Intrinsic to successful learning is being able to feel safe and secure enough to ask questions, play freely and express opinions. The Blackfriars’ Pastoral Care Program contributes to a safe learning environment that is complemented by a safe campus.
Teachers, in cooperation with parents, develop relationships with students that are built on trust. Through conversations and listening in classrooms and in less formal learning environments, teachers develop a clear understanding of each student’s needs. The Pastoral Care Program is then adapted to support each student to realise his full potential, achieve self-understanding and self-confidence, and aspire to develop his community in the context of the Christian value system.
In Year 7, our students are allocated to one of eight Houses that comprise approximately 100 students from Year 7 through to Year 12 with elected Student Leaders and Teachers. Here, students are encouraged to meet and interact with students from other year levels and become involved in inter-House activities that encourage friendly competition and co-operation. Home Group teachers work closely with students to provide academic and personal support and advice about subjects and careers, together with Student Counsellors who assist students with specific personal matters.
Blackfriars encourages parents and friends to participate in school life and co-curricular activities at any year level. Though events and functions, a stronger sense of community is built and maintained beyond the formal years of education. Grandparents are honoured at the annual Grandparents Day and the Father/Son Mentor Day is a much-anticipated event in the Year 10 calendar.
Pastoral Care at Blackfriars is structured in a manner which means that each student has a unique relationship with one teacher. In the Middle and Senior Schools we operate a vertical House system with the student remaining with the Home Group Teacher as he moves through the Secondary School. This enables the Home Group Teacher to not only monitor his progress across the years but also to give the boy a sense of security and continuity. Students meet in a vertically structured group at the beginning of each day. These groups contain approximately 20 boys of various ages from Year 7 to Year 12.