SACS has a range of services available to students to help them deal with many of the challenges faced by young people today. The Middle School’s various resilience programs are aimed at guiding students through a range of issues to help them grow emotionally and succeed academically. The Black Dog Institute runs an in-depth program for Senior College students which seeks to build positive thinking and strength to problem solve and start again in times of failure, whether academic or social. Just a few of the programs on offer include:
St Andrew’s is a place where your cohort is your community and you are known and valued.
Learning requires caring
At SACS we foster an atmosphere of caring, both in and out of the classroom. Our staff make the effort to know each student by name. Conduct in our classrooms is founded on cooperation, caring, helping, encouragement and support. This attitude allows students to grow and learn, not only academically, but to become rounded individuals who behave responsibly and ethically in everything they do.
One of the many life skills students learn at St Andrew’s Cathedral School is the ability to maintain positive mental health and a strong sense of wellbeing. St Andrew’s offers a variety of programs suited to the different age levels within the school, aimed at promoting wellbeing as well as problem solving, relaxation and optimistic thinking. St Andrew’s provides a comprehensive approach to student wellbeing built on the premise that young people learn best when they are healthy, safe and happy. Resilience and connectedness will increase the individual’s wellbeing and decrease their chances of becoming “at risk”.
Junior School – Bounce Back and Amazing Me
All Junior School teachers exercise strong pastoral care and support for the children in their care. The nurturing process of guiding, listening and leading is very important in these years. Junior School programs include the Bounce Back and Prosper resilience programs, the ‘Stop, Think Go!’ method of responding to emotions and the Raising Responsibility system.
Bounce Back teaches core values and practical strategies to cope with and bounce back from challenging situations. It includes seminars on nutrition, exercise and limiting screen time.
In Years 5-6, programs added include: ‘Everyday Hero’ for responding to peer pressure, growth coaching skills and strategies, GRIP leadership training and the Amazing Me sex education seminar on adolescence and the changing body.
Middle School Year 7 – Peer Support program and Digital Citizenship seminars
Run by Year 11 students, the Peer Support program covers a variety of core skills required for high school such as developing friendships, organisation, empathy, resilience and city safety. Several seminars on Digital Citizenship address how students can engage with others on the internet safely and respectfully and avoid cyberbullying. A ‘Get your act together!’ program helps Year 7 students develop organisational skills, build friendships, understand school rules and create a suitable home study area,
Middle School Year 8 – Respect, self-control and learning to lead
The Year 8 program focuses on leadership and positive engagement in school life, covering topics of respect for self and others, self-control and learning to lead – preparing them for leadership roles within the school. A series called ‘This is me’ helps students find their place in the world by discussing self-image, self-talk and emotional regulation. Further sessions on safely navigating the online world and using technology are also included.
Year 9 – Relationships
In Year 9, students are separated into male and female tutorial groups that encourage open communication with other students and honest personal reflection on growing up, over a four-term program:
Relationship with self – aims to help students understand the impact of their family on who they are today and how they feel about themselves as young people.
Relationship with others – students learn how to grow healthy friendships and identify the features of healthy romantic relationships.
Relationship with the world – students will gain an understanding of the significance of the values we have and why we develop them.
Relationship with spirit – students reflect on their own belief systems, how we can deal with grief, death and depression in a way that grows resilience.
Year 10 – building study skills and strong minds
Senior College is the ‘finishing’ of the student school experience. While academic achievement is the focus of this period of school, wellbeing is the platform on which a student’s best results can be achieved.
A variety of life skills are presented, including: Study Skills seminars, Your Choicez relationship seminars, Strong Minds positive psychology program, safe celebrations
Year 11 – Motivation and Engagement workshops
The students are taught about the keys to being motivated, engaged and achieving personal best in their academic life. This is based on the belief that students develop, evolve and adapt through frequent ‘success’ experiences. Students are assessed on their strengths and weaknesses and how to improve on them. Students also work on using their digital footprints to their best advantage, examine social pressures, settings and risks.
Year 12 – Study Skills program
Students participate in the high-impact Elevate Education program that covers study sessions, time management, how to ace exams, set goals and develop a growth mindset. Each student’s academic performance to date is discussed with their tutor and the Head of School and students are encouraged to set goals and realistic paths to achieving those goals. Students regularly meet with their tutors throughout the year to discuss assessments and reflect on their performance. Mindfulness and resilience are also taught, along with essential life skills such as changing a flat tyre on a car and cooking a meal! A leadership retreat helps students gain an understanding of their role as leaders of the school.
Student leadership opportunities
Personal growth occurs through challenge – and what better challenge than assuming responsibility? From Junior School to Senior College, there are innumerable opportunities to be a leader, inside and outside of the classroom.
More than a dozen leadership positions are appointed to Year 6 students, following nomination, student speeches and a whole-year vote. These students hold important roles of community service and mentoring, providing role models to younger students and preparing themselves in confidence for high school. In Middle School, about 16 leaders are appointed in Year 9, following an application and interview process. These students are community service representatives, mentors to peers and grow significantly in responsibility, assisting at school events and serving as ambassadors. Year 11 students can take part in the Peer Support program, assisting Year 7 students in settling into high school.
By Year 12, every student is considered a leader and proudly wears a student leader badge on their blazer. In the July preceding Year 12, the School Leadership Team is announced. This allows the students to shadow the current team before taking office in Term 4. All Year 12 students are encouraged to become involved in the many projects developed by the team.