Pastoral Care is a uniquely Christian concept, anchored in the metaphor that describes God's relationship to us. ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want’ Psalm 23:1. Here the heart of Pastoral Care is revealed in the capacity to meet and sustain a person at their place of individual need and desire. Shepherds lead, nurture and protect.
This understanding is enriched in the gospel story of the Shepherd of a hundred sheep who notices one missing, and searches until that one is restored to the flock. This reveals the real challenge of pastoral care, which is to identify individual needs in the context of the many and provide that which is required to successfully establish each person in a vital relationship with the community.
It has been a particular emphasis of Swan Christian College to work diligently to provide a safe and nurturing community that encourages students to respect themselves and others. We understand that the ability to respond to an individual’s educational, social and emotional need should never be lost amongst the press of the ninety-nine. The goal of pastoral care is to provide the framework and encouragement that enables students to recognise and use their abilities with compassion, character and confidence in their community.
Pastoral Care Across the College
In the Junior School students are nurtured within their class group. Teachers in each class work in a team with the Key Teacher and the Head of the Junior School, to monitor academic progress, counsel about individual problems and foster personal development. The Chaplain, College Psychologist, Special Needs Coordinator and Dean of Students provide specialist support.
The socio-emotional and spiritual well being of students is seen as a high priority in the College. The Mentor Group and Mentor Teacher are important elements of stability and support for students and they stay with the same Mentor Teacher from Year 7-12. The relationship with the Mentor Teacher is central to this care. Pastoral care is overseen by the Deans of Year and the Educational Support Coordinator, Chaplain, School Counsellor, Psychologist and the Deputy Head of Middle School provide specialist support.
In the Senior School, Deans of Year are responsible for the pastoral care, discipline and uniform of the students in their year group. Deans of Year listen, encourage and support students, while also expecting high standards in appearance and behaviour. Using a coaching philosophy, they inspire and empower the students to take responsibility for their own decisions and together with the Educational Support Coordinator, College Counsellor, Chaplain, College Psychologist and Head of Senior School, ensure that every individual student is provided with the highest level of support.