Caring for the boys
The student body and staff at St Joseph’s College are structured to ensure every boy receives the highest level of pastoral care to support, encourage and nurture him through his time at Joeys.
The Deputy Headmaster is responsible for the pastoral care of all College students. He oversees a pastoral system that operates horizontally – as opposed to a vertical, house-based system – which means that boys in each year group live, study, eat, pray and play together, and receive pastoral support that is specific to the needs of their age group.
Each year group has an Academic Co-ordinator responsible for the academic progress of every boy. Dedicated to the physical, spiritual and emotional welfare of the boys at each year level is a Boarding Co-ordinator, who is on 24-hour call and resides close to the College as part of their in loco parentis role.
All staff at the College make personal connections with students to ensure each boy is being cared for and has available to him a confident point of contact. These connections may be formal or informal and help maintain the College’s strong family community. The members of the Brother Community also provide valuable guidance, care and support and see the boys on a daily basis.
Each day at St Joseph’s starts with a pastoral class at which boys gather for 10 minutes – and one day a week, 40 minutes – in small groups of about 15, and their pastoral teacher or tutor checks in with everyone’s wellbeing before the first period begins.
The horizontal system also works to create close, family-like bonds between boys and across the year group, which means students also become an important emotional support for each other. Strong connections also form between boys in different year groups. A peer support program operates for Year 7 students, who are given regular time to meet with their Year 11 buddy to learn about the College, ask questions and discuss any worries they may be having.
All counselling sessions are confidential, with the only exceptions being if there is a risk of harm to the student or another person, or if a subpoena is served. However, a request to the court may be sought for the information not to be released if there is concern for any potential impact on the student.
All counselling files are owned by St Joseph’s College and are kept on the school premises in a locked cabinet. The files are confidential and only accessible to the College Psychologists. Information is also stored on Synergetic software and is only accessible by the College Psychologists and the Deputy Headmaster. By law, client records must be retained for a minimum of seven years after a minor has reached maturity (e.g. 18 years plus seven) unless there is a legal requirement that directs otherwise. The College Psychologist’s files are accessible under legal processes by subpoena or through statutory obligations.
The St Joseph’s College Health Centre is tasked with caring for the day-to-day health of boarders, providing a professional, on-site service. During school hours the centre also provides health care as needed for day students.
During term time the Centre is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is always staffed by a registered nurse. Local doctors are available on-site for bulk-billed consultations with boarders each weekday at 8am. Outside the doctors’ normal hours, students in need of a doctor are referred to Hunters Hill Medical Centre or the local hospital.
Boarding students who become unwell or injured report to the Health Centre where they are assessed, treated and, if necessary, referred on by the nursing sister. If a boarding student is unable to return to school he is put into a bed in the Centre and parents are notified as soon as practicable. If any student needs to be transferred to hospital parents are notified as soon as possible.
In addition to looking after boys when they are sick or injured the Health Centre is responsible for handing out medication, vaccinations, pre-sport strapping, referrals and monitoring boys with special conditions, such as diabetes, epilepsy and asthma. It also offers annual flu vaccinations to students, and is the contact point for parents needing to arrange special dietary requirements for their sons.
There are also two single rooms with a connecting disabled bathroom.