Pastoral Care at Dainfern College
“When you run alone you can run very FAST, BUT, when you run together you can go very FAR!” - a Zambian saying.
At Dainfern College we believe that we need to run together with parents and students to ensure that every child can go far, very far in academics, sport, culturally and as an individual.
Dainfern College places a very large emphasis on Pastoral Care as we believe that if a student is not in a healthy psycho-social space a student cannot learn. Students need love before they can learn… as educators we strive to show kindness and understanding of the experiences that each student in our class has had. Dainfern College prides itself in having a very caring staff who strive to create a school environment that enables each individual child to be happy, engaged, productive, inspired and recognised.
In order to succeed in this vision there are many systems in place to ensure that no child falls through the cracks, whether it be academically or extramurally. To name a few:
- A strong House system headed up by the House Directors and Deputy House Directors.
- A well developed mentorship programme for all Grade 8 students.
- A class buddy system for new learners in all grades.
- A structured, vertical tutor programme.
- A strong counselling department supported by the school counsellor, a remedial therapist, a TEFL specialist and an educational psychologist.
Dainfern College aims to enhance the educational process of our learners by promoting their spiritual, moral, mental and physical development at the school and within society, preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of adult life.
The House Tutors touch base with each student at least twice a week, which enables the tutor to be up to date on each child’s progress in all fields: Academic, Sport, Cultural and Social. Tutors are also the first point of contact when a parent wishes to communicate with the school on a pastoral issue. We have a Vertical Tutor Group system which means that we have about 33 tutor groups with only 11 or 12 students in each tutor group. In each tutor group we have students from Grade 8 to Grade 12. We believe that this will create an opportunity for each tutor to get to know the students personally.
The House Directors work very closely with the school counsellor and Head of Pastoral Care. Meetings are held once a week to discuss the well-being of the learners in each House. The House Directors look after Grades 10 to 12 while the Deputy House Directors focus on the well-being of the Grade 8s and 9s.
Every grade attends a camp each year where some aspect of leadership is covered. These camps provide a wonderful opportunity for learners to make new friends and to take part in activities which encourage them to leave their comfort zones.
In 2010 Dainfern College launched the Leadership Programme, which enabled every student in Grade 11 to join the programme if certain criteria are completed. Each learner on the Leadership Programme is given the opportunity to lead a portfolio where they can develop and use their leadership skills. Appraisals are held throughout the year and at the end of Term 2 of their Grade 12 year colours are awarded according to the success of the leader.
Dainfern College is a member of the Concerned Communities Coalition where our parents and students are invited to sign a pledge in which they commit to a number of issues around alcohol use and abuse. One of the pledges is that parents will not serve alcohol to underage students in their home.
In order to assist our students in saying “No” to drugs, Dainfern College has the Voluntary Drug Screening Programme in place where learners may volunteer to be tested on a regular basis.
Once a term a Parent Development Evening is held where guest speakers are invited to share advice and information on issues relating to the well-being of teenagers. The staff at Dainfern College believe that a strong parent-teacher relationship is paramount to ensuring the successful mentorship of our teenagers.
The Pastoral Care Team wishes each family a successful 2013 in all areas of school life!
Head of Pastoral Care, Outreach & Leadership