The mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of young people are essential pre-conditions for successful learning. These qualities cannot be developed for individuals in isolation from the health and wellbeing of the school community as a whole .

Catholic schools across Sandhurst give witness to this by the way they encourage and nurture
faith development in the context of everyday life and culture.

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Have life and have it abundantly

We acknowledge the Gospel truth that we are all called to ‘have life and have it abundantly’ (Jn 10:10) and our commitment is to the development of the whole person - spiritually, emotionally, socially, intellectually and physically.

In affirming each person’s dignity and worth we confirm our fundamental Christian belief that we are all made in the image of God.

‘So God created humankind; in God’s image, in the image of God created them; male and female he created them

Genesis 1:27

Pastoral Wellbeing in Catholic schools is designed to support the development of the wellbeing of all members of the school community by:

  • ensuring a safe environment for all members of the school community
  • respecting the dignity of each person
  • witnessing Gospel values through daily living (holistic)
  • teaching personal responsibility
  • teaching how school communities live out personal responsibility (positive behaviour management)
  • building positive school culture and environments
  • building just relationships collaboratively through sharing responsibility between parents, staff and students.
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Each person is called

Each person is called to understand, value and actively promote the wellbeing of all members of the school community. Consequently, Pastoral Wellbeing may be seen as the unifying focus for the spiritual, academic, physical, social and emotional aspects of school life. 

Pastoral Wellbeing in Sandhurst schools expresses its Catholic identity in the context of relationships: relationship with God, relationship with self, relationship with others and relationships in the world.

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Shared understanding

In order to develop a shared understanding of Pastoral Wellbeing in a school community each school engages in a cycle of reflecting, evaluating and implementing improved plans in the area of Pastoral Wellbeing.

This then determines the strategic planning priorities in the area of Pastoral Wellbeing and ongoing implementation strategies in support of staff, students and families.

In a well school environment members experience energy, confidence, openness, enjoyment, calm and caring in an integrated and balanced way.

Communities that are well are creative in what they attempt to achieve and have a strong sense of potential (future). In very difficult situations where one or several members of the community suffers unhappiness – no community can be happy all the time - the community knows why it is unhappy and has the skills and ability to try and do something about it. 

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Human beings are social creatures

Human beings are social creatures who need each other, not only to survive, but also to be happy and well. In well communities members get on together and have learnt to replace the habits of criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing and bribing or rewarding to control others with more effective habits of supporting, encouraging, listening, accepting, trusting, respecting and negotiating. 

Wellbeing focuses on whole school populations not only those individuals or small groups with problems. This shift in mental model calls for a wellbeing approach rather than a welfare approach. Wellbeing comes from a wellness approach (salutogenic model) rather than the disease model of a welfare approach (pathogenic model). Wellbeing does not sit alongside mental health but rather mental health is a part of what wellbeing is.

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A salutogenic or well community

In schools, a salutogenic or well community is dynamic, always shifting, improving and deeply connected to the values and needs of each school. Wellbeing then, is an invitation to personal responsibility for all members of a community, both adults and children.

Because wellness develops from inside the community and cannot be imposed from outside the community, a well community in one part of the diocese will be both similar to, and different from, another school in the diocese.

A safe and happy environment is crucial to making it possible for both students and adults to develop their emotional literacy, develop and practise happy relationships, evaluate risk and build resilience.

  

Festival of the Sacred: A salutogenic community in action

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