Wellbeing and Pastoral Care Program

At Santa Maria College, we deeply value the overall wellbeing and pastoral care of our students. Our unique program is designed to provide a holistic approach to education, nurturing not just the academic but also the emotional, social, and personal aspects of our student’s development.

Heart of the Student Experience

Key to our approach is our wellbeing program, a well-resourced initiative that sits at the heart of the student experience. Integrated with our academic work, our faith, and our service program, and underpinned by our Mental Health Strategy, our wellbeing program develops self-respect and empathy in our students, fundamental to the shaping of resilient, capable, generous, and productive individuals. We understand that people who value and know themselves understand the value of others, and our program supports our girls throughout their school years to ensure they enter the wider world with self-confidence balanced by a sense of respect and concern for others.

Dedicated Educators

Key to our program are the Deans of Year, dedicated educators entrusted with the students’ academic and pastoral care as we recognise the strong link between wellbeing and academic success.

The Deans provide consistent guidance and support to students in their year group and build strong, trusting relationships with the students, understanding their individual needs and aspirations. Each of the Deans in Years 7-12 works closely with eight Homeroom teachers as students are grouped into Homerooms through these years.

Homerooms serve as a place of learning and a continual support network, providing a familiar environment where students can thrive personally and find a place of connection. As much as possible, students retain the same Homeroom teacher. This continuity further enables the building of strong, trusting relationships and offers consistent guidance and support. Each Homeroom is strategically aligned with the House they belong to, aiming to foster a sense of identity and camaraderie through a range of interhouse activities, competitions and events run by the House coordinator of each House.

For the younger students in Years 5 and 6, there is a dedicated Dean who stays with them throughout these early years, providing a stable presence during their transition from primary to secondary education. These students are also aligned with a House and participate in House based activities to create a sense of inclusion and belonging to the wider school community.

Mental Health Strategy (MHS)

Our world has undoubtedly become a more challenging place for our young people, sparking a heightened awareness of the need to cultivate positive mental health in our schools in partnership with parents. Some of you will already be familiar with our approach, but for our new families, we warmly encourage you to become acquainted with our strategy. At Santa Maria College, we believe in empowering our students to manage their wellbeing and flourish in both the school environment and beyond.

Our MHS is crafted to accomplish precisely that. We aim to equip our students with the knowledge, skills, and support necessary to tackle life’s challenges and fully embrace their potential. The MHS emphasises four key areas: Culture and Values, Knowledge, Skills, and Support. By tackling these areas, we aim to shape a supportive environment where each student can truly thrive.

A shift in our approach has led us to emphasise prevention over reaction. While we will continue to provide the necessary support, our primary goal is to enable a larger number of our students to access our psychologists for proactive, preventative assistance, such as through group programs and Pastoral Care Time sessions. The programs we deliver are meticulously tailored to our girls’ needs, integrating relevant research to effectively shape our MHS.

The key personnel driving this strategy include the Director of Pastoral Care, our dedicated psychologists and nurses, plus support from our Wellbeing Captain and Student Mental Health Ambassadors. Their collective efforts work towards nurturing an environment where every student feels heard and supported.

The voices of our students are critical to the success of our MHS. As the individuals directly affected, their input is vital to ensure effective implementation. Furthermore, an essential component of our strategy is our partnership with parents. We firmly believe that if we unite with parents to foster a positive school culture, develop knowledge and skills in our students, and ensure support structures are known to both students and parents, we can make a significant, positive difference in many young lives. We earnestly seek your assistance in making this difference.

What A Term! So Many Opportunities – Jennifer Oaten

As I look back on the past nine weeks, I am so grateful for who we are as a community and what we have achieved. Through the dedication of our staff and the enthusiasm of our students, we have established new connections, immersed ourselves in opportunities and worked through challenges.

Read More »
Scroll to Top