Pastoral care in Early Years is interwoven with teaching and learning and it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the two. Children need to feel safe and secure in their environment before learning can take place so building positive relationships between students and teachers is an absolute priority.
We take a whole school approach to providing pastoral care and run the SMILE programme from Pre-Kindergarten to Year 6. SMILE - Self-management, Motivation, Initiative, Listening and Empathy is a programme designed to develop and teach emotional intelligence.
Much of the teaching and learning that takes place through our programme is kinaesthetic or visual. Children are encouraged to take responsibility for their learning and to inquire together to ensure that they reach a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the complex issues involved in developing social, emotional and behavioural skills. The programme encourages them to learn through participating in different group sizes and problem solving together.
In addition to this we run a buddy programme. This involves children of different age groups buddying up. Throughout the year we ensure there are opportunities for the ‘buddies’ to get together to do an activity or share lunch. In this way younger and older Primary School students become familiar and this then promotes respect and tolerance between the year groups.
In addition to this we also run the Seedlings programme which teaches children resilience and gives them strategies to deal with friendship issues.