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 programmes 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 programme 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 programmes 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”. Download our current Student Wellbeing brochure for additional information.
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 Bounce Back, Rock and Water and the Raising Responsibility System.
Bounce Back is a wellbeing and resilience program that 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. Amazing Me (for Years 5-6 students) is a 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.
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.
Year 9 – The Rite Journey
This is a customised seven-step educational program is designed to support the development of self-aware, responsible, respectful and resilient adults. It is integrated into school life and contains personal and group challenges, a solo experience and personal reflection, all designed to prepare students for Senior College and what lies ahead.
Year 10 – Black Dog and Bite Back programs and Back Off Seminars
The Black Dog Institute’s unique program features nine presentations and follow-up tutor sessions designed to build resilience and character and improve the wellbeing and mental fitness of students. Back Off delivers separate girls’ and boys’ sessions addressing social issues such as peer pressure, decision-making, taking responsibility for your actions and the importance of respect and self-discipline.
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 sutdents develop, evolve and adapt through frequent ‘success’ experiences. Students are assessed on their strengths and weaknesses and how to improve on them.
Year 12 – Stress Management and Tutor group performance reviews
Students are led to reflect on their lives and priorities and are provided with strategies to enable them to reduce stress. 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.
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 programme, 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.