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Pastoral Care

At St Margaret’s College we believe that education must be holistic and that it embraces the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of our students, as well as their academic growth and their development in sport and the arts. Positive relationships are powerful in our learning community and the sense of ‘family’ is fostered from Years 1 to 13.

Students and staff are fully supported to reach their potential.

Our Philosophy in Practice

Staff to students

All students have a key adult who has the overview of their wellbeing, academic progress and extracurricular involvement and who is the contact person for parents to communicate with. This is the basis for our Tutor Group system.

Year 1 to 6 students are under the care of their home room teacher (the Tutor).

Year 7 to 13 students are in vertical groupings called the Tutor Group under the care of a teacher (the Tutor) responsible for their welfare during their time at the College. Middle School Tutor Groups are designed to meet the needs of Year 7 – 10 students, Senior School Tutor Groups are designed to meet the needs of Year 11 – 13 students. Middle School and Senior School Tutor Groups are paired  to ensure  a seamless transition in their pastoral care as girls progress through school, and a strong link between all age groups. There are approximately 15 students in each Tutor Group.

Each Tutor Group belongs a House and our House system is made up of six Houses. House spirit is encouraged through friendly rivalry in sporting and cultural competitions. House groups also gather to worship together from time to time.

Other staff involved in the welfare of the girls include the Chaplain, the Dean of the year group, the International Dean, the Boarding staff, the Counsellor, Nurse, Head of Junior School, Head of Middle School, Deputy Principals and Associate Principal, and of course the classroom teachers.

Our pastoral network ensures students’ needs are monitored and that appropriate procedures are in place for identification, referral and support.

The Health Centre, staffed by the School Nurse, the Counsellor, and a physiotherapist twice weekly, is available to all students and staff alike. Doctors are available in the mornings for the Boarders only.

Student to student

When a new girl joins St Margaret’s College, she is allocated a ”buddy” to help her to settle, especially during the first weeks of the year.

Year 9 girls will have a Year 13 buddy in the paired Tutor Group.

The Peer Support programme is run in Houses and Year 13 students are trained to implement this orientation programme for Year 9 students during the first term of the year.

Relationships in the Junior School are based on the whanau model where girls care for each other as in a family.

All other new girls will have a buddy in their tutor group, in the same year group, to help each girl settle into her new environment.

The boarding community also have a programme designed to support a new boarder in those first weeks and months of the year.  Year 13 students have a leadership role and are assigned a Year group in each Boarding House.  In Julius House  (for Middle School students) Year 7, 8 or 9 girls each have a Year 10 buddy as well.

These relationships throughout both day and boarding schools foster the family feel within our community and allow connectedness to thrive.

Staff to staff

All staff, both teaching and non-teaching, make a positive contribution to, and are valued within, our community. Respect for one another is promoted.

Staff are encouraged to embrace new ideas, be creative, develop new skills and be flexible in the face of change. Collective values and empathy ensure the care and support of each other.

Collegiality in the staff room is evident and we strive to ensure this is a welcoming, open place where staff can relax and enjoy the company of each other. The sharing of best practice underpins our professional and collegial interchanges. We are a strong learning community and professional development is supported and encouraged throughout all levels of the school.

Parent to parent

New parents are welcomed by a “parent phone buddy”, a current parent on the Parents’ and Friends’ Association (PFA) who is able to answer the many questions new parents may have. The “parent buddy” is happy for a new parent to contact them at any time.

The Parents’ and Friends’ Association of St Margaret’s College (PFA) meets twice a term.  All parents are effectively members of the PFA and are most welcome to attend the regular meetings.

There are various Year Group information meetings and social opportunities for parents to attend and meet each other. Extra-curricular activities also provide opportunity for parents to work together for the benefit of their daughter.

Father-daughter breakfasts are held for each Year group from Year 9 and this is a sociable and informal time for fathers to meet one another. An annual Mother-Daughter breakfast is also available to mothers.

Parent to teacher

The partnership between home and school is very important for the academic and pastoral care of each girl. The homeroom teacher or tutor is the key person for parents to meet and communicate with.

Early in the year this relationship is further developed during goal setting interviews, when time is set aside for every student, together with her tutor and parent/s, to set goals and plan strategies to achieve them. Parent/teacher interviews, reports, portfolios, PFA meetings and extra-curricular activities provide further opportunities for parents and teachers to work in partnership for the benefit of the student.

Student Leadership Development

Many opportunities abound within the community to develop leadership. We develop leaders with the focus on service leadership.

It may be in an informal way with current students helping new students, someone taking responsibility for an activity in the Tutor Group, or taking an active part in chapel, or in a more formal way with nominated or elected students.

The Junior School Council is made up of six Year 6 students, who are supported by and work with the Year 13 Junior School Prefect and her Committee. They are responsible for organizing service, House and community activities including environmental initiatives.

In the Middle School all Year 10 students undergo leadership training within the Rite Journey programme.  They then have the opportunity to complete optional Leadership and Service Awards throughout the year.

In the Senior School all Year 12 students participate in a Leadership Development Camp. They are eligible to apply for a nominated leadership position for the following year. From the applications, students are elected and interviewed for specific portfolios: Head Girl, Deputy Head Girl, 6 x House Prefects, Academic, Performing Arts, Boarding, Chapel,  Service, Community Relations, Environment, Global Relations, Junior School, Middle School and Sport. Each Prefect is mentored in her role by a designated staff member.

All Year 13s are formally inducted as leaders. They have the crucial role of setting the tone and implementing their theme for the year, continuing the traditions of the past but introducing new ideas for the future. Every Year 13 belongs to her House Committee and usually one other committee.

 

ST MARGARET'S COLLEGE

12 Winchester Street
Merivale, Christchurch 8014

PO Box 25094
Christchurch 8144
New Zealand

Phone: +64 3 379 2000
admin@stmargarets.school.nz
business office: finance@stmargarets.school.nz

 

House Tutor System

At St Margaret’s the House Tutor System provides the cornerstone for the pastoral care of our students. Our House system is made up of six houses and the friendly rivalry between them in sporting and cultural competitions is a colourful and vibrant part of life at St Margaret’s College.

Year 1 to 6 students are under the care of their home room teacher (the Tutor).

Year 7 to 13 students are in vertical groupings called the Tutor Group under the care of a teacher (the Tutor) responsible for their welfare and progress during their time at the College. Middle School Tutor Groups are designed to meet the needs of Year 7 – 10 students, Senior School Tutor Groups are designed to meet the needs of Year 11 – 13 students. Middle School and Senior School Tutor Groups are paired  to ensure  a seemless transition in their pastoral care as girls progress through school and  a strong link between all age groups. There are approximately 15 students in each Tutor Group.

Each Tutor Group belongs to a House, with eight tutor groups in each House. The Tutor Group provides a smaller community within the larger school community. It fosters a sense of belonging, inclusion and pride in the combined effort of everyone. Individuals feel safe and valued so that they can express their individuality within school guidelines and expectations.

Girls meet daily within their Tutor Groups. Early in the year goal setting interviews take place with the student, her parent/s and the Tutor. The previous year is reviewed and realistic but challenging goals are set in academic, personal, cultural or sporting areas for the current year. These goals are reviewed regularly during the year.

From our Vision Statement – “We believe that education must be holistic; that it embraces the spiritual and emotional well being of our girls as well as their academic growth and their development in sport and in the arts.” The Tutor Group plays a pivotal part in achieving our vision.

Chapel Life at SMC

The students, staff and parents of St Margaret’s form a community which acknowledges and celebrates differences, as an Anglican school which worships in an Anglican tradition. Everyone is welcome to participate at whatever level is most comfortable, and the more services the community attends, the more comfortable each individual will feel. The services at St Margaret’s are a time for us to rejoice with the whole community.

The spiritual dimension at St Margaret’s College is expressed in the multi-cultural, ecumenical and multi faith context. We express and reflect that each person’s faith is acknowledged and shared with others to enrich the whole of our community. During their years at St Margaret’s, students may explore many perspectives on faith in a supportive environment that allows for questions under the guidance of our full-time Chaplain.

The school gathers weekly for a Chapel service and additional services are held throughout the year for specific group services and occasions.