Pastoral care is a priority at Matthew Flinders Anglican College. The Pastoral Care Program is fully integrated throughout the College’s teaching, learning and structural organisation.
Indeed, our whole College community strives to effectively meet the personal, social, spiritual and academic needs of our students. The Program reflects our College core values of Courage, Respect, Integrity and Compassion.
Aims of Pastoral Care at Flinders
a. To promote positive relationships among students, teachers and adults other than teachers
b. To promote students’ wellness, personal and social development. We aim to develop people of courage, respect, compassion and integrity who demonstrate confidence, persistence, and resilience
c. To foster positive attitudes, connections and a sense of belonging. Students are supported to develop as informed citizens who are attuned to their environment, take responsibility for themselves and their actions, and serve their community.
d. To be inextricably linked with academic excellence and high-quality teaching and learning. We aim to develop people who are accomplished learners, self-directed and have a spirit of enquiry and adaptability in a fast-changing and information-rich world.
e. To develop ethical, aware and empowered citizens. We aim to develop people who are effective leaders who can empower others, communicate and collaborate well, and have the capacity to make significant and ethically grounded decisions.
At Flinders we set high expectations for our students and we are careful to ensure they have access to a strong support network. We ensure our students understand that they are seen, cared for, listened to, respected and supported by a strong and caring school community.
The pastoral and academic progress of every child is monitored closely by each class teacher or mentor, who are the cornerstone of pastoral care. Further support is provided through Heads of House, Year Level Co-ordinators, Heads of Sub-schools, College Chaplain, Counsellors and the wider Flinders community.
This support continues beyond graduation, as they transition to our alumni community as Old Flinderians.
Primary School Pastoral Care
The Primary School provides a comprehensive pastoral care program. The aim is for students to become well equipped to confidently and capably deal with social situations. Our teachers care, and explicitly teach social and emotional skills. This focus enables all students to be resilient, happy, engaged with learning, able to relate to a wide range of fellow students and adults, caring, compassionate and capable of accepting responsibility.
During their journey through the Primary School, students are involved in and benefit from many wellbeing programs. These include the Orientation processes, Buddy Programs, Cross-Age Tutoring, Protective Behaviours, Friendly Schools and Families and Flinders Friends. Our Primary students, parents and staff are also able to access the expertise of our dedicated counsellors. These professionals are able to assist with emotional difficulties, social difficulties, family issues, behaviour management problems and transition concerns.
At Flinders, every teacher is a pastoral care teacher and focused on the wellbeing of every student. The Head of Junior Primary and Head of Senior Primary lead the pastoral focus in the Primary School, working with parents, teachers and students to ensure our students’ social and emotional needs are a core focus.
Secondary School Pastoral Care
In the Secondary School we educate students so that they may thrive. Our approach is both proactive and reactive, strengthening character and strategically building a range of other crucial skills. We aim to enable students to tackle the many challenges they will face, both at the College and in life.
During COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, our teachers went above and beyond to provide the stability, support and leadership that our students needed in these uncertain times. The senior students shared their reflections and noted their appreciation in this news story.
Our Pastoral Care network comprises:
- Head of Pastoral Programs
- Eight Houses of approximately 100 students spread over Years 7–12, each with a dedicated Head of House and six homeroom teachers. Members of the same family will all belong to the same House and form a close association with House staff. Houses are named after prominent Australians:
- Bradman House
- Chisholm House
- Helpmann House
- Mawson House
- McCubbin House
- Oliphant House
- Sutherland House
- Thiele House
- Year 7 Co-ordinator who attends to the specific needs of students in their first year of Secondary School
- Two full-time counsellors
- A full-time and dedicated College Chaplain
- Head of Middle School and Head of Senior School who assist with course selection and special considerations.
In addition, subject and co-curricular staff members, office staff and library and sickbay staff are significant points of contact for students and parents.
The Flinders WELL4LIFE Program
Students from Years 7–12 undertake a variety of formal lessons, activities and presentations related to personal and wellness development through our WELL4LIFE program. This program incorporates four dimensions that include the WELL4LIFE curriculum; Enterprise projects; Life Adventures and Leadership opportunities.
Our WELL4LIFE Curriculum seeks to develop students’ wellness knowledge and skills through the college’s homeroom program, Religion and Values Education (RAVE) and Health and Physical Education (HPE) core subjects. Our homeroom mentors deliver age-appropriate programs from Years 7-12 that focus on developing the capacities for students to Learn and Live Well.
All year levels engage with activities that address the 7 dimensions of wellness. In addition to these broad foundations, the unique milestone events associated with each year level are addressed through a range of authentic learning adventures that prepare students for life and learning transitions within and beyond their time at Flinders.