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.
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 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.
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 a 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.
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 are explored through gender & identity and positive gender relations. Diversity within both the school and broader community are discussed and demonstrated with relevant examples.
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 by 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.
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.
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.