We are pleased to be involved in the National School Chaplaincy Program, and integrate student wellness and pastoral care sessions daily to build healthy relationships and provide emotional support to students and families. Monitoring student wellness and providing chaplaincy support are important parts of whole-child development, as well as fostering a Godly, positive school environment overall.

Aims:

  • Support students to explore their spirituality and providing guidance about Godly faith, values and ethical matters or referring students to, or sourcing, appropriate services to meet these needs; and facilitating access to support agencies in the community, where applicable.
  • Provide students, families and staff with support and/or appropriate referrals, in difficult situations such times of grief or when students are facing social, personal or emotional challenges.
  • Support students and staff to create an environment that promotes the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development and well-being of all students.
  • Support students and staff to create an environment of co-operation and mutual respect.
  • Be approachable to all students, staff and members of the school community.

Chaplaincy
Our chaplain, Mrs Veronica Raams, works primarily on establishing and enhancing positive and healthy relationships among the entire school community in a variety of ways and settings. She has both casual and formal one-to-one conversations with students, staff and parents, speaks to student groups and hosts chapel and other support meetings.

Mrs Raams also runs several student programs throughout the week: JAM (Jesus And Music) ukulele group on Tuesdays at recess, Follow Jesus (a Scripture-based activity with crafts) on Tuesdays at lunchtime, a Bible study group called Circle Time on Thursdays at lunchtime for Years 5-8 students, and Garden Club on Fridays at lunchtime. She also works in and out of class with an emphasis on engaging children who may not easily make friends or who may be experiencing some emotional difficulties outside school.

Through Mrs Raams’ involvement with the Riverland Special School’s Christian options program, two senior Rivergum students accompany her each Wednesday morning to assist in delivering the Follow Jesus program at the special school. This is a privilege for the students and elicits positive outcomes for all.

Student Wellness Co-ordinator
Mr Andrew Talbot, our middle school teacher, also volunteers non-teaching time to have supportive conversations with students who may be struggling socially, emotionally or find themselves in challenging family situations. Mr Talbot has varied experience in counselling and therapeutic intervention as well as seven years of social welfare employment (disability and homelessness) in both government and non-government organisations. His student wellness work aims to contextualise and clarify problems students are facing and draw out better decision-making that brings positive change in their lives.

Pastoral Care
Ten minutes (or more, at each teacher’s discretion) is programmed each day at the beginning and end for teachers to bring Scripture devotions, talk about the day and any other concerns. This ensures a positive start and finish to the learning experience.

 

—————————————

Chaplaincy opt-out provisions
We provide our Chaplaincy service in accordance with the National Schools Chaplaincy provisions mandated by the Federal Government’s Department of Education and Training. Student, parent and staff involvements are voluntary, however in the context of the school’s mission and stated faith objectives such involvements are considered to be normal. Families wishing to opt out please discuss your wishes with the Principal and together find acceptable understandings.

Access
Requests for access to Mrs Raams can be made directly to her, or via class teachers, or admin staff.

Complaints
If any complaints arise regarding the chaplaincy service, please consult Mrs Raams first. If this does not have a satisfactory result, please consult the Principal.

Acknowledgement
The chaplaincy project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training under the National School Chaplaincy Program. Any evaluation surveys conducted must ask participants if they are aware of the source of funding for the activity and, if so, how they became aware of the funding source.

Disclaimer
The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of the Australian Government Department
of Education and Training.