We believe that ‘who’ a child becomes is the most important outcome of education. A well-rounded, caring, confident young person, with a positive attitude, can be successful in personal relationships, in a career and in the community.
So important is the notion of character and values development, the Howard Government’s Values Education Good Practice Schools Project allocated funding of $29.7 million to help make values education a core part of schooling.
Under the National Framework for Values Education in Australian Schools, the nine agreed Values for Australian Schooling are:
- care and compassion
- doing your best
- fair go
- honesty and trustworthiness
- understanding, tolerance and inclusion
At A.B. Paterson College these values have always been integral to the way we approach personal development, and our practice already reflects the government’s notion that ‘ education is as much about building character as it is transferring skills, knowledge and the thirst for learning’.
Strength of character is developed over time through the experiences we have – especially those that challenge us – through interactions with others, through developing positive values and goals, and through the leadership of healthy role models.
A.B.Paterson College uses the Virtues programme as the foundation of its personal development lessons. The Virtues chart focuses on elements of good character identified across race and religion as essential to good character development. Our pastoral care network is designed to support that personal journey with teachers actively involved to help students achieve a well balanced education.
Learning who we are is part of our spiritual journey, whether approached through formal faith development or secular means. At A.B. Paterson College we take an active role in developing strength of character through encouraging respect for self and others, leadership challenges, and formal and informal programmes of personal growth.
Our pastoral care network is designed to support that personal journey.
Formal Pastoral Care
Senior School – Years 7-12
Students are placed in one of four Houses and, in the Senior School, pastoral care is organised through House Tutor groups of 20 or so students from Year 7 through to Year 12.
This vertical grouping allows older students to act as role models and offer support for younger students in a family style environment. Students remain in the same House group with the same House Tutor, where possible, through to Year 12, unless there are good reasons for making a change.
The House tutor monitors each student’s overall progress and development, ensures they are involved in co-curricular activities to enhance their sense of belonging and identity, and establishes contact with families.
Some formal programmes are run in either House Tutor group or Year groups, as appropriate, including conflict resolution, drug education, relationship building, etiquette, social skills and community involvement.
House Tutors and students are supported by the Head of House and the Head of Senior School who handle behavioural issues, and by the College Counsellor.
Junior School – Prep to Year 6
Students are placed in one of four Houses, though their participation in these is restricted to House Carnivals and competitions. Because of the different ages, and developmental needs of children, the class teacher and Head of Junior School monitor children’s daily and overall progress in close contact with family.
In Prep to Year 3, the classroom teacher is the main carer and provides opportunities for personal and social growth.
In Years 4-6, issues of friendship, family, drug education and conflict resolution are dealt with in class as they arise, as is the process in Prep to Year 3. The Virtues programme provides the foundation for character development.
Year 6 students undertake training in Peer Mentoring to assist other Junior School students, and as part of leadership training.
The College has a qualified Educational and Counselling Psychologist, and a Careers and Personal Counsellor on staff to assist students with any necessary social and psychological support, as well as guidance with regard to personal, family, friendship, emotional and academic difficulties. Parents have full access to engaging the counselling and support services for their child.