Our school community is a place where Christ reigns and reflects the love He has for each one of us. Imitating Christ and the Church, we seek to radiate His love for the less privileged and those in need. Whilst ensuring that the welfare of all is safe guarded, special attention is given to students who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. La Salle is part of the Church’s pastoral ministry and shares in its mission to proclaim the good news.
At La Salle pastoral care forms the basis of how the school community provides support to all its members. Caring for the individual student permeates every aspect of La Salle’s life as a school. The aim is to recognise and meet the special needs of each student:
- We believe that all students have the right to be safe and happy and an obligation to respect that others have the same right.
Pastoral care involves both formal and informal processes which cater for the varying needs and rights of the students.
- We work collaboratively within these processes to ensure the spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing of the La Salle community.
- We aim to give our students a sound support base – to create for them a place that is safe, secure and special.
- We also intend to provide them with opportunity and direction - to invest within our students the attitudes, values and skills necessary to be competitive and confident in a competitive world.
- We aim to create and foster an environment in which students can develop productive, positive and enjoyable relationships between staff, students, parents and the wider community.
In such an environment, students can learn by developing a positive attitude towards Academy life. La Salle seeks to build a sense of individual worth and pride in each student whilst creating a level of confidence in the skills which will make them successful lifelong learners.
The ultimate aim of the Pastoral Care policy and practice is to enable each student to reach his/her full potential. The Academy creates for the students a safe and happy learning environment, where positive attitudes are fostered:
- Each member of the staff becomes a valued presence to the students – a presence that supports and cares for each person in our school community.
- Each teacher can provide a role model for the students – a model of a mature adult, listening, reconciling, compassionate, guiding and inspiring.
Our Aims Are Simple
- We want a safe, secure and welcoming school in which everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
- We do not want bullying. This means that no one should be hurt, threatened, frightened or harassed either physically or verbally. Intimidation, exclusion, being sworn at, humiliation, stand over tactics, gossip, name calling, teasing, stealing, pushing and fighting have no place in our school.
- We want everyone - teachers, students and parents - to deal with bullying, which may involve reporting incidents, whether they are victims or witnesses.
- We want to ensure anyone can protest against bullying and find support from all sections of the school.
Pastoral care and students’ welfare are the responsibility of every member of staff, who work collegially to develop a strong community spirit inspired by the Gospel values as outlined in our Mission Statement.
Pastoral Care Programs
Respect for oneself and for others underpins La Salle’s Pastoral Policy. In order to achieve this, a comprehensive Pastoral Care system is in existence. This seeks to encourage the positive efforts made by students in the many areas of school life and endeavours to discourage those aspects of behaviour which may negatively affect the right of others. The Academy prides itself on the Pastoral programmes, counselling and learning support initiatives, which are supported by a strong welfare/discipline policy.
In summary, there are a number of aspects to the Pastoral Care Policy.
- Students are arranged into Year Groups, each with a Year Co-ordinator whose primary concern is the pastoral welfare and progress (Academic, Social and Spiritual) of the students in that year. The Year Co-ordinator rewards positive behaviour and discourages misbehaviour of the students. The students in each year group also meet daily with their Homeroom teachers. The Year Co-ordinators keep regular contact with parents and works closely with the Homeroom team.
- Homeroom groups meet each morning. Each Year Team has developed a Pastoral Programme specific to that year. The induction and interaction of students of various ages is seen as very important. Senior Students are given the opportunity to care for and help younger students; they in turn, get to know and relate to the senior students in a friendly and supportive atmosphere; they have an older peer to relate to at school. This relationship helps provide a positive spirit throughout La Salle.
- All students can expect to receive positive reinforcement whilst at La Salle. We have devised an extensive merit certificate policy which rewards academic/co- curricular excellence and positive social behaviour. The acquisition of merit certificates is a formal acknowledgement by staff highlighting the importance of respect for oneself and others and to build the sense of individual worth in students. Major achievements are awarded at school assemblies. Principal's recipients also attend morning tea with their parents and the Principal.
- Any behaviour which causes distress to others and prevents other students from learning or staff from fulfilling this goal is actively discouraged. The rule is simple:
Teachers are here to Teach and Students are here to learn.
Sanctions are imposed on students who continually engage in behaviours which disrupt other student’s learnings or prevent teacher’s from teaching. The aim is fostering self-discipline in these students. Sanctions include:
- if the unacceptable behaviour continues, internal and external suspension.
Particular attention is paid to bullying. The Academy’s Anti Bullying policy allows for active intervention to occur where the problem is notified and the causes of the problem are identified and addressed. Parents and students are encouraged to report any bullying behaviour immediately to the Principal.
Our foundation policy is "Hands Off". Any sanctions/consequences imposed are a reminder of the rights of others and the consequent responsibilities of the student to respect their rights. It is expected that they will lead to students acquiring self-discipline, in preparation for life.
- Partnership in education is the key to success. Parents can expect that staff will readily contact them about positive and negative aspects of their son's/daughter’s holistic education. This contact may be via letter, telephone or in the student's diary. Parents are encouraged to contact staff to discuss any concerns over their son/daughter.
- La Salle’s discipline code is based on student numbers. Because we are a medium size school the Principal and Assistant Principal are able to take an active role in Pastoral Care matters to help secure a safe environment.
- The great majority of staff are members of Pastoral Care teams. Teachers working with the Pastoral Year Co-ordinator support the ongoing pastoral needs of students in the various year groups. Year Co-ordinators liaise with parents and teachers to overcome problems. Special guidance is offered by a part-time Counsellor.
More serious problems may be addressed and resolved by referral to specialist advisors.
Curriculum is designed to meet the interests and abilities of individual students. Students with special needs are assisted through the Special Education Program in the junior school involving one to one assistance in literacy and numeracy by Teachers’ Aides in a number of classes.
Other activities include:
- House groups
- Year assemblies
- Peer Support Programme. Year 10 students undergo a training program in year 9 and use these skills to help year 7 students the next year to fit into La Salle. This program takes place in term 1.
- Whole School Assemblies: These are held each Monday morning and are designed to get the week off to a good start by being together as a community each week. Awards are given out and information for the week is disseminated.
- Community activities. Community based charity organizations usually involving the middle and senior students. This involves collections for Red Cross, Salvation Army, St Vincent de Paul, Amnesty International, Cancer Council and other organizations. We have periodic mufti days so as all students get a chance to be involved. In line with these activities our choir participates in musicals at different venues in Lithgow and drama productions are also held.
- Years 7 and 9 have overnight camps for social and spiritual activities.
- Year 8 has an outdoor excursion aimed at building self-esteem.
- Year 12 has a three day Retreat.
- Years 7 to 10 have Reflection days based on spiritual themes.
An active Student Leadership team and School Representative Council allow students to develop leadership skills.