The Diocesan Mission Statement and the Pastoral Care Policy of the Lismore Diocese, as well as the Lismore Diocesan Pastoral Care Framework guides the pastoral policy and procedures of St Mary’s Primary School. Pastoral care of students refers to the action taken within a school by its leaders and community members to promote and enhance student wellbeing of a personal, social, physical, emotional, mental or spiritual nature. Key elements of student wellbeing are positive self-regard, respect for others, positive relationships, responsible behaviours and personal resilience.
All staff and students are fundamental in supporting pastoral care in St Mary’s Primary School. Through the support of the Catholic Schools Office a number of pastoral care programs have been identified and offered to members of the school community. Programs supporting students include Seasons for Growth and Stormbirds. Stormbirds provides an opportunity for children and young people who have experienced a natural disaster to share their experiences, and learn skills for adapting and recovering. This takes place in an atmosphere of like-to-like peer support. Staff have undertaken a range of Professional Development enabling them to support Pastoral Care within the school. All staff at St Mary’s are trained in the Berry Street Education Model which explores classroom strategies when implementing trauma-informed learning and the science of wellbeing.
St Mary’s Primary School is supported by a school counsellor two days per week. The counsellor is available to meet with students and their parents, and provides support to teaching staff.