Service and Pastoral Care
The pupils' personal development is excellent. Pupils show strong spiritual development, enhanced by the charism of the College and its emphasis on courtesy, courage and compassion, which are reflected in the pupils' high levels of tolerance and maturity. Their behaviour reflects with great success the College's emphasis on service. ISI Report, January 2015
St Columba’s College has a full and dynamic service programme. Service to the local, national and international community is an integral part of the holistic education each Columban is entitled to. Through active service towards others, boys learn empathy, leadership and a sense of community cohesion. They also learn about the world-at-large, and develop a deeper appreciation for the way in which others live around the world, the challenges they face, and the responsibilities they have in responding to their needs.
Services offered in the College itself include peer mentoring, stewardship and recycling, the CCF and planning community events. Beyond the College walls, students go out into the community, helping at a local special needs school, raising money for charity, and raising awareness about important issues facing society, such as homelessness. At the international level, students support the international relief work of our College charity, CAFOD. Boys in Sixth Form also travel to the College’s sister schools in Zambia each year. As boys go out into the world in this way, they return to the College to share what they have learned through assemblies and special projects, inspiring the next generation of Columbans to continue the legacy and build upon what has gone on before.
Each September, the very popular Annual Service Fair takes place in the Senior School. Service Fair stands are manned by the boys and showcase all areas. Over twenty different services are represented, ranging from the Homeless Awareness Group, the Recycling Team, Project Respond, CAFOD, the CCF and the Mentoring Team. Students have the opportunity to sign up for the service activities in which they are interested.
Pastoral care at the College is rooted in the charism of the Brothers’ of the Sacred Heart, which responds to the needs of the young in compassion and realism. The particular expression of the Columban pastoral ideal rests on the development of Compassion, Courage and Courtesy in the community, to establish a bedrock of confidence in each student that will allow him to develop his full academic potential and realize his capabilities. The House structure of six senior and four junior Houses, along with form groups and subject classes provides a community group for every student member of the College, allowing a close bond to develop with each student’s tutor and teachers and an appropriate programme of tutorial support to be enacted. Guidance and counselling services assist students to learn about themselves, their interpersonal relationships and the behaviours that advance that development. These services are underpinned by the belief that each student is a child of God who is loved and loving, who possesses a unique dignity and who has a positive contribution to make to towards the building of God’s kingdom.
The Pastoral Programme (PP) is designed to assist each student in the development of a life of virtue (emotional intelligence) and this complements the academic curriculum. In the Senior School, the Pastoral Programme is delivered twice a week in tutorial periods.
Pastoral Programme Example
The House tutor is the key individual in the pastoral provision made for each student. Staff and students may also call upon the Ministry Team for pastoral support. The Ministry Team provides a Catholic pastoral input, which may extend to catechesis and the training for it, mentoring, peer education, the liturgical life of the College and this team will contribute significantly to the PP. This team will work closely with the Religion department.Guidance in the area of personal development and careers is supported by the Careers department, which has a programme of support tailored to the needs of individual students. In particular, great attention is paid to the support students need to make the right choices regarding higher education and the world of work.
Counselling allows students to have access to properly trained support where professional confidentiality and the possibility of anonymous referral to other support agencies exists outside of the usual College pastoral support structures.