Pastoral Care Policy
Luttrellstown Community College endeavours to provide an environment of excellence and care for each member of its school community. The quality of our pastoral care programme will create an atmosphere of mutual respect in which students will feel safe and secure and know that they valued and cherished as they learn, grow and develop. Our Pastoral Care Programme forms the basis of and permeates all aspects of the curriculum.
Goals of Pastoral Care Programme
- To create a safe, secure and well-structured school environment where all members will feel valued and respected.
- To provide help, support, advice and encouragement to all members of the school community.
- To create an atmosphere of mutual respect where students will learn to be understanding and sensitive to the needs of others.
- To enable students to develop and learn and know that they can offer unique and valuable contributions to our community.
- To prioritise the nurturing of warm and positive relationships between students, staff, parents and the wider community.
- To build self-esteem and self- confidence within each student and provide opportunities for each student to succeed.
- To foster strong home/school links where parents will play an integral part in school life and inform the school of any difficulties that students may be experiencing.
At the centre of our pastoral framework are the pastoral roles, programmes and procedures necessary to ensure we realise our goals.
The subject teacher is focused on the whole child and their growth and development. They conduct their classes in a well-structured and controlled environment and the relationship between students and subject teacher is one of mutual respect. The subject teacher may refer matters of concern to class tutors, year heads, guidance counsellor or management.
The class tutor undertakes the role of caring for a particular class group with responsibility in the pastoral and academic areas. They will meet with the class group regularly and form close relationships with students and parents. Class tutors will have access to relevant information on students and will oversee the student journal and monitor notes. They will deliver the SPHE Programme (Social, Personal and Health Education), encourage class involvement in all activities, and promote class spirit and cohesion.
Year Head (Initially the Principal will fulfill this role)
The year head has both a pastoral and behavioural role. They encourage good behaviour and develop strategies to acknowledge excellence, effort and contributions to the school spirit. They meet regularly with class tutors to monitor student development and ensure that each student is working to their potential. They take a caring interest in each student and liase with parents to discuss matters of concern.
Guidance counselling is a key part of the pastoral care programme, it is offered on an individual or small group basis as part of a developmental learning process and at moments of personal crisis. Counselling may include personal counselling, educational counselling, career counselling or a combination of all three.
- The main aim of personal counselling is to assist students in their growth process by exploring a range of coping strategies so that they can better deal with the problems they face both now and in the future in order that they can become fully functioning members of society. Personal counselling incorporates a wide range of concerns including addressing specific problems, coping with a crisis, improving relationships and self-esteem, dealing with conflicts, exploring thoughts and feelings and developing coping strategies.
- Educational Guidance targets all students and is administered in class groups and also on an individual basis. It includes providing information concerning subject choices; consequences of subject choices and levels for future education and career options. It includes providing students with information on syllabus demands of particular subjects and assisting students in choosing educational programmes provided by the school. Study skills classes are provided each year to students to assist them with devising a study plan and to motivate them to commit to this plan.
- The purpose of career guidance is to equip students with the skills and information to make informed decisions on future career plans. The transition from second level education to further educational training or employment can be made relatively smoothly when students receive a thorough grounding in career planning. Successful career planning much include setting goals and objectives and investigating future career planning.
SPHE - Social, Personal, Health Education
The SPHE Programme is designed to provide students with an opportunity for reflection and discussion on topics that are pertinent to their well-being and development. It is in this class that an induction programme will be rolled out to our new students.
A wide range of issues that may be of concern to students will be addressed. These include:
- The transition from primary to secondary school
- Settling into secondary school - organising lockers, desks, school bags, and homework.
- Homework tips and study skills.
- Examination advice
- Addressing issues of bullying
- Raise awareness of bullying
- Procedures for dealing with bullying
- Forming friendships
- Belonging and Integrating
- Physical Health
- Healthy eating
- Body care
- Emotional Health
- Safety at home
- Safety in school
- Road safety
- Looking after yourself
- Substance Abuse
- Smoking and its effects
- Alcohol and drug abuse
The overall aim of the S.P.H.E programme is to enable students to develop a framework for responsible decision-making and to promote physical, mental and emotional health and well-being.
- Respecting yourself and others
- The reproductive system
- Gender stereotyping
Continuous Professional Development
The school is committed to providing the necessary professional development for all school personnel in the area of pastoral care. A pastoral care team will be established and trained to deal with sensitive issues. There will also be annual opportunities for the full staff to review the effectiveness of the pastoral care programme.