Junior School Pastoral Care
PreK - Year 6
The pastoral care at Radford College Junior School considers all pupils as individuals. It is primarily concerned with the welfare, care and needs of all our students and makes a vital contribution to the ethos of the Junior School.
Using the Learner Profile and Primary Years Programme (PYP) attitudes and skills as a solid foundation, the school establishes a framework within which responsibility, initiative and rewarding relationships can flourish. Students are openly encouraged to develop a sense of self-worth, respect and tolerance for others in an environment where they feel safe, secure and respected.
It is not something that can exist in isolation and it is present in all aspects of school life. It is used to enable pupils to achieve their full potential.
The purpose of what is written here is to elucidate some of the ways in which the school aims to encompass the personal, social, spiritual and academic wellbeing of students and teachers at our school. As an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School offering the PYP our approach to pastoral care is embedded in the essential elements of the PYP.
Aim: To provide a purposeful, imaginative and enjoyable learning environment
The development of positive relationships between all members of the Radford Community is an essential component of our Pastoral Care Program. Our relationships are formed through an attitude of mutual respect where all students are treated equally. The classroom teacher is the primary carer for each student in his/her class. The relationship between the classroom teacher, the student and the family is the key to effective pastoral care. Teachers are urged to learn quickly four or five things about each child and to use this as a platform for building a positive relationship.
Specialist teachers play a vital role in effective pastoral care. They are responsible for each student while they are teaching them and must liaise closely with the child’s classroom teacher should any issues arise. Specialist teachers are responsible for following up on consequences of inappropriate behaviour that occurs in their classes.
Our parents are important partners in the effective support of our students. Open and regular communication is vital in fostering this relationship. At Radford College Junior School, parents are informed and involved in the initial phases of any pastoral concern – telephone first, then email. It is through this proactive approach that we are able to manage issues effectively.
Our students are involved in a Buddy Class initiative. Each student is allocated a buddy with whom they meet once a fortnight. The focus of this meeting varies from specific curricula activities to more social visits, although the overarching goal of fostering a positive relationship with a student from a different year level remains.
A safe and supportive physical environment is crucial in supporting pastoral care at Radford College Junior School. Our playground has been specifically designed to provide a range of spaces for students to play.
• Active play: JA Mackinnon oval, top oval, front grass (sporting equipment is able to be borrowed for use in these spaces).
• Playground equipment: Primary & Senior Primary site as well as free standing equipment in the ELC.
• Hard surfaces: concrete is to be found throughout the Primary site, Gold Quad and Senior Primary Quad are available for handball and other smaller ball games. Table Tennis tables are available for use by students during play times in the Primary Playground area.
• Quiet activities: Gold Inquiry Space, JS Library, Collegians’ Circle.
Each play space is supervised by a duty teacher; their role to monitor play and ensure it is safe. Our teachers employ a policy of relaxed vigilance using the time to build positive relationships with the students of our school whilst remaining visible and alert to any situations that may arise.
In the PYP, collaborative planning enhances the climate of inquiry, provides a more coherent curriculum and assures the rigor of the students’ learning experiences. It is a requirement of the PYP that time is allocated for teachers to plan collaboratively.
Collaborative planning is an active process through which the intended and the actual curriculum and instructional program are captured. Through the planning process teachers are able to map and align the Australian Curriculum across the year and foster dialogue amongst their peers.
The Units of Inquiry and the children’s voices are the central starting point for our planning and the importance of noticing, recognising and responding to the explicit and implicit teaching moments that occur through an in-depth investigation are also valued. In order to authentically achieve this, the process of back mapping the curriculum is encouraged.
Aim: To nurture student potential
Our Pastoral Care Program is authentically embedded into our curriculum through the essential elements of the PYP. The Learner Profile and Attitudes are purposefully mapped to our Units of Inquiry to ensure explicit development and are used spontaneously as issues/situations arise. The Transdisciplinary Skills also provide a vehicle for fostering appropriate skills, in particular social skills.
Students in Years 3 and 5 are involved in an Outdoor Education experience. Our camps are closely aligned with the Learner Profile and Attitudes and are used to assist in consolidating skills of teamwork, resilience and independence.
Through established relationships, a number of adults and other students should form interactions with each child. This is essential in supporting the welfare of every student. We actively promote positive relationships between teachers, pupils and other school-based staff. Support is given to the professional development of staff, sharing and learning from best practice and all members of Radford College Junior School are encouraged to reflect regularly on their own work.
KidsMatter Primary is a whole-school approach used to improve children’s mental health and wellbeing that has been tailored to meet the needs of Radford College Junior School. Through KidsMatter Primary, we have committed to undertake a two-to three-year cyclical process to plan and take action to build on our success and continue to act as a positive community; one that is founded on respectful relationships and a sense of belonging and inclusion, dedicated to:
• social and emotional learning (including evidence-based social and emotional learning programs);
• working authentically with parents, carers and families;
• providing support for students who may be experiencing mental health difficulties.
Aim: To foster personal values and attributes
Our approach to Pastoral Care is embedded in the essential elements of the PYP. Through a focus on Attitudes and Transdisciplinary Skills we work towards our goal of fostering human beings who reflect the IB Learner Profile and uphold the mission of the IB.
Effective behaviour management is essential in developing an environment where students feel safe. Appropriate behaviour is identified and celebrated whilst inappropriate behaviour is managed in a positive and consistent manner.
Aim: To encourage an understanding and acceptance of Christianity as the spiritual and moral basis of life.
Our Religious and Values Education (RaVE) / Philosophy program allows students to explore values through the context of scripture. Teachers are able to flexibly focus on relevant issues each week as well as allowing students to engage with scripture through inquiry. Questioning, thinking and discussion skills are explicitly taught and applied throughout the curriculum.
Mindfulness and wellbeing is an integral part of our curriculum and children and teachers alike are encouraged to spend some time each day in reflection.
Children participate in Chapel services on a weekly basis, allowing them to explore personal beliefs and developing an awareness of spirituality. At these times, the Christian faith is presented as a meaningful and relevant way of life.
At Radford College Junior School, we believe it is the right of every child to be provided with equal opportunity to reach his/her educational potential.
The main aims of the Student Diversity Team are:
- to identify difficulties and strengths early
- to offer the appropriate level of support to students whilst ensuring a curriculum that challenges the gifted student
- to oversee the assessments of students
- to monitor individual progress maintaining regular communication with class teachers, parents, outside tutors and other professionals.
Support in the Junior School is designed to provide for students at both the remedial and extension levels. This is consistent with both the school’s philosophy and the principles of the PYP where by all students have the right to develop their full potential and to feel secure in the knowledge that individual differences are recognised and valued and that the necessary support is available when applicable. In helping students to acquire the tools necessary to access the PYP curriculum, the program supports the establishment of a strong foundation for future learning.
At present, the Junior School has 1.5 full time equivalent Learning Support Teachers and 1.7 full time equivalent Teacher Aide time. Counsellors work 4 days per week and are also supported by a part time Multilit teacher and other professionals such as Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists. A Student Diversity Team consisting of a Coordinator, two Counsellors and support teachers meets each week with the Head of Junior School and class teachers where appropriate.
The planning process used within the Junior School requires all teachers to indicate how their literacy and numeracy programs are differentiated to meet the needs of all students. Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) are written for all funded students and at the discretion of the Student Diversity Team.