Student Well-Being

Pastoral Care

At St Francis, we believe all human beings are hardwired to connect. Individuals who disconnect, become disengaged.

Effective relationships are at the core of quality teaching and learning. Research suggests that students who are socially and emotionally competent, having well-developed relationship skills and social awareness, experience improved learning outcomes. 

The principles of Restorative Justice underpin our student wellbeing processes and practices. An individual’s dignity and wellbeing are paramount, respecting the desire and importance of connection in relationship with others.  

St Francis School uses a multifaceted approach to wellbeing, employing the services of:

  • School Chaplain
  • Wellbeing Co-ordinator
  • Christian Meditation
  • School Counsellor
  • Leadership Team
  • Student Mentoring Program

Circle Time

Circle Time is an enjoyable, interactive way to build relationships for successful teaching and learning.

During Circle Time students:

  • Build relationships
  • Have an opportunity to share opinions and thoughts
  • Grow in an understanding of self and others
  • Have fun!
  • Develop knowledge and skills of working together

Every class participates in Circle Time. The format of Circle Time depends on the concept to be covered and the needs of the students. 

Circle Time sessions include:

  • Restorative Practices
  • Values education
  • Be You
  • Positive behaviour approaches
  • Religious Education
  • Child Protection Curriculum
  • Made in the Image of God Program
  • Social skills training

Restorative Chat

The principles of Restorative Justice underpin the wellbeing processes and practices at St Francis School.  We believe that by using Restorative Practices, we are strengthening the connections between relationships and learning.

At St Francis, our aim is to give those most affected by conflict the strategies needed to resolve problems and build relationships. Working restoratively, students are encouraged to name the hurt they have caused. We assist the students to develop a personal responsibility for their behaviour with a focus on restoring broken relationships.

What Restorative Practices look like at St Francis School:

  • Students having input in creating their own class ‘Code of Conduct’ at the beginning of each school year.
  • Staff using the restorative questions in their interactions with individual or small groups of students who have acted in ways that have had an impact the well-being of others.
  • Peer Mediators in the yard at lunch times using restorative questioning to help students resolve issues in the yard.
  • Teachers running large group “No-Blame” conferences for issues that involve whole classes or large groups of students.

Restorative Questions

  • What happened?
  • What were you thinking at the time?
  • What have you thought about since?
  • Who was affected by what you have done? In what way?
  • What do you think you need to do to make things right?

National School Chaplaincy Program

St Francis School is supported by the Australian Government with the provision of a School Chaplain under the National School Chaplaincy Program. Helen Wilsdon-Smith is available to support students, parents and staff in her role as School Chaplain.

The program aims to support students through the provision of pastoral care services and the promotion of strategies that support the resilience and emotional wellbeing of students and the broader school community.

Pastoral care is defined in the Agreement with the Commonwealth as:

“the practice of looking after the personal needs of students, not just their academic needs, through the provision of general spiritual and personal advice.”


This initiative expands our capacity for pastoral care for our community. Students, staff and parents are free to 'pop in' for a chat or make an appointment with the School Chaplain. The NSCP is available on a voluntary basis to all members of our community.


The position of School Chaplain is complemented by the role of Assistant to the Principal in Identity and Mission (APRIM) and Wellbeing Co-ordinator. It provides an additional resource to holistically support the ‘whole person’, families, staff and the wider community with matters related to ethics, religious beliefs, isolation, harassment, bullying, family breakdown, human relationships, economic hardship, illness and bereavement.

We employ a collaborative approach to wellbeing working with the School Chaplain, the Centacare Counsellor, Teaching staff, Leadership Team and the Student Mentoring Program.

Underpinning the role of the School Chaplaincy Program is working towards hope in all situations that present themselves.

Christian Meditation

Christian Meditation is an ancient form of prayer. Its aim is to bring the distracted mind to silence and stillness and rest in the presence of God.

At St Francis, we practice Christian Meditation on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:40 until 11:50am.

For more information on the contemplative practice of Christian Meditation, please visit: