In keeping with our school motto ’Loving, Living and Learning like Jesus’ and as a Catholic school, St Joseph’s shares in the mission of the Catholic Church. Christ’s commandment, “to love one another as I have loved you” is the basis of all faith communities. Pastoral care gathers all the qualities and practices within a community that seek to make this commandment real.
Wellbeing is the concept which underpins pastoral care. St Joseph's is focused on the wellbeing of the whole school community. We are conscious of the need to promote healthy wellbeing in all areas of the human person. Mental health is of paramount importance. We recognise the flow-on effects of mental wellbeing to academic achievement and whole of life satisfaction.
We are a ‘You Can Do It’ school – using this framework as a basis for student wellbeing. Within this framework the students are explicitly taught Positive Behaviours for Learning (PBL). Each class is engaged in practical learning which teaches students strategies to help them cope with the complexity of their everyday lives and learn how to cope when they experience sadness, difficulties, frustrations and challenging times.
Where a need for specific assistance is identified, St Joseph’s offers the services of a School Counsellor. The school counsellor attends the school once a fortnight and is part of the school landscape when it comes to operating in a sincere and non-intrusive manner.
When students enrol at St Joseph’s in Kindergarten, they are supported in their transition by a buddy allocated to them from the following year’s Stage 3 class (Year 5/6). These buddies work throughout the year within the ‘Early Starters Programme’ to help the new Kindergarten students learn the routines of the school and settle into the life of a “big schooler”.
Community Days are essential for providing students with a sense of belonging, which is so important in building personal wellbeing.
Students also participate in community days during the year where they visit Bulahdelah aged care facility and the local main street. The students celebrate the approach of Easter and Christmas. They celebrate St Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day by giving out prayer cards, flowers, chocolates and just having a friendly chat. Students, residents and towns people enjoy this valuable interaction - not to mention the tourists stopping by.
At the end of each school year the parent body holds a Christmas luncheon. The whole community of Bulahdelah and surrounds is invited to a sit down Christmas dinner. An overwhelming majority of the community attend and this event is tagged as a highlight of the year. Christmas clothes are worn by all and there is a visit from Santa. This event is very much appreciated by all.
Restorative Practices form the basis of our discipline procedures for times when students do not behave in a way that displays respect, responsibility and concern for the safety of self and others. The focus is on personal accountability and restoring the broken relationships rather than retribution and punishment. This means that we seek to help students learn from their mistakes, reconcile and resolve problems with others. At the commencement of each year, a copy of the Behavioural Matrix is given to all parents. This resource identifies the behavioural expectations of the students and the consequences if these are not met.
Learning Support Team
Students at St Joseph's Primary School, Bulahdelah are supported in their learning by a Learning Support Teacher and three Learning Support Assistants. The Learning Support Team work to support both the pastoral and academic needs of the students. We also have a Pastoral Care Worker who supports the emotional needs of each and every student.
St Joseph's has the services of a Clinical Psychologist, provided through the Catholic Schools Office, working at the school. The psychologist provides support with academic and social assessments. Recommendations are made to assist parents and teachers to cater for the ongoing educational needs of the students.