All students enrolled at St Joseph’s College have the right to feel safe and be safe. The wellbeing of children in our care will always be our first priority and we do not and will not tolerate child abuse. We aim to create a child-safe and child-friendly environment where children are free to enjoy life to the full without any concern for their safety. Learning and wellbeing are inextricably linked - students learn best when their wellbeing is optimised, and they develop a strong sense of wellbeing when they experience success in learning. St Joseph’s College is committed to creating positive respectful school cultures and embedding student wellbeing in all aspects of school life through connecting the learning environment, curriculum and pedagogy, policies, procedures and partnerships enabling all to have life in abundance (John 10:10).
Whilst it is the role of all staff members to foster the wellbeing of our students, each Homeroom in Waterford and Westcourt are part of a year level under the care of two Year Level Coordinators. The vertical house system in Mt Sion means the senior students maintain their homeroom teacher from Year 10-12 and are led by a House Coordinator. The Homeroom teacher will usually be the first point of contact between home and school where there is a concern about a student’s welfare or progress, or for the explanation of a student absence. The Year Level/House Coordinator oversees the general wellbeing and behaviour of the cohort who are supported by the Heads of Waterford, Westcourt or Mt Sion respectively. The Deputy Principal Student and Staff Wellbeing provides the next level or support and leadership in our Wellbeing structure. Staff Wellbeing Representatives in each sub school provide support with wellbeing initiatives and guidance for staff with wellbeing concerns.
The Head of Student Services is a leadership role that is designed to write and implement our wellbeing program, provide support to students and families who are school refusing, provide guidance and support with Out of Home Care students and provide a link between our Wellness and our Wellbeing Teams.
The Wellness Team
Our Wellness team consists of three Psychologists and one Social Worker who are an integral part of the Wellbeing Team. Speciﬁcally the Wellness Team provide: • Initial assessment and mental health support • Consultations with parents and staff • Targeted programs to meet student needs • Advice about and referral to support services available in the community • Support to Student Welfare Action Groups (SWAG) and Student Support Services Enrolment at the College indicates parental consent for student access to all student support services. Referrals to the Wellness Team are often made by staff and parents, but students are also welcome to self-refer. Frequently, contact is made with parents, and if there is serious risk of harm, steps are always taken to ensure the student’s safety.
How do students meet with a College clinician?
The college clinicians are located near the Career’s Ofﬁce. Students can ask their Homeroom teacher or member of staff to assist them to make contact with the college clinicians. Students or their parents/guardians can phone or email them directly.
Our Education Support proudly imbues our Edmund Rice philosophy of an inclusive approach, being respectful of diversity and the “profound belief in the equal dignity of persons.” This translates to championing all students regardless of background, ability or difference in ability. The establishment of this supportive and respectful environment is paramount to creating a framework for all students to thrive in both their learning and social interactions.
SJC education aims to develop a school culture that reflects care, concern and respect for diversity and learning.
Funding to support these goals is received from the Catholic Education Office through the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) process. This funding supports those who have a diagnosed or imputed disability which impacts on their learning in the regular classroom. Adjustments within the classroom occur to allow individual students to achieve and reach their potential in learning and their social connectedness with our SJC community.
Teachers and Education Support Officers working in the area of Educational Support, assist students by supporting individual, groups and teachers within the classroom.
The College has a diverse Educational Support Team which consists of an Educational Support Services Coordinator, Educational Support Teachers and Officers and NCCD Coordinator. With our ever increasing need to support students across the College, their vast experience, care and professionalism in working with our parents and students is a living example of St Joseph’s College strong commitment to Pastoral Care and our EREA touchstones.
NCCD (Nationally Consistent Collection of Data)
WHAT IS THE NCCD?
The Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) takes place every year. The NCCD is a collection that counts: • the number of school students receiving an adjustment or ‘help’ due to disability • the level of adjustment they are receiving to access education on the same basis as other students.
Students are counted in the NCCD if they receive ongoing adjustments at school due to disability. This ‘help’ allows them to access education on the same basis as a child without disability. The NCCD uses the definition of disability in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Schools provide this education to educational authorities.
What are the benefits of the NCCD for students?
The information collected by the NCCD helps teachers, principals, education authorities and governments to better support students with disability at school. The NCCD encourages schools to review their learning and support systems and processes. This helps schools to continually improve education outcomes for all students.
For further information, go to www.nccd.edu.au or contact the NCCD Coordinator.
SWAG (Student Welfare Action Group)
Fortnightly SWAG meetings are held per year level/house consisting of the Year/House Coordinator, Head of School, Wellness Team member, Careers and Ed Support staff. Proactive discussions about boys who are experiencing welfare issues are had and actions are taken from certain staff. Secure minutes are taken and certain staff action.
St Joseph’s College engages in a range of activities and curriculum to enhance the wellbeing of all students. St Joseph’s College is a lead school for Respectful Relationships and is committed to promoting Respectful Relationships within both our school community and the broader community. The Respectful Relationships framework promotes and models respect, positive attitudes and behaviours. St Joseph’s College also actively commits to and celebrates other initiatives such as RUOK Day, Diversity Day, Movember and International Women’s Day.
All students participate in renewals through the Religious Education curriculum. At Waterford, mother-son and father-son nights also celebrate the relationship between students and significant others. Students at both the Westcourt & Mt Sion campuses also have the opportunity to participate in immersions that enhance both wellbeing and spirituality. In addition, all students participate in service learning by volunteering within the local community.
Throughout the curriculum, St Joseph’s College also explicitly teach key concepts and themes to enhance the wellbeing and development of all students. The wellbeing program has a strong focus on respectful relationships and draws significantly on the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships curriculum across all year levels to support this.
We have named our Year 7 & 8 sub school as Waterford. Waterford in Ireland is the town where Edmund Rice education began. We have twelve homeroom classes in Year 7 and in Year 8 with the homeroom teacher teaching Religious Education and Wellbeing.
Year 7 Theme - “Building my Foundation”
The transition from primary school to secondary school is recognised as a significant change for all students. Year 7 students at St Joseph’s College are supported with a comprehensive transition program with an aim to develop a sense of community and place for all students. There is a strong focus on understanding self and developing respectful relationships with peers and teachers. There is an emphasis on developing positive relationships with others and embracing difference and diversity.
Emotional literacy is an important element of developing respectful relationships. This, along with understanding personal strengths are also key parts of the Year 7 program. The issues of bullying and resilience are also presented in an incursion that further demonstrates the value of respectful relationships. Further incursions on cyber safety and digital responsibility highlight the importance of taking care online
The Year 7s all participate in a camp during Term 1 where they are encouraged to build new friendships and participate in a range of physical activities.
Year 8 Theme - “Stepping Up”
Year 8 students continue to develop their skills and understandings around developing and maintaining positive and respectful relationships. Understanding self and others through enhancing emotional literacy continues to be an important component of this.
Cyber safety is further explored through a presentation to all Year 8 students. An incursion from Victoria Police focusing on cyber safety enhances student understanding. Healthy habits and balance regarding screen time are also explored.
All our Year 8s participate in a renewal incursion with the theme “Courage to Care”. Life balance, resilience and respectful relationships are also workshopped in multiple visits to the Westcourt Campus with internal and external providers.
Students begin the transition to Westcourt through opportunities to visit the Westcourt campus for a tour, subject selection and Headstart.
Year 9 - Westcourt
We have named our Year 9 Campus Westcourt. Westcourt is known as the name of the farm that Edmund Rice grew up in on the skirts of Callan, Ireland.
The journey of the Year 9 students occurs in separate setting where the group can really come together as a year level. The environment is designed for students to increase their confidence and awareness gained from their sense of belonging to the year level and of the gifts they bring to the group.
Students begin the year by focusing on heroes, hardships and highlights and the unique stories that people have on their life journeys. Elements of the Wellbeing program are drawn from the Rite Journey program which is designed to support young people to become young adults who are self-aware, responsible and resilient.
Students also have the opportunity to be involved in an immersion to central Australia, a school camp to the Grampians or a school camp to central Australia.
Students in Year 9 have a dedicated Wellbeing period each week.
Years 10-12 - Mt Sion
Mt Sion is recognised as the founding school of Edmund Rice which is located in Waterford, Ireland. Our Mt Sion sub school incorporates all Year 10 – 12 students in a vertical Homeroom house structure. All Mt Sion students come together with their Homeroom for 1 period per week. In the vertical house system, house spirit and belonging are an integral component of wellbeing. The development of strong peer relationships is important.
Homeroom teachers deliver a Wellbeing curriculum that focuses on a range of topics to support and enhance student wellbeing. Topics include personal strengths, goal setting and time management, mental health, coping strategy and help seeking behaviours.
Respectful Relationships is explored through gender & identity and positive gender relations. Diversity within both the school and broader community are discussed and demonstrated with relevant examples.
Year 10 specifics
Our Westcourt students return to the Edmund Rice Campus during the end of year Headstart program and join a vertical house structure. Integral to their development is establishing relationships within the vertical Mt Sion Homeroom structure. Students will spend 3 years in the same Homeroom with students from Years 10-12 mentored from the same Homeroom teacher. In addition, all Year 10 students spend 1 period per week in their Homeroom with their Homeroom teacher delivering the Mt Sion Wellbeing curriculum.
The Year 10s will have chosen subjects that are more specific to their chosen future pathways. Year 10 students will participate in Morrisby Career Profiling. From this, individualised careers guidance, suggestions, information, career requirements and routes to careers is provided in a report customised to each student.
Students participate in seminars around safe partying and road smart driver safety to support them in situations they may experience beyond school.
Year 10 students also have the opportunity to participate in an immersion to Daly River in the Northern Territory.
Year 11 specifics
Respectful Relationships continue to be a focus at Year 11. Students participate in seminars and workshops that have a key focus of respect. Richie Hardcore, motivational speaker on violence prevention, masculinities, mental health and wellness presents seminars to our students specifically on consent, pornography and the sexualisation of women. Following these presentations, students participate in workshops to further explore these key messages and develop their understandings.
The development of strong relationships within the Homeroom continue to be an integral component of the Wellbeing program.
Careers counselling and support remains a supportive measure as students continue to refine their future pathways and subject choices.
Immersions to East Timor are also offered to Year 11 students.
Year 12 specifics
For their final year of schooling, students consolidate relationships with the key people around them. Homeroom teachers conduct interviews to check how students are coping with their study schedule and the important balance of school, study, sporting and music commitments as well as part time employment.
Success Integrated sessions focus on developing common language, common expectations and common goals amongst students, staff and parents with an aim to enhance resilience, wellbeing and achievement.
Students have the opportunity to participate in an immersion to Uganda at the conclusion of their Year 12 studies.
The Year 12s all embark to four different destinations in their four house groups during the start of term 2. Each location is purposefully set in bush setting and the students get to reflect on their journeys until now and plan for their futures ahead. The Edmund Rice Touchstone of Gospel Spirituality provides the key spiritual reflection.
St Joseph’s College Geelong has taken a lead role in Victoria in helping educate students on the importance of Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships. Respectful Relationships is about tackling family violence through education. Respectful Relationships supports schools and early childhood settings to promote and model respect, positive attitudes and behaviours. It teaches our children how to build healthy relationships, resilience and confidence. The resource that is central to Respectful Relationships is called ‘Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships’. A large focus is placed on Emotional Literacy, Personal Strengths, Positive coping and stress management, problem solving and help-seeking, Gender and Identity and Positive Gender Relations. Since 2014, St Joseph’s College has been delivering the Sexual Assault Prevention Program for Secondary Schools (SAPPSS) and profession learning to staff. Current priorities include the delivery of an action plan to build culture, develop practices and policies to enhance knowledge of healthy relationships, respect and equality for our students, our staff and our community. The best relationships are respectful ones. By working together, we can create real and lasting change and help to address gender inequality and prevent family violence. The SJC Respectful Relationship (RR) team meet collectively each term as well as in clusters with our partner schools. This team has student voice from the Inclusive Community Touchstone Prefects.
The SJC Child Safety Team also meet each term including Child Safety Officers from each sub school. This committee also promotes student voice and has membership from the Inclusive Community Touchstone leaders.
Supporting student behaviour should be considered in the wider context of the wellbeing of students. The concepts are inseparable and flow from the Mission Statement of the College. Behaviour Support is based on the notion that all members of the College Community have both rights and responsibilities. St Joseph’s College is committed to providing a learning environment where all students can learn without hindrance from others, where teachers can teach without interference and where effort and achievement are respected and rewarded.
St Joseph’s College adopt a restorative practice approach as we believe the most profound learning occurs when there is a healthy relationship between teachers and students alike. Restorative Practices assists teachers, students and parents to build, maintain and restore relationships. Restorative Practices will help build capacity to enable students to self-regulate behaviour and contributes to the improvement of learning outcomes.
Waterford, Westcourt and Mt Sion have each developed a set of learning and behavioural norms that is age appropriate which set clear expectations for the students and teachers. We have a positive tracking system whereby teachers can list achievements and good behaviours linked to the set of norms which are usually recognized with certificates, vouchers at gatherings and assemblies. The tracking records will also guide leadership when selecting students for College Special Awards. The learning and behavioural norms are attached from Waterford, Westcourt and Mt Sion.
Our behaviour support involves a range of approaches including a behavioural tracking system whilst adopting a restorative approach to dealing with unacceptable behaviour or conflict. Restorative practices underpin all our thinking around student wellbeing with the focus being on students taking responsibility for their actions and repairing relationships that have been harmed. The behavioural tracking system is a strategy that is used in conjunction with Restorative Practices as a support mechanism that reminds students that some actions have consequences. 0-2 points may be given for tier 1 behaviours, 0-4 maybe given for tier 2 behaviours, 0-6 maybe given for tier 3 behaviours. Our behavioural support flow chat is attached.
When continual indiscretions result in an accumulation of six points in a term a Thursday detention will be issued. Twelve points will incur a Saturday detention which takes priority over sporting and part-time work commitments. Half or full day detentions and parental interview are held on student free days in lieu of Saturday detentions for more serious behavioural incidents and/or a student has accumulated 20 demerit points. Students revert to zero points at the start of each term Detentions would normally follow a restorative discussion outlining why the particular behaviour is unacceptable and encouraging students to think about their actions and the impact they have had on themselves and others, and to think about what needs to happen to make things right. Parents will be informed if their son has accumulated points and is required for detention. Provisional enrolments may be issued when the College feels all of the above is not working. This is signed off from Deputy Principal - Students and Staff Wellbeing, the student and as a mechanism to have a positive impact on the behaviour standards. A good way of developing a better learning environment is for everyone to show respect for the rights of others. The rights and responsibilities of students at St Joseph’s College are attached.
How precious is Your loving kindness, O God! Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings. (Psalm 36:7)
All students enrolled at St Joseph’s College have the right to feel safe and be safe. The wellbeing of children in our care will always be our first priority and we do not and will not tolerate child abuse. We aim to create a child-safe and child-friendly environment where children are free to enjoy life to the full without any concern for their safety. There is particular attention paid to the most vulnerable children, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and children with a disability.
Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) Commitment Statement to Child Safety
Click on the link below to download the current CECV Commitment Statement
Our commitment to our students:
We commit to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people enrolled in our school.
We commit to providing children and young people with positive and nurturing experiences.
We commit to listening to children and young people and empowering them by taking their views seriously, and addressing any concerns that they raise with us.
We commit to taking action to ensure that children and young people are protected from abuse or harm.
We commit to teaching children and young people the necessary skills and knowledge to understand and maintain their personal safety and wellbeing.
We commit to seeking input and feedback from students regarding the creation of a safe school environment.
Our commitment to our parents and carers:
We commit to communicating honestly and openly with parents and carers about the wellbeing and safety of their children.
We commit to engaging with, and listening to, the views of parents and carers about our child safety practice, policies and procedures.
We commit to transparency in our decision-making with parents and carers where it will not compromise the safety of children or young people.
We commit to acknowledging the cultural diversity of students and families, and being sensitive to how this may impact on student safety issues.
We commit to continuously reviewing and improving our systems to protect children from abuse.
Our commitment to our school staff:
We commit to providing all St Joseph’s College staff with the necessary support to enable them to fulfill their roles. This will include regular and appropriate learning opportunities.
We commit to providing regular opportunities to clarify and confirm policy and procedures in relation to child safety and young people’s protection and wellbeing. This will include annual training in the principles and intent of the Child Safety Policy and Child Safety Code of Conduct, and staff responsibilities to report concerns.
We commit to listening to all concerns voiced by St Joseph’s College staff, clergy, volunteers, and contractors about keeping children and young people safe from harm.
We commit to providing opportunities for St Joseph’s College school employees, volunteers, contractors and clergy to receive formal debriefing and counselling arising from incidents of the abuse of a child or young person.