— Pastoral Care —
Our sincere aim is to provide a welcoming, positive and caring environment that promotes the personal, social, emotional and physical wellbeing of all students. This also extends to respect and courtesy for all staff, parents and visitors. We believe it is essential that the whole school community models respectful and caring behavior and attitudes. Students should exhibit a pride in their school and have expectations of learning in a safe environment.
A healthy academic mind is supported by an environment that helps students to be reflective and caring in their actions whilst developing the emotional skills necessary for success. Resilience, motivation and self-worth are promoted. Outside of the classroom we can also be proud of and value the success of our young people.
In particular, we aim to foster a respect for and understanding of different spiritual and cultural perspectives in support of developing a positive moral character and interpersonal skills. In effect, a strong Pastoral structure supports and enhances a strong academic one.
— The Tutorial System —
The pastoral care of all students is centred on the Form Tutors. They are led and supported by Grade Leaders and the Head of Pastoral Care. The Form Tutor is the key point of contact for students, parents and teachers, often acting as an advocate on behalf of the student.
Form Tutors provide an overview of all the subjects that students take and can draw together specific strengths and issues that a student might have across the school whilst tracking their progress. Tutors meet their Tutor Group every morning for registration and discussion and in doing so, build a rapport and trust with their students. Tutors help students with any issues they may have and provide advice where needed.
The Form Tutor is the first person that parents should speak to there are concerns about their child that may not be academically related. If it is academically related, parents should speak to the subject teacher first.
We offer leadership opportunities for Secondary students through the following:
- Student Council: All Tutor Groups elect 2 students to represent them on a council that meets regularly with teachers to discuss issues. This meeting also allows students to discuss and organize school events.
- Student Ambassadors: Students are often provided the opportunity to represent the school in public forums.
- Service: Students participate in service activities in the wider community involving opportunities for leadership and initiative.
- Learning Centre Leaders: Students are provided the opportunity to organize and contribute to the Learning Resource Centre.
- Student Mentors: Selected students undertake special training to become mentors academically and socially within the school.
- Sports and Music Leaders: Students have the opportunity to serve on sports and music councils to help and advise teachers.
- International Award: Students have the opportunity to participate in international awards which is a considerable personal achievement highly valued by universities and employers.
Personal, Social, Health and Careers Education (PSHCE)
Every week students participate in a PSCHE lesson led by their Tutor. This is essentially a Life Skills program that will introduce students to vital topics for their age group. For example, students will consider the environment, friendship, conflict resolution, drug and alcohol abuse, emotional resilience, the economy, study skills, revision techniques, careers education, writing a CV, applying to university and so on. Ren Wen aphorisms will be introduced as appropriate.
The Student Counsellor
Adolescence can be a stressful and overwhelming time. Students may have worries or concerns that are difficult to sort out on their own. The word counselling has many different meanings for different groups. At Tzu Chi Secondary School the Student Counsellor’s role is to provide students with collaborative, safe, non-judgmental and confidential counselling. The Counsellor will help students work through a problem to find a solution. Concerns may be emotional, behavioural, academic or interpersonal.
The Counsellor is a trained professional and offers a chance for students to help understand themselves better, their own personal values and the role their values play in decision making. The Counsellor is available to work with parents and often will have family meetings if and when necessary.
Students can contact the Counsellor by visiting the Counselling Office and making an appointment. Confidentiality is important in counselling and the Counsellor works to establish trust with the students. During their first session the Counsellor will always advise students about the limits of confidentiality between Counsellor and student.