As a Catholic school, St John’s Lambton 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 John’s is focused on the wellbeing of the entire school community, 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 KidsMatter school – using this framework as a basis for our social and emotional learning program. Within this framework the students are explicitly taught social emotional skills. Each class is engaged in the sequenced development of knowledge and skills teaching students practical strategies to assist them cope with the complexity of their everyday lives and learn how to “Bounce Back” when they experience sadness, difficulties, frustrations and challenging times.
Where a need for specific assistance is identified, St John’s offers the services of a School Counsellor. The school runs a number of other programs throughout the year targeted to the needs of individual students. These include Zones of Regulation; Friendly Kids Friendly Classrooms; Cool and Friendly; Socially Speaking (prosocial skills); and Seasons for Growth (bereavement).
When students enrol in Kindergarten at St John’s, they are supported in their transition by a buddy allocated to them from the following year’s Year 6 class. The buddies work throughout the last term of the pre-school year to assist the new Kindergarten students to transition comfortably to school.
Community Days are essential for providing students with a sense of belonging, which is so important in building personal wellbeing.
Students participate in many days which assist to build connections and community. These include Harmony Day games and barbeques, mission days, the school athletics and swimming carnivals, Catholic Schools Week celebrations and P&F fundraising days such as the school fun run for colour.
Restorative Practices form the basis of St John’s behaviour management and discipline procedures. 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. Students are encouraged to at all times behave in a way that displays respect, responsibility and concern for the safety of self and others.
Learning Support Team
Students at St John’s Primary School, Lambton are supported in their learning by a Learning Support Teacher and Learning Support Assistants. The Learning Support team work to support both the learning needs of the students.
St John’s has the services of a Clinical Psychologist who works at the school on a part time basis. 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.
Pastoral Care Worker
St John’s also has the services of a Pastoral Care Worker (funded under the Government Chaplaincy Program). The PCW works with children, families and staff to meet the pastoral needs of students. The PCW runs programs such as homework support, games centre and the Cool & Friendly area at lunchtime, as well as being available to meet with parents if required. The PCW at St John’s supports the Pastoral Care and Student Management Policy and Procedures working with all stakeholders to meet student needs.