Pastoral Care Approach
The school years hold many of the most demanding challenges of growing up and Moreton Bay College extends a guiding hand through its personal development and pastoral care programs.
Pastoral care is interwoven into the very fabric of the College and is seen as a collaborative partnership between students, parents and staff. We strive to create a community where girls feel safe, valued, connected, have a strong sense of belonging and of being valued and listened to. These elements provide an essential platform for the individual growth and success of each student.
Pastoral Care in the Primary Years
In the Primary Years, students develop and grow in many different ways and are challenged to extend their range of personal skills. The most important pastoral carer for the Primary student is the classroom teacher with additional specialised support from the Deputy Head of Primary (Pastoral), the Head and Deputy Head of Primary, our part-time Primary Psychologist and the College Chaplain. All class teachers across Primary are ably assisted by teacher aides, ensuring that each girl feels valued and safe in the school environment.
Camps are a highlight for older students and form part of the leadership development that is integral to our Year 4, 5 and 6 programs. Girls are also encouraged to put their hearts into helping others and all are involved in our Service Learning program.
Pastoral Care in the Secondary Years
Pastoral care is provided to students in Secondary through a vertical structure based on House membership. Girls belong to one of the four Houses, and within those houses each student belongs to a Form Class. These classes meet every morning to touch base, check notices and provide grounding for each girl.
Pastoral care is implemented informally through daily interactions with classroom teachers, Form Teachers, Heads of House, College Chaplain and the College Counsellor. Form Teachers play an integral role in the Pastoral Care system throughout the Secondary College where they are often the first and last point of contact for students on any school day.
At Moreton Bay College, respectful and positive relationships are fundamental to our mission of educating young women who exemplify our College values of character, care, teamwork and engagement. Underpinning this belief to foster such relationships, is our Positive Behaviours Policy. We believe that positive relationships develop when parents/guardians, staff and students form a partnership, acknowledging each other’s rights and accepting responsibility and accountability for their individual and collective actions.
The College's well-articulated expectations encourage high standards of individual behaviour which is nurtured through high levels of support and care. We aim to cultivate a positive and inclusive school community with emphasis on maintaining an optimistic classroom environment where everyone feels like they are respected, supported and belong.
Framing all of our interactions in this positive manner, our pastoral programs encompass preventative skills which seek to build socially and emotionally healthy individuals. Students are explicitly, and implicitly, taught skills for wellbeing such as gratitude, character strengths, resilience and mindfulness, thinking styles and traps; all of which help them face and overcome challenges.
This positive emotion education is invaluable in establishing an anti-bullying culture. The College's anti-bullying strategy provides our community with clear definitions and guidelines about our procedures for dealing with bullying when it is identified. By promoting positive behaviours and teaching anti-bullying strategies that can help our girls stand up for themselves in difficult situations, our proactive approach is affirmed. Moreover through developing this social confidence in our girls and engaging in restorative approaches to relationships, we believe a respectful community will flourish.
In 2011 the College became signatories of the Kanderstag Declaration - a landmark international agreement about the nature and scope of the bullying problem which offers guiding principles to inform future planning. KanderstegDeclaration.pdf
Current parents, staff and students may access the College’s Positive Behaviour Policy and Anti-bullying Strategy at: http://www.mbc.qld.edu.au/myparent/policies-and-handbooks/pastoral-policies.
Practical Tools - Cyberbullying
The Australian Government's Cybersafety Help Button provides internet users, particularly children and young people, with easy online access to cybersafety information and assistance available in Australia. It offers counselling, reporting and educational resources to assist young people deal with online risks including cyberbullying, unwanted contact, scams and fraud, and offensive or inappropriate material. The help button has been downloaded onto all College computers. While many of our girls report cyber concerns to staff at the College, they can also access its services privately at anytime for help or advice about something unsafe or upsetting that they have encountered on the internet.
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