Director of Pastoral Care
Social and Emotional Learning: Key to Success
We are aware that young people today are faced with wonderful opportunities, yet at times, there may be challenges as they work to balance the demands of study, extra-curricular activities and a healthy social life. The teenage years are a time of rapid growth and change and it is often during this period that some concerns may surface. According to the most recent Mission Australia Youth Survey Report, the four key issues concerning adolescents include:
- Coping with stress
- School or study problems
- Body image
The Mission Australia report suggests that young people need skills to cope with stress, support in times of need and mental health and drug/alcohol awareness programs. The report provides evidence that concurs with our own experience in educating and responding to the wellbeing of our students. Parents and educators are well-positioned to support young people during adolescence. Staying connected with your daughters is especially important at this time, providing her with a sense of security that enhances her confidence. You may wish to explore some of these issues in order to understand how you might assist your daughter.
Such challenges in a young woman’s life can be viewed as pivotal in shaping her own value system and capacity to develop resilience and self-belief. It is normal for teenagers to have worries and uncertainties, yet it is important that when such concerns arise, they feel they have coping strategies. We aim to build capacity in our students so they develop resilience and self-belief. To be motivated and engaged in effective learning, students need to be developing strategies to ensure their own wellbeing and to build skills necessary for a 21st century world.
Pastoral Care at Loreto Normanhurst is about knowing, nurturing and developing each student ‘holistically’ to achieve their personal and academic potential. The FACE curriculum (Faith, Academic, Community, Extra-curricular) together with Pastoral Care structures, focuses on cultivating an environment and culture that supports the intellectual, social, emotional, spiritual and physical development of every student. The concept of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) recognises that these elements of a person’s life cannot be treated in isolation – what happens in one area, affects what happens in other domains. SEL is often used interchangeably with Pastoral Care and is part of a holistic program. Research informs us that social and emotional skills are essential for academic success, wellbeing and social cohesion. Our Pastoral Care Programs, including the Year 7 Resourceful Adolescent Program and the Year 8 Healthy Minds Program, focus on developing personal and social capabilities including:
- Relationship skills
- Social awareness
- Responsible decision-making
The programs also aim to open the hearts and minds of our students to the Loreto values such as Verity and Justice. Part of our mission and education of young women is to challenge them to be that point of difference as ‘seekers of truth and doers of justice’. They are reminded that this begins with their daily interactions with others, through their service to the broader community or through their leadership.
I encourage you to peruse the information in the links provided above and to engage in conversation with your daughter around some of the topics. We welcome communication with you at any time, particularly if you any have concerns regarding your daughter’s wellbeing or engagement in her learning.
Mrs Lynn Long
Director of Pastoral Care