Wellbeing and Faith at Strathcona
WHERE LEARNING IS THE
HEARTBEAT OF OUR CULTURE.
Leaders in pastoral care, Strathcona Girls Grammar is committed to nurturing students’ learning through physical and mental wellbeing. Strathcona researched current wellbeing pedagogy and programming, and as a result conducts the SOUL and Feliciter Programs. Based on Strathcona’s values, the Wellbeing program aims to empower creative, ethical young women who have an authentic sense of self and optimism for their future.
Our ELC and Junior School SOUL (Self, Others, Us, Love) Wellbeing program ensures students are connected with their social and emotional needs, and allows a high standard of pastoral care. The aim of this program is to foster positive and respectful relationships and resilience.
Students meet weekly and participate in a range of activities across year levels addressing one of the SOUL areas. Whether it is Understanding Self – who am I and how do I care for myself and my body; Understanding Others – what is diversity, why are people different and why is this important; Understanding Us – Relationships with others – what are positive relationships and developing strategies for when things don’t always go right; or Love – what are my passions and strengths.
Through the SOUL Wellbeing program, students continue to build upon their sense of worth, connection and confidence.
Our Feliciter (‘happy’) Wellbeing program focuses on building connection, promoting optimism and fostering resilience across the School. Our Year 7 and 8 students are supported by their Wellbeing teacher who also teach them for Health and PE.
Under the guidance of our Year 7 and 8 Year Level Co-coordinators, the focus for our Middle School students includes sessions focused on; successful transition to secondary school, team building, exploration of friendships, academic skills support (organisation, time management, study skills), exploration of positive health and wellbeing behaviours and the positive use of social media and digital communications.
Throughout the year, the Wellbeing periods provide the platform for the student’s involvement in service, faith and leadership.
Our Year 9 students continue to work closely in House groups under the care of their Year 9 Mentor and the Head of Tay Creggan. The Year 9 Mentor also teaches their House group and support the students through the unique TC Envision Program. The students at Year 9 use their Pastoral time to explore themes such as character strengths, high-performing teams, positive health and wellbeing behaviours, academic skills support, positive use of social media and digital communications and exploration of faith and service. The Duke of Ed Program is another important aspect of the Feliciter Wellbeing Program at Year 9.
The students in the Senior School, Years 10-12, are a part of Strathcona’s vertical House System under the care of the Head of House. Whilst the Head of House remains central to their care of the students in their House we enhanced our pastoral care approach through the addition of a Senior Mentor to each House group. The Senior Mentor oversees the PAW (Pathways, Academics, Wellbeing) coaching model which facilitates a wholistic approach to their care. The mentoring approach of the PAW model allows the student’s Senior Mentor to help them to discover their individual personal and academic strengths and weaknesses, and then work on specific strategies for improvement. The mentoring model approach offers opportunities for students to make informed choices and decisions for themselves, creating personal responsibility and accountability.
Additionally, all students in Years 10 to 12 have a weekly Wellbeing period. This period provides an exciting opportunity for intentional wellbeing opportunities. The Feliciter Wellbeing Program in the Senior school focuses on promoting good health and wellbeing habits, sexuality, drug and alcohol education, positive use of social media and digital communications, financial literacy, careers and post school pathways, exploration of faith, service and leadership. The program offers bespoke experiences for each year group targeted to the specific issues they are facing.
Each part of the Wellbeing Program shows a greater sense of community, general health and happiness at Strathcona. We are committed to constantly reflecting on what is working and what changes we can make to improve outcomes in a rapidly changing world.
At Strathcona we recognise that Spirituality is an important part of student wellbeing. We provide students with a variety of ways to explore faith as we are aware that each student is different and will engage with spirituality in unique ways. We are proud of our Baptist Heritage and embody Christian values such as forgiveness, compassion, and reconciliation. Students at Strathcona gather together for whole school Easter and Christmas Services where students practise creative worship through art, dance, music and generosity.
Our School Chaplain offers Senior School Chapel Services and Christian Education classes to allow students to engage in current world issues through a lens of faith and biblical values. Strathcona’s Chaplain can preside over Weddings, Baptisms and Funerals for those within our Strathcona community. Our Junior school students have regular Assemblies and Christian Education classes as opportunities to learn from the reflections and teaching from our Junior School Chaplain to discern their own place within humanity.
Strathcona offers several reflective spaces for students to pray and contemplate. These include, Lyle Chapel for class chapel services, the Theatrette for Year level Chapel services. We also have Bush chapel where student can sit in the midst of nature and daydream in their own time or within Christian Education lessons. Students also enjoy ‘prayer spaces’ where student can engage in meaningful activities related to forgiveness and reconciliation within stations set up in the chapel.
Strathcona has a vibrant lunchtime faith group called ‘Mustard’. This is a student lead group of Senior School Students who gather together weekly to explore issues of faith, friendship and spirituality. Students who participate in this group enjoy the connection that they have with each other and the engagement that they have in serving the school community through acts of service and prayer. We also have a very strong network of parents in our Parent Prayer group where they stay connected and up to date in a Whatsapp group. Praying parents meet twice per year with our chaplains to pray for the needs of our school community.
Strathcona has a strong emphasis on Student lead service. Our Year 12 Service leaders work with students to serve the community in a multitude of valuable ways. As an example, Senior students gather together to make sandwiches for Eat Up Australia which supplies vulnerable school children with school lunches. Students proudly use their creativity to hand make blankets for refugee women in Victoria. Student work to support our sponsor children from Baptist World Aid. We also support Tanzania student’s education at the school of St Jude through the provision of Scholarship funds.
We also have a large and impacting parents group called ‘Strathy Angels’ who regularly make food for Strathcona families suffering sickness or requiring support.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
At Strathcona we create a community of conscience. This environment ensures that Students’ voices, opinions and ideas are valued and respected by all.
Student voice at gatherings such as assemblies is greatly anticipated and shared with all without censorship or restrictions.
An example of some of the current social justice issues are: race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, education, mental or physical ability, the environment and Covid-19.
Social justice reminds us all at Strathcona that everyone deserves equal rights and opportunities and to be treated without prejudice.