Within our school community, student voice and student led initiatives make a significant contribution to the social and emotional well-being of our students. Sharing voice and participating in student led initiatives ensures students feel valued and supported, enabling them to develop competencies across the social and emotional skill sets.
Our highest profile student led initiative has been the development of the schools ‘3G’ trademark. Through our student leaders the pillars of United, Professional, and Committed were identified as building a positive school culture.
Social And Emotional Skills
Together with family and community, we are able to to address the social and emotional wellbeing of children and adolescents in our care. The interactions, activities and experiences on offer at GGS are underpinned by four broad areas of skill development considered important for students to reach their social and emotional potential. These are set out in the Australian Curriculum as ‘Personal and Social Capabilities’ and include:
- Social Awareness
- Social Management
Self-awareness is demonstrated by the student being able to identify their own thoughts and feelings, recognize how these thoughts and feelings arise, and how the thoughts and feelings influence their behaviour. Self-awareness includes the ability of the student to reflect on their strengths and weaknesses and understand themselves better.
Self-management is the ability to identify feelings, behaviours and thoughts and also to self-regulate and manage these effectively in different situations. Through self-management, students learn skills to regulate impulses, build strategies to help them cope with stress, persevere and motivate themselves, and set and follow through with goals.
Social awareness involves empathy, students learning to understand life from others peoples’ perspectives and understanding how their actions may influence other people. Our students are encouraged to think about other cultures, backgrounds, and societal norms. Students also develop the ability to recognize the social supports around them in their family, school and community.
Social management includes the ability to build and maintain healthy relationships with other people. Some of the skills required for healthy relationships include effective communication skills, active listening, cooperation, being able to stand up to negative peer pressure, positive conflict resolution, and being both supportive and asking for help when needed (ACARA, 2010).
Social management includes the ability to make responsible decisions. Responsible decision making is the ability to consider others, the self, ethical standards, safety, and social norms when making decisions (ACARA, 2010). It also includes the ability to realistically predict and accept responsibility for the outcomes of these decisions (ACARA, 2010).
Positive School Culture
The religious, spiritual and liturgical life of the school is central to its mission; be that enacted in the Chapel, in the classroom, on the stage, or on the sporting field, in social activities, or while travelling to and from the school. Guildford Grammar School promotes a Christian ethos in an Anglican tradition which is inclusive, ecumenical and liturgical thereby recognising a thoughtful, enquiring and proper place for the Bible, Tradition and Reason, properly exercised, in informing Christian discipleship and for the building up of the Kingdom of God.
In so much as the Chapel is the most striking building of the school it symbolises the importance the school places upon the centrality of the Christian experience lived out in the Anglican tradition within the School.
The School Chapel is a quiet place in the School: it is a place of prayer and reflection for all members of the school community. It proclaims a message that God is present among his people; that Jesus is alive and is ready to answer prayer; that the Holy Spirit calls us to love and understanding with each other. The Eucharist is at the heart of its worship and proclaims that in broken bread and shared wine we seek to reflect the self-giving love of Christ.
While the School welcomes those from all beliefs, and none, it is expected that all members will live a life reflective in word and deed of the example of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. To that end the School seeks to respond to human need with loving service, to be non-judgmental and inclusive. All students are required to attend Chapel services, congregational singing and participate in the Christian and religious education classes of the School.
Pastoral care at Guildford Grammar School is a model of emotional and spiritual support to enhance the social, emotional and physical wellbeing of the students. A hallmark of our pastoral care model is ensuring that each student is known and valued . We believe that ‘care’ is all-encompassing in nature, whether in a pastoral or academic sense are similar and inter-related, with both contributing to improved performance and enjoyment at school. Research informs us that students receiving quality social and emotional education, the essence of our pastoral care program, are likely to be more resilient, feel more connected to school, achieve better results and demonstrate more positive behaviours. Our ultimate aim is to provide students with the skills and emotional strength to become confident and compassionate young men and women in the wider world.
The Senior School comprises eight houses containing boarding and day students. Each house includes around 90 students from Years 7-12. A Head of House and a Mentor Teacher responsible for each year group support students in the House. In order to foster stronger relationships with students and families Mentor Teachers oversee each group of students for three succesive school years (e.g. Year 7, 8, 9). Mentor groups are organised by school year whereas the houses include students from all years, this provides the dual benefits of allowing the delivery of age specific programs and activities as well as having the role modelling/mentor and support systems from older students.
Each House contains a ‘common room’ area providing a physical base for the students, with pool tables, couches and other facilities. Students are presented with the opportunity to represent their House in a range of sporting and cultural activities, this provides a low-risk setting for students to engage in new activities and opportunities to help them identify where their strengths and passions lie.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of effective pastoral care. In the Senior School, the lines of communication are opened with parents before the students begin school. Initial meetings with new students take place before the commencement of Term One each year.
Initial meetings are followed by a phone call to parents from the student’s Mentor Teacher who explains their role in goal setting and overseeing the wellbeing of the students in their mentor groups. This open communication allows Mentor Teachers and Heads of Houses to have current information about each student from their parents’ perspective and enables support to be provided if required.
In order to sustain relationships with families, every year the Head of House schedules a meeting with existing students and their parents. The focus of this is to discuss the student’s social, emotional and academic development. Our aim is that each student is known as an individual and valued as a member of their House and also the wider school community.
Each boarding year group has a Year Co-ordinator, who lives on-site. The Year Co-ordinators are actively involved in the residential life of students due the ‘live-in’ nature of their roles they are always on hand to provide advice and assistance for our students. The Year Co-ordinators follow their particular group through their school journey enabling strong relationships to be established not just with the individual’s students, but also their families.
As well as the Year Co-ordinators, each of the residential sites (Senior Hall/Junior Hall) has a Head of Hall who oversees student development and progress. These staff also live in a residential capacity to provide another consistent source of guidance and mentorship for students throughout their time at school.
Within the residential halls our Housemothers play an important role, these core staff assist and teach students with domestic tasks (cooking, sewing, ironing) as well as being there to greet our students after school each day to check-in on how their day has been.
The purpose of our schools’ co-curricular program is to provide students with practical, hands-on, meaningful experiences to develop particular skills and exhibit their non-academic abilities.
Co-curricular opportunities complement curricular activities and help develop students in the art of living and working together. Although they are not a part of the core curriculum, they play an integral role in giving students the ability to mould their lives to become well-rounded people.
The role of co-curricular activities in a student’s life cannot easily be measured; however, a number of benefits attributed to co-curricular activities:
- Exposure to new activities
- Enhance appreciation of experiences
- Strengthen self-confidence
- Develop specialized skills
- Foster sense of responsibility
- Improve academic performance
- Develop stronger relationships with peers
Guildford Grammar School is committed to the wellbeing and care of all people in our School Community; this is underpinned by a commitment to establishing whole school policies where possible to set a shared approach to the management of crucial programs, processes and matters.
- One School policies and procedures are developed with reference to the School Purpose, Values and Code of Conduct
- These documents are designed to provide clarity on School policy, procedures and expectations
- Individuals within the School Community will be responsible working with the content of these documents in a positive and supportive manner
Our key policies related to the social and emotional well-being of students are:
• Mental Health and Well-being Policy
• Child Protection Policy
• Positive Peer Relations- Anti-bullying Policy
• Code of Conduct
• Cyber safety Policy
Our school is proud it was the first school in Western Australia to achieve Childwise certification. The safety of students in our care is our ultimate priority, this certification ensures we maintain best practice in relation to this important part of our operations.
Child Safe’s Organisation Certification is a holistic approach considering the policies, practices, activities, culture and awareness of child abuse and preventative approaches, and how these are implemented in an organisation. The certification process allows Guildford Grammar School to demonstrate that we have achieved and maintained best practice standards for protecting children and young people from abuse and exploitation, and to create spaces where children are safe and feel empowered to speak up.
The diagram below outlines the '‘12 Standards for a Child Safe Organisation” established by Childwise to create a framework for building open, transparent, and accountable organisations.
School Support Groups
The Guildford Grammar School P & F Society is at the core of the School community. The Society consist of three sub-committees:
The mission statement of the Guildford Grammar School P& F Society is:
We represent one school one community delivering greater visibility, fairer representation, clearer communication and focused expenditure. Together stronger, for the good of the School, for the value we all place on our community, our culture and our values - on behalf of the Parent and School community.
The P&F’s purpose is to support the School’s focus on inspiring students to be outstanding citizens who work to create a just, loving and peaceful society by:
- fostering goodwill between parents, staff, students of the School and the public
- providing personal service to the School
- seeking financial assistance for the School
- delivering opportunities for social exchange between all segments of the School
- actively promoting the aims and objectives of the School
A number of additional support groups exist with the objective on supporting student activities within the school, such as the Fathering Project Group, Sports and Art’s supporter groups. The presence of a varied and active range of school supporter groups provides all parents with the opportunity to participate in and contribute to a large number of school-related activities throughout the year.