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 as 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 in to 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 students 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 sons progress.
A strength in our pastoral system is the number of the 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.
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 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 with at the front office.
Absence during term time for extended holidays is strongly discouraged and regarded by the Ministry of Education as unjustified absence. Contact the attendance officer or the front office for more information.