Pastoral Care: Compass

Compass is a Senior School pastoral programme, which provides students with a skillset to journey through school and become self-aware, responsible and resilient adults.  The programme has a strong focus on student wellbeing and includes a broad range of experiences, life lessons and important conversations to guide and support students.  The corner stone programme within Compass is ‘The Rite Journey’, which runs for the duration of Year 9 and provides a rite of passage experience to assist the students on their transition from childhood to young adulthood.  

Throughout a student’s journey in Compass they move through a set of age appropriate themes to gain valuable experience in a wide and varied range of programmes including Peer Support, Friendly School’s, Service Learning, The Rite Journey, Keys for Life, Protective Behaviours, Interhouse Competitions, and many more.  All Senior School students participate in Compass each Wednesday morning during pastoral time. 

Compass is a shared journey between students, families, and mentor teachers.  The programme aims to equip students with a strong foundation to journey beyond PCACS with a focus on wellbeing, a resilient attitude when times get tough, a sense of connectedness within the community, and a drive to help others. 

Students will begin their Journey through the Compass program by exploring the theme of ‘Setting the Course’.  The primary focus at this stage of the programme is to guide students through their transition from Junior to Senior School.  The Year 7 Camp is an integral element to the theme of ‘Setting the Course’ in providing the opportunity for students to build new relationships and find their place in the PCACS community.  During the year, students will be involved in a range of programmes including ‘Peer Support’, ‘Friendly Schools’, and Interhouse competitions, aimed to provide students with the opportunity to develop skills that will give them their best chance of success at this stage of their journey.  

Students have already built a solid foundation for their journey through Senior School at PCACS and beyond.  The focus at this stage of the Compass program is to think about those who are sharing the same journey and those who may be on a different stage of their journey.  ‘Journey with Others’ incorporates the ‘Friendly Schools’ program to continue to build relationship skills and develop a sense of empathy for others.  The idea of thinking about those who live in need beyond our gates is explored further with a Service Learning project aimed at ‘Finding your Voice’ in relation to helping others.  

Students are immersed in ‘The Rite Journey’ programme throughout the whole year.  The ‘Journey Within’ theme is an important element of ‘The Rite Journey’. The programme is designed to provide students with the opportunity and support to begin their transition from childhood to young adulthood.  Students are challenged throughout the year to consider the type of Man or Woman they would like to become, and also consider the role they may play in the wider community as they leave PCACS and Journey beyond.  The programme reinvents the traditional process of a Rite of Passage to assist in transforming adolescents from dependency to responsibility. The Rite Journey is a unique programme designed to support the development of self-aware, responsible and resilient adults.

Students are faced with the challenge of making serious decisions about their future.  The ‘Mapping the Future’ theme supports students through this process and provides them with the skills to make responsible and well-considered choices.  One of the opportunities that young adulthood provides is the opportunity to obtain a drivers licence.  In ‘Mapping the Future’ we deliver the ‘Keys for Life’ programme to help prepare students for the responsibility of having a drivers licence.  We continue to build on the skills developed previously throughout Compass with the addition of another Service Learning project.  The project builds the student’s social justice conscience by challenging them to consider those people within our community and beyond who may be homeless.  Students will then have the opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of some people who find themselves in this unfortunate position.  

Students will be involved in a range of programmes aimed at caring for themselves, supporting those close to them, and reaching out to those who may be further away.  A protective behaviours unit encourages students to consider risky situations they may find themselves exposed to and to consider appropriate ways to respond and protect themselves.  Students are challenged to develop their leadership skills and share their sense of House spirit with Interhouse Competitions involving the Year 7 students.  The theme of Leadership and the idea of considering our ‘Fellow Travellers’ is explored further with the final Service Learning project in the Compass programme.  The project explores the issue of poverty and the idea of living on $1 a day.  

Students will be at the stage of fine-tuning their skillset to ensure they are prepared for the ‘Journey Beyond’ PCACS.  A protective behaviours unit continues to challenge the students to consider some of the pressures and risks they will be faced with in the near future.  The students get another opportunity to engage in a unit that replicates the methodology of ‘The Rite Journey’, by grouping students into a same gender class and exploring what it means to be a ‘real man’ or ‘real woman’. The journey through Compass concludes with a programme designed to prepare the students for some of the adult responsibilities that we may not have the opportunity to learn elsewhere, including banking, insurance, resumes, job applications, taxation and other necessary life skills.