All students at St Mary's College are part of a Year level Pastoral Care Class. This group meets every day with their Pastoral Care teacher for prayer, roll marking and to hear important messages. The Pastoral Care teacher will come to know your daughter well, and be able to offer her tailored support.
Many activities are held throughout the year to strengthen a student's identity with their year level and College house, including House Celebrations, Choir Competition, Pastoral Care shared lunches and Mercy Week celebrations. The four House groups, Gorry, Horan, Murphy, and Whitty are named after significant founders of our College and link to our Mercy heritage.
There may be times when the young women in our care require additional support in academic or pastoral matters. All students are encouraged to access, or may be referred to, the services of a range of our student support services staff.
St Mary's College has two guidance counsellors on site who are available to students and parents who are experiencing difficulties managing stress, friendship issues, family matters or mental health issues. The school Counsellors work closely with the Assistant Principal - Student Wellbeing, and Pastoral Leaders to provide programs to enhance the social, emotional and personal skills of students. The Counsellors also provide confidential personal counselling for students and assist with parent education and support in the area of behaviour.
Meeting with the counsellors is via appointment or in emergency situations, as the need arises. The counsellors can work with students and parents to provide strategies and support to deal with issues as they arise or give advice or make referrals to outside providers or agencies, should long term support be required.
Families may also wish to consult with their GP about any concerns they may have for their daughter if this is more appropriate for their family. There are also support services available in the wider community and a good starting point is:
Headspace: headspace Ipswich | Youth Mental Health Centre & Services
ReachOut: A Safe Place to Chat Anonymously, Get Support & Feel Better | ReachOut Australia
Beyond Blue: Beyond Blue | 24/7 Support for Anxiety, Depression and Suicide Prevention
Ipswich is a Defence town, and St Mary’s is a Defence community. We are proud to educate many students from current and former Defence families.
The Defence School Mentor (DSM) supports and assists Defence students and their families in making a smooth transition from one school to the next. Working in partnership with the Pastoral Care team and teaching staff, the DSM provides ongoing assistance, helping to resolve issues that may arise during a student’s time at the College.
For students and families, the DSM:
• Supports new ADF students and their families as they integrate into the College community.
• Provides ongoing support to students during challenging times, for example, when a family member is absent due to deployment, exercises or courses.
• Regularly communicates with staff to create awareness and understanding of the particular needs of young people from ADF families
.• Provides a key point of contact for Defence students and parents.
• Monitors students’ day-to-day social and emotional well-being.
• Facilitates opportunities for Defence students and their families to meet and socialise.
The DSM works to ensure students’ experience at St Mary’s College is positive and productive. Please get in touch with the DSM if you have any new enrolment enquiries or questions regarding this program.
Additional supports available for Defence families include;
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mentor supports and assists our Indigenous students and their families at St Mary's College. Working in partnership with the Pastoral Care team, and the Assistant Principal - Student Wellbeing, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mentor provides ongoing support and assistance during the students time at St Mary's College.
Molum Sabe (The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy.pdf is developed to bridge the gap in learning achievement and exceed learning expectations for each Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learner in the BCE Community of Schools. Brisbane Catholic Education’s Community of Schools believes that every learner is created in the image and likeness of God and inspired by the Spirit, responds with passion and creativity to life.
Each Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student can achieve success in life and learning when diversity is valued and shared wisdom contributes to decision-making that enriches and enlivens our world (adapted from Brisbane Catholic Education’s Learning and Teaching Framework).