Pastoral Care - Our Lady of Dolours, Chatswood

Pastoral Care

Pastoral Care is central to the ethos and identity of Our Lady of Dolours School. By providing a strong sense of wellbeing, belonging and security that affirms students in their dignity and worth we assist students to achieve their potential as a human person, physically, socially, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.

Our pastoral care is supported by:

Positive Behaviour for Learning

Our Lady of Dolours has adopted a whole school approach to bring about positive behaviour; Positive Behaviour for Learning [PBL]. This approach has a strong emphasis on teaching appropriate behaviours and providing systems of support to bring about these positive behaviours.

The key message for our PBL system is to promote responsibility, respect and  safety in all the students do and say. All school rules are encompassed in each of these key focuses and our PBL system aligns directly to out school motto ‘To Be Our Best’.

A major responsibility of our Year 6 leaders is to lead fortnightly PBL groups. This is when the students educate a group of children (ranging from Kindy to Year 6 students) in what each school rule looks like in a classroom and in the playground. Our senior students then lead by example and demonstrate to the younger students how to follow our PBL rules and expectations.

Well-Being Week

Each term the school participates in Well-Being Week during Week 7 of the term. Statistically the 7th week of the term is when schools have the most student and staff absences. By implementing Well-Being Week we hope to assist all our community to sustain their health and energy to make it through the term. During Well-Being Week our students do not complete homework, teachers do not schedule meetings and there are many fun activities held at school to enhance the social, emotional and physical well-being of all our students and staff.

Student leadership programs

Students leadership is an integral part of our pastoral care program at Our Lady of Dolours. Our primary students commence their leadership roles with special, daily jobs assigned to students, so that they can assist in maintaining a calm and safe school. When students are trusted with responsibilities their confidence, independence and responsibility are enhanced and heightened.

The Year 6 students are all part of a school leadership team for their final year of primary school. Throughout the year the teams work with teacher mentors to create, plan and implement new initiatives to make a difference in their school.

Year 6 leadership teams include:

  • ICLT leaders
  • Creative Arts leaders
  • Literacy leaders
  • Mercy Action leaders
  • Environment leaders
  • Sports captains
  • School captains

Buddy system for new families

As well as our student buddy program, Our Lady of Dolours, also has a buddy program for new families that join our school. This program is for all new families either joining the school in Kindergarten or throughout the year in other grades. We partner new families up with existing families so they have a new friend to ask any questions or to meet up for play dates prior to starting at the school. Our new parents really enjoy this program as it helps ease any concerns they may have about their child starting school.

Soul Journaling and Meditation

Sour Journaling and Mediation are both important aspects of the school day at Our Lady of Dolours. Our students are given time throughout the day to be still, reflect, participate in the practice of being present. A number of students in school settings have shown improved attention and behaviour when students practice mediation and journaling.

The Buddy Program

At Our Lady of Dolours our Buddy Program joins a Year 5 student with a Kindergarten student and a Year 6 student with a Year 1 student.

The Aims of our program are:

  • To build self esteem
  • Promote acceptance of all students
  • Promote fun and love of learning
  • Give the seniors opportunity to mentor and lead by example
  • Create a sense of community across all grades
  • To welcome and integrate students with English as a second language