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Caring for the Whole Child

At St Paul's, we want all our children to feel safe and supported at school. We believe that is how they will best learn and thrive. We care about developing the whole person and believe that this is best achieved within a safe, caring community.

Pastoral care underpins the very concept of our Catholic identity, and is nurtured daily by all members of our school community to establish an emotionally, socially and spiritually healthy environment to which our students, staff and parents can all belong, and all grow and develop to their potential, which is their God-given gift.

We give special focus to social and emotional wellbeing – holistically promoting the growth and development of our students as individuals, in relationship with others and within our community.

Pastoral Care Foundations

Catholic schools are founded on the person of Jesus Christ and guided by Gospel values. At St Paul’s, we are witness to this by placing faith development in the context of everyday life. This provides the framework for the consideration of pastoral care in our school.

Pastoral care is love in action and is founded upon:

  • The loving concern God has always shown for his people throughout the history of salvation;
  • The value and uniqueness of the individual person created in the image of God;
  • The fact that ‘the Catholic School is committed to the development of the whole person, since in Christ, the Perfect Man, all human values find their fulfilment and unity’ (The Catholic School, 1977, n35);
  • The recognition that the ministry of each member of the school community contributes to the development of the climate of the school;
  • The understanding that, ‘the entire effort of the Catholic teacher is oriented towards an integral formation of each student’;
  • Our Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) 'Path to Life Framework', which contains 10 pathways for schools to help focus on areas of need in pastoral care through their school review and improvement process; and
  • Our Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) Student Pastoral Care and Wellbeing Policy.

Student Wellbeing

The dignity of the human person is a central truth of the Gospel message of Jesus. In respecting the dignity of all human persons at St Paul's, our student's wellbeing and safety is of the utmost importance, as is that of all members of our school community. We are eager to ensure that all our students enjoy a healthy mind, body and spirit, and we integrate a number of programs to support this.

The wellbeing of the students entrusted to our care is a responsibility we share with parents, who are recognised as the primary educators and carers of their children. At St Paul's, we are committed to: 

  • ensuring that we have at our centre, the total care of the whole student;
  • developing appropriate responses to individuals or families in crisis;
  • working collaboratively with other agencies involved in the care and protection of children; and
  • inspiring hope and a positive vision for the future. 

Counselling for students and their families is also available from CatholicCare. A school counsellor visits the school regularly for individual sessions as well as advising and supporting staff on appropriate programs for small groups and classes. Read more about the school counselling available to students.

If a staff member or parent feels that counselling may help a student, they need to discuss this with the principal who may discuss this with the counsellor and/or parent and arrange the appropriate permission forms and questionnaires to be completed by parents and staff.

Supporting Families

Living as an authentically Catholic community, we strive to be welcoming, inclusive and compassionate to all. In addition to the wellbeing of students at St Paul's, the pastoral care and wellbeing of our parents and families is important to us and gives witness to our Catholic faith in action.

When families are in need of extra assistance, whether financial, emotional or otherwise, the school is here to provide support to families in a variety of ways while maintaining confidentiality and dignity.

Families are encouraged to speak with the principal or a member of the school leadership team if they feel they need support of any kind.

Read more about our partnership with parents in the Parent-School Partnership Framework