True pastoral care should permeate all aspects of school life and belong to everyone. Its importance is based on the belief that we are all made in God’s likeness and therefore, each one of us is a person of worth. To ensure that we realise such a fundamental aim of the College, detailed structures and programs have been formalised.
At the heart of this structure are six Houses, each run by a House Co-ordinator who keeps a close eye on the academic progress and general welfare of each of their students. House Assemblies and excursions are organised, as well as a variety of Inter-House activities and competitions.
Each house has seven Pastoral Care (PC) groups consisting of a Pastoral Care teacher and between 25 and 28 students from across the six year levels. The PC groups meet daily with the PC teacher and generally stay together over the years, learning to support and help each other. The PC teacher is also the first point of contact for families, whether this be to discuss difficulties, illness, achievements or to seek advice on the progress of their son or daughter. This “family” structure offers wonderful opportunities for leadership, role modelling and informal exchange of information such as curriculum and study skills.
The College places a high emphasis on developing leadership qualities. The Peer Support Program offers Year 10 students the opportunity to act as mentors to Year 7 students. At the end of Year 9 all students participate in a two day training program to develop leadership and group work skills. From this, students are selected from each House to assist our new Year 7 students in their transition into secondary school. In addition members of the Student Council take responsibility for organising special events such as assemblies, fundraisers and the Senior Ball.
Based on preserving the dignity of each person and his or her right to learn in a caring, trusting environment, Kolbe takes a firm, but fair stance on the question of discipline. Students are encouraged to exercise self-discipline, courtesy and respect together with pride in themselves, their work and their College uniform. Over time, they come to understand that, as a member of a community, they should consider the needs of others.
Good discipline should be seen as part of effective Pastoral Care, which takes much time and effort. Students must be given the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and, where necessary, a student’s behaviour may need to be specially monitored over a period of time. School must be a place where students always feel safe and will not be subjected to bullying, drugs or malicious peer pressure.
When parents enrol their children at Kolbe, they do not abdicate their responsibilities as educators, but enter into a contract with the school community, to work in partnership with them in striving co-operatively to realise the aims and ideals of Christian education. If their child should have a problem, we promote early contact between school and parents so that it may be “nipped in the bud”. Ideally, however, we encourage parents to develop an on-going involvement and interest in the life of the College.