“I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” John 10.10
The Pastoral Care of students has always been a feature of St Mark’s Coptic Orthodox College. The word ‘pastoral’ is derived from the Latin pastor or shepherd referring to Jesus, the Good Shepherd who cares for his flock. Pastoral Care refers to the total care of the student (holistic approach) and is based upon a belief in the dignity of the person. In our school, it is expressed through:
- The establishment of an effective care network for every student,
- The provision of satisfying and fulfilling learning experiences within a safe, encouraging, and compassionate environment, and
- The development of quality relationships within the total school community.
Everyone in the College is involved in pastoral care. Pastoral care is not solely a responsibility for Roll Call teachers, Heads of House, College Fathers, or other specialist staff. Every member of staff (teaching and non-teaching) has a responsibility and is accountable for the pastoral care of students. The well-being and care of students is the core of the College’s teaching and learning program (curricular and co-curricular).
At St Mark’s College, we are committed to assisting each student to mature in every area – spiritually, intellectually, physically, socially and emotionally. We seek to establish structures and policies which will allow young people to experience “life to the full”. “Living life to the full” means the recognition and celebration of achievement and satisfaction, while also showing perseverance, resilience and the personal power required to manage difficult challenges.
To enable students to do this we:
- Promote the fostering of high quality interpersonal relationships between students, parents and staff as a responsibility shared by everyone.
- Foster students’ self-discipline and responsibility, wherein students grow progressively in their capacity to exercise moral judgement, democratic values and a concern for the common good.
- Provide a Pastoral Care program as a specific and planned means of helping students to value themselves and to experience well-being.
- Provide a comprehensive and high quality curriculum so that students are afforded the competence, confidence and right to participate in the cultural and productive life of society.
- Provide supportive organisation and administrative structures, which are responsive to the needs and well-being of students.
- Promote the relationships of trust, cooperation and partnership between the school and family members, and the maintenance by school personnel of respect for and sensitivity to diverse cultural values and family structures and issues.