St Paul's works closely with CatholicCare to ensure the pastoral needs of all students and their families are supported. We aim to be proactive in meeting the social, emotional and spiritual needs of our students.
A CatholicCare school counsellor is available two days a week to work with parents and students to support their social and emotional wellbeing. Our CatholicCare counsellor provides a range of support, including individual sessions with students and or parents, consultation and support to school staff, and the delivery of group work programs for small groups and classes.
To book an appointment with our school counsellor, Doreen Waddington, please contact the school office
(Please note, school counsellors may only work part-time, so for any urgent matters, please contact the school office.)
Read more about CatholicCare’s counselling as part of their School, Student and Family Program (SSFP), which promotes the wellbeing and development of students attending Catholic schools in the Illawarra.
CatholicCare also provides counselling and a variety of courses and educational programs outside of school. For more information on these programs and services, visit the CEDoW information page and the CatholicCare website.
The St Paul’s school chaplain plays an essential role in addressing the pastoral needs of the whole school community. Our chaplain is committed to fostering a supportive, caring and inclusive learning environment where the emotional and social wellbeing of students and the community as a whole, is prioritised.
Our school chaplain is deeply embedded in the fabric of our school by the way they model Christian values and in doing so foster opportunities for the spiritual growth of students, families and staff.
They work collaboratively with our school counsellor and teachers to support students through a holistic approach to addressing the social, emotional and spiritual needs of the school community.
There are a number of services and programs that the school chaplain facilities for students:
- Individual support
Individual support can take many different forms, ranging from being a sounding board for children to have their say, accompanying students on the playground who may have difficulty socialising with others, sitting in a classroom with a student while they work and offering encouragement and support. It also may involve shadowing a student during school events such as excursions, sports carnivals, etc.
The chaplain may support students who are experiencing grief and loss or other issues but who are not necessarily enrolled in a formal program.
- Grief and loss program
The St Paul’s Chaplain is trained in Seasons for Growth, an accredited grief and loss program which focuses on the grief and loss caused by death, separation or divorce in a family. Students explore emotions, stories, support networks and resilience. The chaplain delivers this in collaboration with the school counsellor.
- Social justice group
Mini Vinnies is a social justice group which engages students in practical activities to create awareness of social justice issues and encourages spiritual reflection. The program involves creative, hands-on activities that the students organise in their school.
Proceeds of fundraisers can go to Vinnies but may also be channelled into school needs and other Catholic charity organisations.
Examples of activities include producing their own radio shows, Vinnies Winter Appeals and Christmas Appeals, Winter Sleep-outs, visits from guest speakers and politicians, writing songs, making short films, cupcake stalls, raffles, local Vinnies store visits, fashion parades, breakfast mornings, friendship seat for the school playground, sending shoe boxes to children overseas for Christmas, busking days, raising money for foster families.
- Social skills groups
The St Paul’s school chaplain facilitates a range of social skills programs that address a range of needs:
- creating positive behaviours in the classroom;
- assisting children who have difficulties forming friendships in the playground;
- supporting children experiencing anxiety/worries/fears that are impacting on their time at school;
- developing healthy body esteem;
- building resilience;
- being assertive rather than aggressive or passive;
- problem-solving; and
- calming techniques.
Programs are delivered from small groups up to whole-class programs and often co-facilitated with the school counsellor.