We see it as our job to build emotionally resilient, community-minded young people. We achieve this through our intensive Pastoral Care Program such that students feel simultaneously challenged and supported.
Pastoral care runs throughout everyday life at Pittwater House - starting in Kindergarten and extending until the end of Year 12. It is continuously evolving to adapt with age changes and developmental milestones.
At the same time, we encourage our students to step up and take on leadership positions in a variety of areas, both within school and in the wider community.
Hierarchy of care
When your child joins Pittwater House, they join a network of care where there is always someone to reach out to.
It all starts with the Form groups. Every student from Kindergarten to Year 10 is placed in a single-sex Form group. To align with our Twin Schooling model, Year 11 and 12 students are placed in co-educational Form groups. These are the centrepieces of the pastoral care network. Each Form group is led by a Form teacher who acts as the first point of contact for students and their parents with regards to any aspect of life at Pittwater House. Students can seek support and talk to their Form teacher about any issues they may be having.
In the Junior Girls’ College and Boys' Preparatory School, an Assistant Head is responsible for the wellbeing of students from Kindergarten to Year 6, under the lead of the Head of School.
In the Girls’ College and the Boys' Grammar School, Year Co-ordinators are assigned to provide pastoral support and guidance to the students under their care, under the leadership of the Heads of School who oversee the whole pastoral program.
The program works in close co-operation with the Deputy Principal and the Principal. This ensures that every student is given the maximum support to achieve their potential and enjoy their time at Pittwater House.
Additional staff members, including qualified school counsellors, are also available to assist students and parents at any time.
Our Pastoral Care Program
Our Pastoral Care Program is made up of the various, formal sub-programs discussed below.
Buddy Program: Every student in Kindergarten is paired with a buddy; an older student to befriend and help guide the younger children through the transitions and early years of their school life. Regular pastoral sessions are utilised to foster these relationships allowing our younger students to grow in confidence and providing older students the opportunity to practice great leadership and positive role-modelling.
Strengths and Reflections: 24 individual character strengths are explored, examined and practiced throughout the year to ensure our Junior Students can recognise and be proud of who they are and how they appear to others. They can identify strengths they admire in others and determine those they aspire to develop.
Bounceback and Friendology: Resources produced by qualified psychologists and other education experts are utilised by our teachers to proactively help students develop a stronger sense of well-being, providing strategies to build resilience, strong friendships, confidence and success.
Empowerment and Connections
During the six years of these age-specific programs, the overarching goal is the development of self-respect and self-identity, and the recognition of the value of other people. The programs are designed to assist community building both at School and in the wider community focusing on the skills of self-discipline, striving for personal bests, respect and understanding which encourages empathy and supports authentic positive expression. As a result, students gain a greater sense of self and their worth as an individual and valuable member of society.
The Resilience Project Partnership (Years 7-12): An evidence-based, sequential program that looks to develop resilience through practicing the skills of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness (GEM). The program also has a strong focus on Connection, Purpose, Kindness, Emotional Literacy and Physical Health. Parents have access to a webinar and online resources to ensure they are across the concepts and methods used. More information here.
Chasing Sunrise (College, Years 7 and 8): These sessions have been specifically designed to allow our College Year 7 and 8 to develop greater confidence and awareness of themselves, their peers and learning beyond the classroom. These Programs encourage greater responsibility for independent learning and reflection, develop team-work strategies, resilience, a sense of belonging and a respect of the individual.
Red Earth (Years 9-11): Red Earth is a leadership and personal development program that welcomes students on 10-day educational immersion expeditions to remote Indigenous homelands in the beautiful Cape York Peninsula. More information here.
Reach (College Years 7-11): The Reach workshops connect with young people, uncover what their concerns are and equip them with the tools to set goals, deal with conflict and stand up for what they believe in. Reach presenters draw on a range of approaches when they develop and deliver workshops for young people. More information here.
Time and Space Program (Years 7, 9 & 12): Time and Space programs are deigned to strengthen and grow relationships, especially during times of change and transition. Time and Space recognises the importance of the role of the family for the development of an adolescent and it gives parents and teens the opportunity to listen to and learn from each other in a supportive environment.
Drug Education (Years 10-12): Pittwater House compliments the PDHPE curriculum in the area of Drug Education through the services of Independent Drug Education Australia. They offer a comprehensive, age appropriate program covering all drug concepts including prescription, OTC medications, alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs and performance enhancing drugs.
Student Led Peer Support Programs
Student Representative Council (SRC): Led by our Senior Prefects, the SRC has members from Years 7-12 across both College and Grammar. The members of the SRC are voted into the positions annually by the student body and have a significant voice at Pittwater House.
CUP - College Union Program (College Year 7–12): Vertical well-being groups in which issues pertinent to young women are discussed in a nurturing and safe environment. All members of the College community are a member of a CUP group. It is the perfect way for girls to make friendships between the Year groups and make the College community a dynamic, close and respectful society where the individual is known and appreciated. The program was founded by a former Head Girl of The College.
Big Brogram (Grammar Year 7–12): A boys well-being program founded by two former leaders of the Grammar School, based on the premise that real strength and real courage is knowing when to ask for help when going it alone is too difficult. This initiative is facilitated by students in Years 11 and 12 with students in small, often Form groups, from Years 7 to 10.
“The very essence of our daily work focuses on support for each student, their happiness, their opportunity and their academic success.”