Pastoral care is the structures, practices and approaches that support the wellbeing and development of young people. (Calvert, 2009).
Student Home Groups meet every week and classes have been intentionally embedded in the school timetable. Activities range from hands-on guidance and support for new students transitioning to life at BSC, right through to providing assistance with time-management, social issues and learning pathway planning. Home Group is where pastoral care comes to life at Brunswick Secondary College.
The purpose of Homegroup is to promote and maintain a supportive environment and positive relationship between the teacher and students. This will serve to develop a sense of belonging and connectedness within the school and an environment that enables the whole student to thrive.
Homegroup sessions provide an opportunity for promoting and maintaining a supportive environment and positive relationships for all members of the school community. Through Homegroup:
Teachers can care for, monitor, support and advocate for students
Students voice opinions and ideas, have input into their learning and are empowered to be active leaders in the class, the school and the community
Teachers can support goal setting, progress reflection and goal review
Teachers and students can promote personal growth and social development
Teachers and students can celebrate achievements
Every student in Year 7 to Year 12 participates in activities across the five areas of Community, Student Voice, Celebrate, Social and Emotional Learning and Achieving Goals. Local and international research describes these areas as being key to providing a rich and meaningful pastoral care program.
In some cases, the activities are the same or similar at each year level, such as the expectation that you have a year level Celebration Day at the end of the year. In other cases, the activities are different, and are developed to be suitable to different ages or stages of development.