Pastoral Care

The creation of a warm and inclusive community where all feel safe and valued, is a key focus of life at Catherine McAuley.


Catherine McAuley’s Pastoral Care Program complements our learning and teaching strategies to provide academic care for all students.

The core Mercy Values of mercy, justice, excellence, integrity, courage and hospitality are the foundation for an environment where right relationships are established and the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of the young women in our care is nurtured.

 

 

Pastoral care at Catherine McAuley Westmead


Complementing our academic program, the pastoral care program supports and encourages the development of each student through:

  • House, Liturgy and Social Justice committees
  • Student Representative Council
  • Peer support
  • Individual guidance and counselling
  • Youth Forums
  • Peer Tutoring
  • Seminars addressing current issues
  • Merit system

 

 

 

All students belong to a house based homeroom group which meets each day. This enables the interaction and participation of each student and teacher in a personal environment. Year and House groups meet on a regular basis to acknowledge and affirm students’ achievements.

 

 

 

Pastoral care programs at each year level are designed to help build resilience, independence and courage within each girl.

 

 

 

Pastoral Care Initiatives

All students belong to a house-based homeroom group which meets each day. This enables the interaction and participation of each student and teacher in a personal environment.

Year and House groups meet on a regular basis to acknowledge and affirm students’ achievements. The Catherine McAuley Houses are:


Caritas

Caritas House - Gold

Caritas is the Latin word for charity or loving actions. Serving others, especially those in most need, was central to Mother Catherine’s work for the poor of Dublin, and is a key focus of the Mercy tradition.


Clare

Clare House - Orange

Clare House is named after Sister Clare Dunphy who was the leader of the first Sisters of Mercy to come to Parramatta in 1888. Sister Clare and eight other Sisters of Mercy came from Callan Convent in Ireland. These Sisters are our Founding Mothers.


Coolock

Coolock House - Green

Coolock is the name of the house and suburb where Catherine lived from her late 20s to her late 40s. Here she took care of an elderly couple (Elinor and James Callaghan). When they died, they left Coolock House to Catherine, who sold it (for approx. $1.5million in today’s money) and built her House of Mercy in Dublin.


Dobson

Dobson House - Purple

Dobson House is named after Sister Eugene Dobson, the first principal of Catherine McAuley. Sister Eugene taught across many subject areas and is well known for her strong commitment to girls’ education. Her perseverance was a key factor in the establishment of our school.


Mercedes

Mercedes House - Blue

Mercedes is the Spanish word for Mercy. The Sisters of Mercy began many works of Mercy in Spanish-speaking countries in South America. Mercy or Mercedes describes God’s loving kindness to all people.


Ryan

Ryan House - Pink

Ryan House is named after Sister Mary Anne Ryan, the second principal of Catherine McAuley. Sister Mary Anne is fondly remembered for her gentle presence, her wonderful geography teaching and her love of nature. She established many of the gardens we enjoy here at school.


Veritas

Veritas House - Red

Veritas is the Latin word for truth. The Mercy tradition calls on all of us to be true to ourselves, to others and to God. Being true is about knowing what really matters, and having the courage to live out in our lives, what we believe in our hearts.

Students who act as Ambassadors for Catherine McAuley may be acknowledged in a variety of ways including:


  • The Catherine McAuley Award which is presented to the Year 12 student who has made an outstanding contribution to the life of the school
  • The Ambassador for Catherine McAuley Award which is presented to one student of Years 7-11
  • Service to the School Awards
  • Service to Culture Awards
  • Acknowledgement at school assemblies
  • Acknowledgement at year group assemblies
  • Articles in school newsletters
  • School Leaders’ Awards
  • Diary commendation
  • Year Co-ordinator commendation
  • Student Merit Awards leading to Principal’s Award
  • Displays of work
  • Recognition on reports
  • Year / Homeroom Awards
  • HSC High Achievers Board
  • Honour Roll: Captain and Dux.

Rights and Responsibilities Charter


As a student member of this community, I can expect to have a right to:
Therefore, I have a responsibility to:
Have my gifts and talents respected and nurtured. Develop my gifts and respect and support the gifts of others.
Contribute positively to the life of the school community. Contribute positively to the school community and acknowledge the contribution made by others.
Be accepted for who I am. Accept the uniqueness of each individual.
Experience effective, competent, empathetic teaching in a Catholic environment. Contribute to a positive learning environment by allowing teaching and learning to take place.
Be able to learn to the best of my ability. Strive to learn to the best of my ability.
Experience a healthy and clean environment. Keep the school environment clean and healthy.
Experience a safe environment. Follow safety procedures and the School Behaviour Code and eliminate bullying and harassment.
Be treated with compassion, integrity and dignity. Treat others as I would like to be treated with compassion, fairness and dignity.
Have the opportunity to participate in appropriate decision making. Participate and encourage others to have a voice in the school community.

There are many opportunities for students to develop and show leadership skills at Catherine McAuley. Whilst some students are elected by their peers and teachers to leadership positions, every student is encouraged to show initiative and leadership and to be an ambassador for Catherine McAuley. Whilst some students are elected by their peers and teachers to leadership positions, every student is encouraged to show initiative and leadership and to be an ambassador for Catherine McAuley. The school provides opportunities for students to develop their confidence and skills through:


  • Leadership programs
  • Performing Arts evenings
  • Debating
  • Sporting competitions
  • Liturgies
  • Social justice activities
  • Hospitality
  • Peer Support Program
  • Peer mentoring
  • Girls Student Alliance Network
  • Student Representative Council
  • Public Speaking
  • Youth Forums
  • Strong Sisters Group - indigenous students.

Student Representative Council

The Student Representative Council is elected by students and represents all year levels.

The SRC strives to give students a voice in the extended school community. Their aim is to represent students’ interests in a manner that is beneficial to the whole school community.


Peer Support Leaders

All Year 9 students are trained as Peer Support Leaders during Term 4. After training, students are invited to nominate themselves as Peer Support Leaders for the following year. Approximately 40 students are selected from this group.

Peer Support Leaders help with the transition of the new Year 7 students into secondary school life. During Term 1, Peer Support Leaders meet with their groups once a week. After this, the groups and their leaders meet on an informal basis. Leaders are always available to help individual members of their group.

Catherine McAuley recognises the importance of a smooth transition from primary to secondary school. We facilitate this change with a formal transition program, beginning in Year 6 and continuing through Year 7.

The program includes:

  • Orientation day
  • Year 7 induction day
  • Peer support program
  • Year 7 Family Welcome Evening
  • Peer mentoring program