At Gilson College we work together to ensure students are happy and secure in all aspects of school life.
Teaching and non-teaching staff are all part of the Wellbeing Support Team. Wellbeing support is supported by, but not the sole responsibility of the Chaplain and Wellbeing Coordinator, Learning Support Coordinator, Head of Primary, Head of Secondary and School Counsellor. This team strives to ensure students are happy and secure in whatever activity they are taking part in, whether social, spiritual, mental, emotional or physical. We have a caring commitment to guide and advise our students to equip them with the skills needed to face the outside world.
Parents are always welcome and are encouraged to contact their child’s homeroom/class teacher, Learning Support Coordinator, Wellbeing Coordinator, Chaplain, Head of Primary or Head of Secondary if they have any concerns or worries. The school also has designated Child Safety Officers who deal with any child protection issues. These are the Principal and Head of Schools.
Our staff meet regularly to discuss and review Pastoral Care practices. The opinions of parents and students are always valued to ensure procedures and practices are relevant.
Our specific features can be seen below.
Provides language and supports for a student to understand themselves and others including regulation of their emotions e.g. zone of regulations, whole body listening, social thinking curriculum and learning.
Provides support and opportunities for social-emotional wellbeing through linking students with support services (counselling) as well as prevention training relating to child and adolescent issues e.g. Bravehearts, Power of Me, Healthy relationships and Consent.
Provides support for students and advice and support for staff and parents through, training, creation of Individual Education Plans as well as recommendations for working with a diverse range of learning needs including extension opportunities. The team has access to external support such as speech therapists, occupational therapists and educational psychologists.
Students can select to go to a lunch club each lunchtime (art, games, STEM, social Thinking, writing, gardening, sewing) Clubs provide another alternative play option for students to connect with other students and learn new skills.
A team made up of the Heads of School, Counsellor and Chaplains. This team meets regularly to discuss individualised support and interventions for students.
Participation and belonging are encouraged among all students and families, as we seek to know, live like and share Jesus Christ.
The Chaplaincy program provides practical and emotional support for families in need, making referrals to other organisations and professional bodies where further support is required. Chaplains provide a first point of call for students, as well as an area of safety within the school where trauma can be dealt with in a confidential, nurturing environment.
Staff and volunteers within the school community are also supported and encouraged by the Chaplaincy team.
Members of the Chaplaincy team are engaged in the spiritual life and growth of the school community. Examples of this are found in weekly worship experiences like chapel and staff worship. Annual Festival of Faith in Primary, and Week of Worship in secondary create week-long high points celebrating student involvement and leadership. Individual and small group bible studies operate across the campus, encouraging students in their spiritual journey. Students are enabled to lead out in various church services across the wider community and the Combined Schools Day of Worship event – which draws together students from five sister schools in the Victorian Adventist School system.
On campus, Chaplains convene and lead parent prayer and Bible study groups on a regular basis. Our specific programs can be seen below.
Chaplains initiated the formation of our Pathfinder Club, which encourages students from ages 10 – 16 in developing life skills, including leadership and communication, among many other skills. Events include regular weekend meetings, day hiking, and overnight camping. Students over 16 are provided with the opportunity to develop leadership skills through the club.
Chaplains organise two FOFs annually for secondary students, inviting dynamic speakers to lead this praise and worship time. Students are encouraged by presentations from these speakers from around Australia.
Primary and Secondary year levels pair up to prepare and participate in one annual school community Sabbath program each at Gilson College Community Church, e.g. Foundation with Year 12, Year 1 with year 11 etc. Teachers and Chaplains develop the themes and work together to bring these regular GSDs together.
Chaplains assist in the formation and operation of chapel bands. This allows students to develop their musical skills and confidence in performing for their peers and teachers.
Years 5 to 12 students participate in Bible study at their own request. They work with our chaplaincy team to explore key messages in the Bible stories that they discuss.
Our Chaplains also run a Friday-night youth program throughout the year on campus. The Fired-Up program targets high-school students during a time of rapid social development and focuses on building positive relationships and building capacity in each young person.