What is “Pastoral Care”?
Although rooted in Latin meaning “to feed”, the more modern definition involves “looking after the total welfare of the pupil”. As a Christian school, TCIS believes in feeding a student’s soul. It firmly believes that a child is more than a vessel for knowledge and that caring for the whole child is an essential part of quality education.
Pastoral care creates school harmony
The TCIS pastoral system aims to:
- create a whole-school atmosphere in which relationships are centrally important and are healthy and positive
- prepare children and young people through the curriculum for the realities of life today
- equip them with the skills they will need to face challenging situations when (rather than if) they arise
- encompass both reactive responses to issues, which can arise in children’s lives, but also preventative or educational strategies to enable children to be better prepared for current and future problems in their lives.
Formal structures at TCIS
TCIS aims to create a tight and multi-layered net, which does not allow students to fall through the cracks. The following is the basic model of delivery of Pastoral Care at TCIS:
Division Principals - Student Affairs
Oversees and coordinates the Pastoral Program.
Grade Team Leaders
These teachers are responsible for the overall welfare of students in a year-group as well as specific delivery of the pastoral program to each Secondary School Year-group. They create specific curriculum and plans to be delivered by Homeroom teachers.
All teachers in the Secondary School are expected to help deliver the pastoral program, investing in students’ lives beyond the academic classroom.
Counseling works closely with Grade Team Leaders and Deputy Principal to build a network of support as well as guide and inform about specific pastoral needs with students and year-groups.
TCIS believes in balancing the Physical, Mental, Social and Spiritual dimensions of each student. Therefore the ministry of students through the pastoral care system is part of a well-rounded program.
Homerooms consist of between ten and twelve students. They are an intimate environment and are a place for students and teachers to connect outside of the formal learning environment. They take place once every six school days and last for 30 minutes. Home rooms are used to deliver the pastoral program to students in a specific year group. Most students look forward to homeroom where they can get to know each other better, their teachers better, and how to become a better person.
Discipline the pastoral care way
Punishment without restoration does not bring true lasting behavioral changes. TCIS understands the needs of teenagers and adolescents; even with preventative measures in place, students will make poor choices at times. Most poor choices result in the breakdown of trust in relationships. Therefore discipline is an opportunity for relationship restoration. Restorative approaches not only help deal with the issue at hand, but they also empower individuals to improve choices out of respect for others and through a greater sense of empathy.
Pastoral Care and the IB curriculum
The IB makes direct connections with Pastoral care principles. The Approaches To Learning, specifically in the area of Self-management, deal directly with core developmental opportunities for students.
Skills developed through the program include:
- Emotional management