation and confrontation
E.g. avoid ‘cornering’ or escalating words or behaviour, offer choices, use ‘why?’ only when appropriate; share feelings of frustration rather than venting anger.
I am willing and ready to forgive and move on.
When an issue or incident has been resolved, be prepared to leave the past behind and move forward.
ST COLUMB'S COLLEGE CORE VALUES
(The Core Values are not an exhaustive list but can be applied to most scenarios that may occur within the school.)
- I will show respect for myself, for others and for my school.
- I will work to the best of my ability at all times.
- I will be properly prepared for all my lessons and activities.
- I will co-operate fully and contribute positively in all of my classes.
- I will take responsibility for my words and actions.
At St Columb’s we strive for high quality pastoral care and our School Development Plan aims to develop pastoral care in the following five areas:
- Positive Behaviour Management Policy
- Positive Reward Scheme
- Prevention of Bullying
- Pupil Wellbeing
High Quality Pastoral Care involves:
- The Form Tutor
- The Year Head
- Senior Teachers
- Vice-Principal - Pastoral Care (Mrs C McLaughlin)
- The Principal (Mr FJM Madden)
- The Chaplaincy Team and Counselling Services
- Child Protection/Safeguarding
- The Nurture Team
- Peer Mentoring
- Special Educational Needs
- Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy (Staff and Pupil Mental Health Ambassadors and Pupil led ‘Pure Mental’ Committee)
- Links with External Agencies (Aware NI, Action Mental Health, Pure Mental, Daisy, Youth Justice Agency, NSPCC, and many more)
To strengthen pupils' understanding; to provide instruction and the opportunity for religious experience; to give practical examples of service, gentleness, forgiveness and humility.
2. Moral Education
To teach, by precept and example, Christian responsibility for others, self and environment; to show respect for others and their rights; to practise self-discipline, honesty, truthfulness, reliability and healthy living; to stress the obligation of being conscientious in one's work; to promote altruism as opposed to self-interest.
3. Social Education
To develop in pupils a sense of belonging and of obligation to the various groups of which they are members; to foster secure home-school relationships, a sense of historical identity, an understanding of human inter-dependence and a co-operative spirit; to develop a Christian tolerance towards other identities, cultures and marginal groups; to inculcate sensitivity, sympathy, adaptability, social skills and modest self-confidence.
4. Intellectual Development
To promote oral and linguistic, mathematical, scientific, humanistic, technological and study skills.
5. Aesthetic Development
To encourage sensitivity to beauty and quality in the artistic, intellectual, physical, moral and spiritual domains; to impart knowledge and skills enhancing such sensitivity; to develop powers of critical judgement.
To nurture inventive thinking and making, the ability to innovate, the making of personal responses, initiative, the use of the imagination and feeling and sensibility.
7. Problem-solving Ability
To promote a positive attitude towards tackling the difficulties of a situation, the learning of decision-making and self-reliance.
8. Public Examination Success
To provide an environment wherein boys will achieve grades commensurate with their ability.
9. Preparation for Adult Life
To underline the need for hard work and perseverance in face of failure; to develop initiative, interest, commitment, realistic independence and motivation, by means of guidance and positive assessment.
10. Physical Development
To develop agility, strength and physical co-ordination, confidence in and through physical activity and the ability to express feeling through movement; to welcome participation in a variety of sports.
11. Enjoyment of Life Now
To provide opportunities to experience success, extra-curricular participation, good teacher-pupil and pupil-pupil relationships; to express optimism based on faith in life as God's gift.
This Pastoral system within St Columb’s is designed to support the school in achieving its vision and aims so that pupils develop fully as individuals as well as learners. Its purpose is to ensure that pupils are prepared adequately for adult life so that they can become fully functioning participants in society, building up the communities in which they will live and carrying forward the spirit of cooperation, personal responsibility and excellence which are the hallmarks of the school. The pastoral system is, therefore, rooted in the ethos of Catholic education with its concern for the whole person and the development of their unique gifts. As workers in a Catholic school, staff strive to promote personal dignity, respect and charity within the pupils, providing a safe and caring environment for teaching and learning to take place. In ensuring that this is effectively accomplished, we rely upon the unstinting work of all staff, who are committed to guiding pupils and challenging them to live out our shared Gospel values.
The Form Tutor has the primary pastoral role in the College. S/he is the first point of contact for the pupils on a daily basis and, as such, will build a close, working relationship with the boys. He/she will demonstrate their care for the pupils by their direct concern for areas such as attitude, behaviour, uniform, work standards, attendance/punctuality, interactions with parents, liaising with teachers, leading the pupils in Morning Prayer, reporting and building an affinity with the school and its traditions.
I will show respect for myself, for others and for my school.
I will work to the best of my ability at all times.
I will be properly prepared for all my lessons and activities.
I will cooperate fully and contribute positively in all of my classes.
I will take responsibility for my words and actions.
The Form Tutor will meet with his/her pupils every morning for registration which begins promptly at 9.10 a.m. A bell will sound at 9.05 a.m. to remind teachers and pupils to be punctual. Registration will begin with a prayer and the Tutor will then take Registration and deal with other pastoral issues, as required. Each Tutor will then ensure that s/he pays particular attention to absenteeism and poor punctuality.
Form Tutors will maintain and utilise a variety of records to help them in assisting the pupils. These will include attendance and punctuality records, academic performance data, home/school contacts, records of illness, etc. They will also keep in regular contact with pupils’ subject teachers, particularly where there are concerns about progress or conduct.
Where issues arise of concern about a pupil’s performance, the Form Tutor (and/or Subject Leader) will often be the first point of contact, liaising with relevant colleagues to adopt an appropriate intervention to curtail or address problems where they arise. Where these issues are of a sufficiently serious nature, the Form Tutor can call upon the assistance/support of a Year Head/Senior Teacher in order to underscore the seriousness of the problem. The pupil may receive a sanction commensurate with the offence and, if appropriate, support strategies will be put in place. Parental contact will be made and appropriate records kept.
The Form Tutor will perform a number of regular administrative duties where necessary and will attend all Year Head and Tutor meetings where whole school/Year Group issues will be discussed. As such, the Tutor has an important role in disseminating information, instructions, goals, etc. to his/her pupils. They will reinforce the work of other colleagues during weekly Form Periods and at weekly Assemblies.
Year 8 - Mr D Marlow TBC
Year 9 - Mrs M Burns TBC
Year 10 - Mr G Millar TBC
Year 11 - Mr D Chambers TBC
Year 12 - Mr M McLaughlin TBC
Year 13 - Mrs N Barr TBC
Year 14 - Mrs D Duffy TBC
Year Heads are teachers that have been selected at interview who have and continue to demonstrate a high degree of pastoral care in their teaching and relations with pupils and colleagues. They work closely with a team of Form Tutors in order to help pupils develop fully and participate actively in the life of the College. They, therefore, have an important management role, directing their tutor team and building leadership capacity within it. They must guide their colleagues in attaining the realisation of the school’s pastoral aims. They do this by their attendance at Pastoral Team/Tutor meetings, Year Group Assemblies, construction of an age specific Pastoral Programme, supporting pupils in difficulty, working closely with parents, among a wide range of other duties and responsibilities.
The role of the Year Head calls for considerable tenacity, versatility and generosity. S/he will liaise with the relevant Senior Teacher, meeting on a regular basis and carrying out required tasks and agreed strategies. Often in consultation with the Senior Teacher, Pastoral Vice-Principal, Form Tutors or teaching staff, the Year Head will set targets for pupils to achieve and will monitor their progress. Year Heads will drive forward the work of their Tutors, encouraging the full development of the individuals within their Year Group. Year Heads will have a specific role in ensuring that pupils attend punctually and regularly. The role of the Year Head will, in addition, require considerable administrative, counselling and disciplinary responsibilities.
Senior Teachers will manage the transition moments at the start and end of Key Stages and ensure that pupils progress as smoothly as possible. They will engage with a wide variety of external agencies where appropriate to enhance the experience of pupils.
Senior Teachers will monitor the work of the relevant Year Heads and Tutor Groups and will support these individuals to ensure that pupils are given the best possible pastoral provision. They have a specific responsibility for the academic progress of pupils in their Key Stage and, as a result, will work closely with Subject Leaders to identify and proactively assist and support pupils that are struggling. Similarly, they will work to ensure that the best possible opportunities are provided for gifted and talented students.
In conjunction with other pastoral leaders within the school, the Vice Principal will work closely with external agencies, oversee Child Protection issues and ensure that confidentiality and discretion are at the heart of pastoral practice within the school.
The Vice Principal will work to support colleagues such as Form Tutors, Year Heads, SENCO, Designated Teacher for Child Protection, Senior Teachers, etc. in the work that they undertake. Finally, the Vice Principal will provide effective and proactive line management of staff and will report on all Pastoral issues to the Senior Management Team and Board of Governors.
While the support given through our Pastoral Care Staff and Heads of Year is of the highest standard we are very conscious that some young people appreciate the opportunity to speak to an adult who is not directly involved with their education. Independent school based counselling provides this opportunity.
The Independent Counselling Service for Schools (ICSS) which is funded by the Department of Education, has been available to all Post Primary Schools since 2007. The counselling support provided conforms to high professional standards and current best practice for school based counselling. Our current provider is Mrs Tina Power from Familyworks.
If a pupil or his parents feel at any time the pupil may need extra support then feel free to contact his Form Tutor, Year Head or Ms Byrne and they will arrange for him to receive counselling. It is important to note however that if he does not want counselling then he cannot be forced.
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