OVERVIEW OF PASTORAL
CARE IN THE JUNIOR SCHOOL AT GLEN WAVERLEY
(May, 1995, for Wesley College
'Working Party on Pastoral Care')
Pastoral care is the overseeing and
guarding of the students' emotional, physical, social and educational well-being
insofar as it relates to the students' life at Wesley. It is aimed
at optimising the value of the students' education at the school and the
fullness of their lives thereafter. The 23rd Psalm is a useful guide.
Whilst the Head of Junior School
bears ultimate responsibility for the pastoral care of the students in
the Junior School, the key adults who carry out this care are the Homeroom
Teachers. They are not, nor should they be, the sole carers, but
they are the focus of the care provided for each student in their Homeroom
by all the adults and young people in the Wesley community.
Homeroom Teachers teach their
Homerooms for significant periods of time scaled according to the progressive
needs of the growing pre-adolescent for less singular, albeit just as caring,
Assistant Homeroom Teachers
help the Homeroom Teachers with their pastoral duties. As far as
possible, these teachers also teach the Homerooms.
Homerooms meet daily for approximately
ten minutes before going to their first lesson. Additionally, one
and a half periods per cycle are designated as Homeroom Periods.
In Years Five and Six, Homerooms
eat lunch together for five minutes at the end of Period Four and five
minutes at the beginning of lunchtime. Also in Years Five and Six,
Homeroom Teachers and/or Assistants are scheduled very predominantly to
teach their Homerooms for the first and last period each day.
As far as possible, in Year Seven,
Homeroom Teachers are expected to supervise the dismissal of their Homerooms
each day, or to arrange for it to be done. When timetabling, however,
the timetabler looks for opportunities in Year Seven to replicate the Years
Five and Six patterns for the beginnings and endings of days.
Homeroom Teachers (and occasionally
Assistant Homeroom Teachers) accompany their Homerooms to Assemblies,
Chapels and annual camps.
All these measures enable Homeroom
Teachers and their Assistants to come to know the students in their Homerooms
Another useful strategy in this process
is the involvement of the Homeroom Teachers and their Assistants in the
life of the school. Although this involvement is not linked to
Homeroom pastoral care duties exclusively, there are many occasions where
teachers interrelate with members of their Homerooms and their families.
Whilst Homeroom Teachers are paramount
in the daily care of the students, there are also formalised connections
by which this care can be provided jointly.
The Head of Junior School, the Chaplain,
colleagues and the school's counsellors and other members of the Student
Services staff are freely available for consultation and assistance.
They, too, have connections (e.g., the Head of Campus, the Principal, external
professionals) who can assist.
The Record Book and the telephone
provide daily and immediate contact with parents which can be instigated
by the Homeroom Teacher or the parent.
Additionally, formal parent-teacher
interviews are conducted early in the year in order to consult regarding
the students' initial progress. Beyond these, Homeroom Teachers and
parents are encouraged to arrange ad hoc consultations whenever the need
Formal written reports, including
a "Homeroom Teacher's Report", are forwarded to parents in June and December.
These reports are written by the students' teachers and are overseen by
the Homeroom and Assistant Homeroom Teachers, Head of Junior School and
Head or Deputy Head of Campus. A written response is invited from
Added to these opportunities for
teacher-parent contact, functions such as the annual Junior School Chapel
Service, Homeroom Dinner and new parents' Cocktail Party are aimed at enhancing
between Homeroom Teachers and the families of the students in their
The Head of Junior School, the Head
of Campus and the Deputy Head of Campus interview all new students
with a view to their whole well-being when they arrive at the school and
all information is directed to the Head of Junior School. Before
each year commences, the Head of Junior School also consults with the Heads
of the Preparatory and Middle Schools to receive (and give) similar information
regarding current students.
With all this information, the Head
of Junior School annually forms the Homerooms based on the known and perceived
compatabilities between the students and between the students and their
Homeroom Teacher. The Homerooms are formed on a pastoral care
base with information passed on to the Homeroom Teacher.
Finally, pastoral care pervades the
entire educational experience at Wesley and as such the school's infra-structure
should take constant account of this fundamental imperative.