Pastoral Care & Wellbeing
The holistic education we provide to our students embraces their spiritual and emotional wellbeing, with positive relationships at the centre of our learning community.
All our students form close connections with a team of people ready to wrap around them at any given time. Positive relationships are powerful in our learning community and a sense of whānau is fostered from Year 0 – 13.
House tutor system
Students have a key teacher who has an overview of their wellbeing, academic progress and co-curricular involvement and who is the main contact person with whom parents communicate at St Margaret’s College. This is the basis of our House tutor system (or homeroom teachers for our Junior School girls), which provides the cornerstone of our pastoral care for students.
There are approximately 16 students in each tutor group. Middle and Senior School tutor groups are paired within one of our six Houses to ensure a seamless transition in their pastoral care as girls progress through school, and to foster a strong link between all year groups.
Our six Houses gather to worship together, and a good natured competitive spirit is developed through sporting and cultural competitions held throughout the year.
Buddies and peer support
Students joining us in Year 9 have a Year 13 buddy to guide them. The boarding community mirrors the day school with house groups and a programme designed to support new boarders, helping all students become fully immersed in everyday life at SMC.
When a student joins SMC during the school year, she is assigned a “buddy’ in her year group who helps her to settle in, especially during her first weeks at the College.
The relationships formed between year groups throughout our day and boarding schools foster the sense of whānau within our community and allow connectedness to thrive.
The roles of our Deputy Head of Middle School, Student Care and Experience and Deputy Head of Senior School, Student Care and Experience, are both committed to the wellbeing of students, families and staff. They work closely with our House tutors and are supported by their respective heads of school, our Associate Principal, our Chaplain, and a team of counsellors and health professionals located in our on-campus Health Centre. Our year level deans, from Year 7 upwards, work with our heads and deputy heads of school and tutors to provide a further layer of support.
Providing a true sense of support and community, our Chaplain, Reverend Stephanie Clay, works closely with our teaching staff, and takes time to understand the spiritual and emotional needs of our girls, without judgment or preconceived ideas.
Physical, mental, emotional and social health is woven into all aspects of our curriculum. A variety of programmes, such as REDS in our Junior School, the Rite Journey in Year 10, Be the Change in Year 11-12, and the pastoral care we provide all combine to enable our community to flourish, drawing on the following elements:
The Māori philosophy of health forms the backbone of our wellbeing curriculum, comprising taha tinana (physical wellbeing), taha hinengaro (mental and emotional wellbeing), taha whānau (social wellbeing) and taha wairua (spiritual wellbeing).
The core qualities that reflect the ethos of SMC and are demonstrated in our Graduate Profile are compassion, confidence, lifelong learning, self-management, effective communication, resilience, collaboration, flexible critical thinking, responsible citizenship, holistic personal growth, and individual academic success. These attributes resonate throughout SMC, from Year 0 – 13.
As an Anglican school, founded on Anglican values, we emphasize the importance of community, connection and love. We gather together not only to worship but to support and serve those around us, and collectively raise each other up through our faith, whatever that faith might be for each individual.
Service is an important aspect of developing as a well-rounded person and an active citizen in the world. Engaging in service to a person, a group, a community, a cause or belief connects us to others, creating stronger communities.
We encourage positive mental health and the development of a growth mindset through the five pillars of wellbeing – connecting, taking notice, being active, continued learning, and giving.
Our Health Centre is staffed by the School Nurse and two full time counsellors. A physiotherapist, Balance Physio, is available to all students and staff twice-weekly.
For boarders, the School Nurse will arrange appointments with a General Practitioner if required, through St Albans Medical Center.
“The amazing opportunities that SMC has provided allowed me to learn and grow in a supportive environment and to become the independent person I am today.”
Emma Chiang, former student
Learn more about our balanced education and warm family-like setting.