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Caring for the Whole Child

At St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, students' pastoral care and wellbeing is the unifying focus for the spiritual, social and emotional aspects of school life.

The desired outcomes of successful pastoral care at St Thomas More are:

  • The living of faith values will be developed and nurtured;
  • Self-esteem and resilience of members of the community will be enhanced;
  • Peaceful environments will be created through affirmation and reconciliation;
  • A sense of belonging, purpose and justice will be created; and
  • Social responsibility and citizenship will be a feature.

We understand pastoral care to be an attitude of respect, care and understanding which each member of the school community shows to one another. Each person in the school community is aware of the rights and responsibilities they owe to that community and to the individuals in it.

Our teachers aim to lead students to a recognition of themselves as growing and developing persons. Our ultimate aim as educators is self-discipline where the children gradually take responsibility for their own behaviour.

For this growth to take place, children require guidance and opportunities for decision making through their own life experiences – be they at home, school or the wider community. School and home must work together in developing these lifelong skills in our children.

Did You Know: At St Thomas More, we have a dedicated pastoral support staff member, who works closely with school and families to support each other in all aspects of school and life. A pastoral care fund exists at school to support families in provision of everyday necessities should they be required.

Our Pastoral Care Foundations

Pastoral care at St Thomas More is based on the ideals of a Christian community. 

Pastoral care is love in action and is founded upon:

  • The loving concern God has always shown for his people throughout the history of salvation;
  • The value and uniqueness of the individual person created in the image of God;
  • The fact that ‘the Catholic School is committed to the development of the whole person, since in Christ, the Perfect Man, all human values find their fulfilment and unity’ (The Catholic School, 1977, n35);
  • The recognition that the ministry of each member of the school community contributes to the development of the climate of the school;
  • The understanding that, ‘the entire effort of the Catholic teacher is oriented towards an integral formation of each student’;
  • Our Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) 'Path to Life Framework', which contains 10 pathways for schools to help focus on areas of need in pastoral care through their school review and improvement process; and
  • Our Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) Student Pastoral Care and Wellbeing Policy.

Student Wellbeing

Student wellbeing is of the utmost importance at St Thomas More. We are eager to ensure that all our students enjoy a healthy mind, body and spirit, and we integrate a number of programs to support this.

Counselling for students and their families is also available from CatholicCare. A school counsellor visits the school regularly for individual sessions as well as advising and supporting staff on appropriate programs for small groups and classes. Read more about the school counselling available to students.

If a staff member or parent feels that counselling may help a student, they need to discuss this with the principal who may discuss this with the counsellor and/or parent and arrange the appropriate permission forms and questionnaires to be completed by parents and staff.

School Chaplaincy Program

A school chaplain is employed two days each week at St Thomas More to work with individual children and groups of children in supporting their social and emotional needs.  Some programs led and organised by the school chaplain include ‘Season For Growth’, ‘Rock and Water’ and Breakfast Club. Skills in developing and maintaining friendships as well as developing resilience is often the focus of such sessions.

Supporting Families

Living as an authentically Catholic community, we strive to be welcoming, inclusive and compassionate to all. In addition to the wellbeing of students at St Thomas More, the pastoral care and wellbeing of our parents and families is important to us and gives witness to our Catholic faith in action.

When families are in need of extra assistance, whether financial, emotional or otherwise, the school is here to provide support to families in a variety of ways while maintaining confidentiality and dignity.

Families are encouraged to speak with the principal or a member of the school leadership team if they feel they need support of any kind.

Read more about our partnership with parents in the Parent-School Partnership Framework