Pastoral Care and Counselling
My role is to oversee the Pastoral Care and Counselling systems at Bethlehem College. This involves establishing philosophy and vision with the Principal as well as structures and processes. All staff at Bethlehem College are important contributors to the work of Pastoral Care within the College.
Pastoral Care is a key value within the community of Bethlehem College. One of the descriptions used of Jesus was that of the “Good Shepherd”. Within the college we seek to create a community that is based in active shepherding love, encouragement and support of students as they grow and develop. Our aim is to build a safe environment where students feel they belong to the school community and that they are connected as individuals to significant adults and to other students.
Partnership with parents is also a key value within Bethlehem College. We aim to work with parents as we seek to grow and develop the young people in our care. Communication between home and school is important as we share together our knowledge and understanding of any student.
To assist this communication and partnership we have a number of Pastoral Care structures within the school.
Year 1-9: Each student is part of a K Group or Home Room. Students are taught by the one teacher and that teacher develops a relationship with their students and the parents. Any concerns can be taken directly to the K Group teacher. Each year group has a Team Leader who leads the academic and pastoral work at that level.
Year 10-13: K Groups are organized into vertical forms. This means there are students from Year 10-13 in the same group for Christian living and for administrative purposes. Each K group belongs to one of six Houses and that House is overseen by a Pastoral Dean. The students stay with both their House and their K Group for the last four years of their education. Over this period the K Group teacher and Pastoral Dean get to know the students and their families and provide pastoral support where needed.
Houses: The school has six (6) Houses. Students are assigned to a House randomly when they enter the school. Brothers and sisters are in the same House but not the same K group. During the year a number of activities within the school (e.g. Athletics, Big Sing, Debates) are held in Houses and the House competes for a House Shield and a House Spirit Cup. At present students from Years 7 – 13 make up the Houses with approximately 160 – 170 students in each House.
Specialist Student and Family Support Services
Counselling: As part of the Pastoral Care within the school there are professionally trained, and qualified confidential counsellors. The counsellors are available to students, parents, families and staff on a self referral and referral basis. The counsellors can be contacted either by e mail or by phone for appointments.