St Mary’s College provides a rich pastoral care programme which supports our students as they enter and until they exit the College. St Mary’s values positive relationships and partnerships between the College, home and community. It provides for students in a safe, caring and enjoyable learning environment and a motivating and challenging educational environment.
From Edmund Rice’s life and vision, we as a college community believe in:
- The dignity of each person
- Seeing Christ revealed in each person
- A clear commitment to the poor and the marginalised
- A commitment to excellence in teaching and learning
- Partnership with families and the local church
- A commitment to our faith
These 6 characteristics form the foundation of our Student Welfare Program. The College strives to create the right environment that promotes the dignity of each person. St Mary’s recognises that developing the ‘whole person’ is an essential component of the educational learning process. The Charism of Edmund Rice calls us to provide academic, social and spiritual formation to the boys in our care. This can best be done in a safe and respectful community where people are willing to take risks in these areas and their opinions are valued. For students to feel safe and secure in their environment, they need to learn the value of complying with policies and procedures and how this will better equip them for their future.
The boys are given the opportunity to commit to the poor and marginalised through our social justice programs.
They are invited to participate in the religious life of the school through masses, liturgies and modelling Gospel values through the way they live and treat other community members.
The school promotes partnerships with families through numerous social activities, committees and volunteer opportunities.
St Mary’s College is proud to be a Catholic community of learners. Each person in this community has a role to play in our education. Education does not stop when you become an adult. Education is a lifelong process. Staff learn from the God given skills and abilities of students as much as students rely on the staff for their education. Together, as a community, the College supports and empowers people to grow to be the best they can.
St Mary’s College aims to enhance the development of school environment where young men feel safe, valued, engaged and purposeful.
There are a number of ways we do this, including:
- Senior Leadership opportunities
- Peer support
- School camps
- Financial support of local and international charities
- Support and participation in local community organisations
- Peer mentoring
- Merit opportunities.
- Social activities with surrounding colleges.
- Participation in community activities.
Such opportunities aim to:
- Encourage greater respect for one another
- Promote zero tolerance of bullying
- Build resilience
- Provide student leadership opportunities
- Cater for special needs
- Encourage support of charities
- Recognise achievements
Responsible Thinking Classroom (RTC)
The Responsible Thinking Classroom (RTC) provides the framework for the behaviour management policy of St Mary’s College. The aim of the process is to achieve disruption free classrooms and safe school grounds.
RTC has one basic rule, which is: “No one has the right to disrupt the rights of others.”
In our classrooms this means the teacher’s right to teach and a student’s right to learn cannot be disturbed by the actions of others. In the playground this means every student’s right to feel safe and free from harassment cannot be threatened by others. In Our school community this means all people, including students, who work in, or who support our school, have the right to be treated respectfully.
RTC emphasises that we are each responsible for our own behaviour.
How does the Process Work?
When a disruptive incident occurs, students at St Mary’s College will first be reminded of the rule and given a choice of where they want to be – either in the classroom or playground following the accepted rules or working in the RTC (Responsible Thinking Classroom).
If, after the reminder, there is a further disruption or breach of rules, the student loses the right to be in the classroom or playground and has chosen by his behaviour to go to the RTC. The process depends on the teacher respectfully asking the RTC questions and the student outlining the choices.
What are the rules?
The rules that apply in all circumstances in our College are:
Bring the right thing
Do the right thing
Say the right thing
These rules are based on the fact that we will respect the rights of others.
Show respect and use good manners
In this way we will not infringe on the rights of others.
How is RTC Used?
When a disruption or breach of the rules occurs in the classroom or in the grounds, the teacher will ask the following sequence of questions in a calm, respectful tone.
What are you doing?
What should you be doing?
What will happen if you disrupt again?
If there is a further disruption or if the student refuses to answer the question, the teacher will say: “I see you have chosen to go to the RTC.”
In using the RTC the teacher asks the student to outline his own choices or options. The teacher does not tell the student what to do. The student is then responsible for his own behaviour and the consequences that follow. If a major disruption occurs that effects the safety of others, then the boy is sent straight to the RTC.
What happens in the RTC?
The student works under supervision and is required to address the behaviour that was occurring in class or in the playground. The student is assisted by RTC staff to develop a plan to resolve any classroom conflict and to avoid further similar disruptions. The student is then required to negotiate re-entry to the class on the basis of this plan with the teacher. Students are responsible for completing classwork missed whilst in the RTC. The student does not go to the RTC as punishment, but as a consequence of behaviour choices. RTC staff will treat all students with respect and provide any assistance they may require in resolving the problem.
How do students Re-enter the class?
The following describes how we are educating our students in the negation process. Teachers follow these procedures when students approach them to discuss their plans for re-entry to class.
If we have a disagreement with, or hurt others in some way, it is necessary to negotiate a solution to the problem. When two parties negotiate, there are some important steps for each to follow. These are:
- Admin to any mistake or wrongdoing.
- Acknowledge the other person’s feelings.
- Explain your view of the problem.
- Listen to the other person’s point of view
- Agree on a solution or plan