Pastoral Care

The pastoral philosophy of the College is to provide a happy, caring and safe environment where our pupils are encouraged to succeed and achieve their full potential. The Pastoral Care System in St. Joseph’s College helps to promote a sense of community, raises self-esteem, recognises effort and achievement and maintains good discipline throughout the College. There is a well developed pastoral care structure in the College which is firmly focused on pupils’ general well-being, development and achievement. Each child is assigned to a Form Class of approximately 20 – 25 pupils which is looked after by a Form Tutor who is part of a Year Team, led by a dedicated Year Head. Together they build supportive relationships with pupils which, in turn, fosters positive attitudes and good behaviour.

The Form Tutor has primary responsibility for the pastoral and academic welfare of our students. The tutor is the first point of contact for parents wishing to pass on information or discuss pertinent issues about their child.

Tutor groups meet each morning for registration, announcements and Morning Prayer. During the week pupils follow a Personal and Social Education Programme which explores various issues such as life skills, study skills, friendship, building relationships, health issues as well as more challenging issues like bullying, substance misuse, abuse and peer pressure.

We realise that transition from primary to secondary school can be difficult and challenging for our Year 8 pupils. We work hard to enable year 8 pupils to settle easily and happily into their new school. This includes a 3 day Induction Programme at the beginning of September, which is taken by the Year Head and the Form Tutors.

Parents will be encouraged to know that the DENI Inspectorate specifically commented on the pastoral provision for Year 8 pupils. They congratulated the College for “the excellent caring and supporting ethos”, and the “very good quality of pastoral care provided to the pupils”.

St. Joseph’s is a hard-working, happy school, very much dependent on our excellent links with parents and the wider community. Each pupil is provided with a student diary which is designed to encourage pupils to record homework set and highlight academic, sporting and cultural experiences. The diary is a means of communication between the College and home. Many parents avail of this opportunity to communicate directly with their child’s Form Teacher. We also supply to Parents with a school calendar of our events for the year.

We expect respect and commitment from our pupils. A firm, but fair and consistent approach is taken with those pupils who do not follow College policies.