Student wellness in the High School

Student wellness in the High School

There are many systems in place in our High School to ensure that no child falls through the cracks, whether it be academically, extramurally or socially. To name a few:

 

  • A strong House system headed up by the House Directors.
  • A well-developed mentorship programme for all Grade 8 students.
  • A class buddy system for new students in all grades.
  • A structured, vertical tutor programme.
  • An intentional leadership development programme through our Leadership Academy.
  • A strong counselling department supported by the School Counsellor, a remedial therapist, a TEFL specialist and an educational psychologist.
  • A structured academic support programme comprising the Growth Point academic and extension programme as well as the Student Support Centre where a team of experts are available to assist with academic, organisational and homework support.

House System

The House Directors work very closely with the School Counsellor and the Head of Pastoral Care. Meetings are held once a week to discuss the well-being of the students in each House. There are two House Directors in each House who look after the well-being of the Grades 8s and 9s as well as the Grade 10-12s.

Tutor groups

To ensure a caring and supportive pastoral care structure in the High School, our students are divided into tutor groups. We have about 30 tutor groups with only 10-12 students in each group. This is a vertical tutor group system, which means that in each tutor group we have students from Grade 8 to Grade 12. The House tutors touch base with each student at least once 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 believe that this creates an opportunity for each tutor to get to know the students personally and as students stay in the same tutor group for the whole of High School, it allows students to build meaningful and supportive relationships both with each other and with their tutors.

Mentorship programme

We understand that the transition into high school can be difficult, which is why Dainfern College has a well-established Mentorship programme in place. The Mentorship programme ensures that every Grade 8 student has a smooth and stress-free transition into our High School. Each Grade 8 student is allocated a Grade 11 mentor who will guide them through the challenges of high school and ensure that they have a reliable and helpful support structure in place during this change.

 

New students in other grades are assigned a ‘class buddy’ to help them adjust to their new environment.

Student health

The health and well-being of our students is paramount. We know that today’s adolescents face an increasing number of threats and challenges to both their code of values and to their right to freedom of choice. The ready availability of addictive substances in particular, combined with natural curiosity and peer pressure, can result in children making decisions that could have negative and long-lasting effects on their lives.

 

For this reason, in addition to the pastoral care support structures in place in the High School, we also assist our students in saying “No” to addictive substances including drugs, alcohol and cigarettes, through our Management of Substance Abuse Policy. This includes educating our students about the dangers of these substances as well as blanket testing for drug use across all student grades in the High School.

 

We firmly believe that this is in the best interests of all of our students as well as the staff and families who care for and support them

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