At St Brendan-Shaw College we have vertical homerooms, which means that Year 7 students from day 1 get to meet and interact with Year 11 and 12 students. This gives them a better sense of security as the gap between them becomes smaller and they can learn from students of all different year levels.
Each of our students is under the specific care of a Homeroom Teacher. There are seven homerooms in each of the four College Houses and each homeroom group consists of students from Years 7 to 12. As far as is possible, we endeavour to keep a student in the same homeroom, with the same Homeroom Teacher, for the duration of their time at the College.
We are attempting to facilitate an atmosphere in which every student:
The College has four houses. These houses have students of different year levels and classes, who get together and participate in sport challenges. This creates a bond and a feeling of belonging where students get to know students from other classes and years. This contributes to the school community bond. Each house has a Head of House, which is a teacher dedicated to a specific house.
A Head of House coordinates the activities of the whole House and works closely with Class Teachers and students within the respective Houses. They are always available to both parents and students. At the centre of our strong pastoral care system are our house heads. They are the first point of contact if ever in doubt in regards to who you need to talk to about your child. Pictured below are the House Heads. Our pastoral care system is designed so that each child has at least 2 adults who know them well, their House Head and their Homeroom Teacher. The Homeroom Teacher does this through daily interactions - it is not simply a roll marking exercise but a time where they engage with staff and each other to ensure they are supported and known at the College. House Heads get to know students through their daily presence in the students' house areas and also through their support of students during their achievements and crises. They can be reached by contacting the office or via email.
The Houses participate in a number of community building events. In addition to the traditional sporting carnivals (athletics, swimming and cross country) the competitive nature of individuals is used to encourage students to participate more fully in school life. For example, each house chooses a charity to support each year. Agencies such as Beyond Blue (Griffin), Canteen (Lyons), Cancer Foundation's Daffodil Day (MacKillop) and Eddie Rice Camps (Dillon) have all been represented in the past. In addition, Project Compassion fundraising during Lent contributes to points toward winning the Inter-house Challenge Cup. The Student Leadership group and House Councillors also conduct lunchtime competitions, such as Futsal, with the same goals. This leadership group also works together for whole school events such as celebrating our founding orders during Founders' Day and the Student Socials that are held most terms. These Socials have different themes which allow fancy dress to be worn. This is very popular.
Take a peek at the social learning that occurs as a byproduct of our carnival program.