Relationships at the core of everything.
As a Catholic school relationships are at the heart of school life. When issues arise, we are committed to the values of reconciliation, restoration, and the right relationship. This is done in a way that promotes healing and supports healthy, positive relationships at all levels.
We are different from many other schools in choosing to have a fully RESTORATIVE JUSTICE culture.
Restorative conferences seek to answer 3 key questions:
- What did you do?
- Who have you affected or hurt?
- How are you going to fix it?
“Relationship is the key. It encourages you to think about resolving things rather than bottling up negative thoughts.”
“The restorative philosophy encourages honesty because once the focus is on the incident and not the person, the culture of blame disappears.”
“Restorative justice is one of the best things to have happened at our school because it has helped friends stay together. Friendships have not been destroyed when some actions went too far. The restorative conversation helped friends to front up.”
“A restorative approach requires courage because it’s more difficult to face someone than just brew over the incident. The good thing about the restorative chat is you really understand how the victim feels.”
Restorative Justice helps boys develop their emotional awareness and most importantly their empathy towards others. It gives boys the tools to use language which might normally be foreign to them. This language is going to make a better teenager, a better friend, a better partner, and one day a better father!
St Thomas of Canterbury Colleges Pastoral care system is underpinned by the values of the school. Through explicit teaching of the values and our restorative philosophy, we aim to make sure the dignity and respect of each person in the school community are considered fundamental in the entire educational process. Pastoral care infuses all aspects of school life. It is concerned with maximising learning and growth and developing holistic beliefs, values, attitudes, knowledge, skills and practices to enable all to become inner-directed, contributing members of society.
A Boys School
As a school for boys, we are able to focus on boys’ needs and learning styles and to provide important role models in our staff and senior students for the junior boys on their journey to becoming young men. We have a caring and supportive pastoral environment and, through our restorative justice philosophy and practice, aim to produce students who will be loving partners, caring fathers and connected citizens.
A Multicultural School
Our pastoral care system also caters to the diversity of students in our College. We are able to wrap appropriate care and cultural protocols around our students according to their needs. We have staff specifically designated to walk alongside our Maori, Pasifika and International students.
A School Big in Spirit
There is a special spirit at St Thomas’. Students leave the College with great affection for the staff and their time there and are very loyal to the school.
Our smaller size enables us to foster a more intimate, relaxed relationship between staff and students which contributes to the maturity and self-assurance of our graduating students, who are men for the modern world. Students feel they have a genuine voice in the College through their student leadership team and student council and have ready and open access to the adult leadership team of St Thomas’.
Students are organised into four house groups with mixed ages from years 7-13. These house groups are then broken down into small mentor groups into approximately 12-15 students. This builds and maintains engagement with one teacher who keeps a close eye on all pastoral and learning matters and cares for the student right through their schooling. Mentors meet four times each week with their mentor group. During this time they map academic goals and progress, but also keep an eye on the student from a holistic perspective. The mentor teacher will meet once a term with the student and parents for a progress conference.
Parents and students receive a progress report around key competencies every second week along with comments from time to time from subject teachers regarding progress, issues, or upcoming assessments. House Deans will identify any students at risk and contact parents. At the end of each term, a conference document is issued on the student’s progress and results which forms the basis of the conference meeting. In addition, parents will have 24/7 access through a parent portal into our student management system to see their son’s progress.
A strength in our pastoral system is the number of student leadership opportunities. These empower our students and give them a voice in the running of the college. All leadership opportunities provide real service to the school community and all students in these roles are provided with leadership development. This can include leadership camps and for our head boys leadership development in Australia with the College Captains from the 55 Edmund Rice Schools. For our junior students, there are significant opportunities in leadership including the school council which has a major influence on the running of the school. Alongside the school council, we also have a HIP committee (health in peers) and peer mediators.
If you have a concern
Whether the concern is Pastoral or Learning your first point of contact is your son’s mentor teacher. House Deans will become involved where the issue or concern is more serious or ongoing.
Our Attendance Officer is Lynley Gibson firstname.lastname@example.org
How to notify absences
When your son is away from school for any reason you must ring the College on 3487010, then dial 1 for the Attendance Office. Information required:
- Your name
- Your boy’s name
- His Mentor class and Year
- The reason he is away
(whether he is only away for one period during the day or is sick, you must ring in DAILY if he is absent).
How to notify leaving school during school hours
If your son is needing to leave school for an appointment, he requires a note from a parent and he MUST sign out at the front office.
Absence during term time for extended holidays is strongly discouraged and regarded by the Ministry of Education as an unjustified absence. Contact the attendance officer or the front office for more information.
House Groups and Points
Houses provide friendly, competitive behaviour with a huge sense of pride, passion, and loyalty. At St Thomas’ boys are placed in one of the four houses:
Competitions are held throughout the year to find which house is the strongest each year. Houses provide friendly, competitive behaviour with a huge sense of pride, passion, and loyalty.
The Counselling service at STC is for students, staff, and parents. It is a confidential and professional service.
Difficulties such as depression, anxiety, anger management, grief, social skills, addictions, conflict resolution, bullying, adjusting to change, human development, sexuality, career direction, and home and family issues are all helped by the service.
The counseling service also makes referrals to mental health services and child protection agencies.
Counselor: Brian Knopp M.Ed MNZAC and part-time Karl Belcher.