Pastoral Care is the ministry of care and counselling providing emotional and spiritual support, social and moral education and behaviour management.
At Hills Adventist College, relationships matter. Central to all that we do at Hills is a harmonious partnership between school and family. We are well known for our warm and friendly community atmosphere. Students are made to feel valued, cared for, and of genuine worth. Parents and students are valued members of the community. There is a sense of belonging as we share together in the learning journey.
One of the distinctives of Christian schooling is the commitment, skill and availability of the staff to provide loving pastoral care for the students. Each student at Hills Adventist College is viewed as a uniquely created individual endowed with specific God-given gifts and abilities. The college takes seriously its responsibility to identify, nurture and develop each student’s talents. To do this successfully students need to know that they are loved, supported and respected.
Our goal is that each student in our College community knows and experiences that they belong. They are not ‘freefloating islands in a sea of humanity’. Our teachers respond to the needs of their students' not only individually, but also collegially, as each student is ‘lifted up in prayer’ during daily staff worship in an atmosphere that sensitively balances genuine Christian concern with confidentiality.
We want to convey hope to our students. Hope in the faithfulness and promises of God in Jesus Christ. We want our students to feel loved, safe and valued. We want them to learn and experience that, according to the salvation narrative, we are all precious in God’s sight— irrespective of individual gifts, abilities, social status, cultural background or race.
During school hours, the major providers of pastoral care for our Kindy to Year 6 students are their own classroom teacher and for Year 7 to Year 12 students their first contact in welfare and pastoral care matters is with their Home Room Teachers. A female counsellor and a male chaplain are also available to provide additional care and specialist support and referral. However, within our College community all students may call on any staff member for guidance or help.
Through a variety of mentoring programmes each student is encouraged to learn from their mistakes, take appropriate steps to restore broken relationships and persevere in their commitment to build Christian character.
An important part of the Christian life is our behaviour towards others. At Hills Adventist College we expect respect in all inter-personal relationships. We value diligence, civility, honesty and respect for private property. Occasionally, students may not behave appropriately. For such circumstances the school has carefully thought through a system to bring appropriate correction where needed. If misbehaviours go beyond minor events, the school readily contacts parents so that a co-ordinated approach to solve the matter can be undertaken.
All our staff are Christians. We believe that is important. Our trained and professional staff are members of a variety of local churches and serve as important role models for students in their faith, action and choices. All aspects of the school curriculum are taught from a Christian perspective. Bible studies, daily worship, chapel services, chapel band, choir, mission outreach, peer support, camps and excursions play an essential role in fostering positive relationships and provide opportunities to develop Christian leadership and service amongst our student body.
One of the services that Hills Adventist College offers as part of our overall welfare and pastoral care program, is that of chaplaincy. We are blessed to have two very capable chaplains who provide this support to our two campuses
Chaplaincy brings an added dimension to pastoral care—a spiritual one. In a general sense, chaplaincy may be regarded as a human service ministry that incorporates specific roles in meeting the well-being needs of a particular group or community. It does not compete with, but is complementary to and part of the overall pastoral care program of a learning community.
In an educational setting, chaplaincy is a human services ministry that focuses on the pastoral nurture and spiritual development of a school community, and forms an integral part of a school’s overall pastoral care program.
Role of Chaplains
Our Chaplains work in close partnership with other staff members. Their core responsibilities include providing confidential pastoral care; helping to facilitate the spiritual life and growth of the College community and liaising with our families and other community stakeholders. They are also engaged pro-actively in the life of the College in a range of other ways.
Examples of proactive engagement in the life of the School include: relating to students during camps, excursions, special events, chapel services and other programs; facilitating student mentoring; participating in and promoting prayer within the school community; encouraging the faith of students; supporting and encouraging student leaders and their initiatives; presenting devotions and Christian world view perspectives to students and staff members; and assisting with the coordination of special “Christian distinctive” programs.
Hills Adventist College has a College counsellor whose role includes the provision of a counselling and referral service to students, their families and teachers. As such, time is spent in one-on-one counselling for individual students, behaviour management strategies, counselling for grief and loss, support for parents and staff, liaising with parents concerning their child's welfare and identifying needs of individual students and addressing those.