St Saviour’s College is a very special place that we hold dear; our students are nurtured, supported, cared for and challenged academically in the time they spend with us. We have an able, talented, warm and qualified staff with a mix of specialist skills to ensure we encourage the very best in our students, for the duration of their schooling at St Saviour’s College. Working with young people to guide them on their own spiritual life journey as they make new friends and seek to find some meaning of and connection with the world around them is a wonderful opportunity for our College educators. Developing strong foundations for right relationships with our students and watching them grow with curiosity, wonder and joy.
FAITH AND MISSION
St Saviour’s students and staff are a constant presence at St Patrick’s Cathedral, giving of themselves as active members of the parish. Members of our College community visibly celebrate their pride in the College, by singing in the choir and joining with other members of the church community with readings during services. This has always been an opportunity for us all to come together; to be filled with the Holy Spirit and immersed in our College Mercy values. Catherine and her sisters of Mercy led an incredibly selfless life, caring for those less fortunate than themselves. Taking the path less travelled is not always the preferred choice; however, putting others ahead of ourselves is one way we can live out the Gospel values for the betterment of our community.
Tuesday Year Level Masses
Every Tuesday, students participate in Year level Mass with Father Hal at St Pat’s Cathedral to break open the Word. Teachers of Religious Education prepare the girls each week with their readings, recontextualizing scripture with links to our world at the College. This is an enriching tradition, providing our students with a faith-centred appreciation of the world in which we live.
Positive Education and Growth Mindset
At St Saviour’s, we work with a tailor-made prevention and intervention program designed to bring positivity and joy to the lives of the St Saviour’s College community. Our pastoral team works with the foundational pedagogy of Positive Education, the growth mindset principles of Carol Dweck, with an overarching lens of Catholicism. This involves incorporating a number of programs and initiatives for the staff and students, aimed at increasing wellbeing and building a positive sense of belonging, supported by Gospel Values for staff and students at St Saviour’s College.
Each Friday lunchtime, staff and students look forward to games, activities, music and community engagement, in Dublin Place. Staff and students take part in leading games and activities, designed to build a sense of fun, belonging and confidence, whilst strengthening relationships. This initiative is supported by a growing body of research and evidence that encourages schools to implement wellbeing strategies into the teaching and learning environment. Weaving wellbeing into the fabric of school life is a strong focus for our College.
The Wellbeing Hub
The St Saviour’s community Wellbeing Hub is one of the breakout spaces within the College. The College Guidance Counsellor, Ms Renee Hunter works in close collaboration within this space alongside Assistant Principal: Mission and Student Wellbeing, Mrs Heather Hagemann, cross-campus Chaplain, Mr Ryan Baines and the Cultural Liaison Officer, Mr Josh Waters. The purpose of opening the Hub was to break down barriers to ‘help seeking’; encouraging an association to counselling as a way of enhancing wellbeing as opposed to a service just for people with problems. The Hub is a meeting place for every student. It is an inclusive and safe place that welcomes all students. The Hub is open most lunch breaks throughout the week. The ‘Hub’ provided a richness of student life being represented through the many cultures, backgrounds and interests shared. The Hub is a place to meet new friends, play board games or card games, dance, paint, sing, chat and laugh. There is a focus on developing students’ skills and promoting discussion around self-care and self-regulation. An example of this is through teaching mindfulness and meditation and exploring art as a self-soothing technique.
The You Can Do It! Program
St Saviour’s College offers the well-established, evidence-based Social-Emotional learning curriculum, called the You Can Do It! Program. Selected students participate in the program every Wednesday afternoon as an alternative to Sport and covers the following topics:
1. Achievement. Work Confidence (growth mindset), Persistence, Organisation and Teamwork
2. Relationships. Values, Character Strengths and Getting Along Skills
3. Wellbeing. Resilience and Happiness - (self-awareness, self-management, ABCs, cognitive restructuring, mindfulness)
4. Social-Emotional Blockers. Anger, Not Paying Attention, Procrastination, Worry and Feeling Down (awareness and self-management)
Each social-emotional learning activity addresses an aspect of the Australian Curriculum, and Assessment Reporting Authority (ACARA) national curriculum's Personal and Social Capabilities.
Orientation and Transition Program - Community before Curriculum
For students settling into St Saviour’s College in Year 7, we have tailored a special program focusing firstly on right relationships. Putting community before curriculum, students learn about our College’s history, our Mercy traditions whilst making new friends, getting to know Homeclass buddies and meeting key staff. Students learn to navigate their way around the College, learning about the heart of the College – our Mercy sisters, led by Catherine McAuley. Appropriate classroom practices are discussed along with procedures to enhance students’ “toolkit” to help them plan their upcoming weeks in and out of the classroom for their first year at St Saviour’s College. With the alternate program for class activities, we focus on new students sharing some of the things they were feeling challenged about as well as their excitement about starting at high school. Students spend extended time with their Homeclass teacher.
Year 6 Orientation Day
The College Orientation program is filled with dynamic and relationship-building activities designed to engage, entertain and keep our newest students busy all day. We provide spaces and learning opportunities in a context where students can be creative; allowing the “flow” to happen. Our Year 11 buddies, along with students from many other year levels, join the students at various times throughout the day. Our activities involve many of the practical subjects. Students engage in a Scavenger Hunt, crazy Science experiments, House “Wars”, making mini pizzas for lunch, an art session and drama games. Our aim is for students to make friends, become familiar with the College, their senior buddy and key staff. The day concludes with a coffee and tea pitstop in the Callaghan Centre for a parent “meet and greet” with College staff.
Student Skills - Character Strengths and strength-based goal setting
During weekly timetabled Skills classes across all year levels, students explore a variety of academic, pastoral and faith-based skills with students, which can be transferred and applied across a variety of holistic experiences. Students begin the school year focusing on the VIA Character Strengths. Research by John Hattie (2009, 2012, 2-016) has proven that students who work at developing their strengths, have an increased sense of wellbeing and perform better not only in school, but in life. The VIA on-line Character Strengths survey guides students to respond to 120 questions to ascertain their top character strengths from a collection of 24. These 24 strengths are grouped into six domains: Wisdom, Courage, Temperance, Transcendence Humanity and Justice. Throughout the year, these character strengths are re-visited across all spheres of College life and students are challenged to reflect upon how they apply their own strengths to further strengthen and develop their sense of self-identity, when making meaning of the world. The character strengths also form the basis for student goal setting and strength-based feedback for Interim reporting and informal feedback to students.