Pastoral care is the core business of Wesley at Clunes
All aspects of the program are based upon the provision of safe and secure environment for the students who participate in the eight-week Wesley at Clunes residential experience.
All staff at Clunes have an important student welfare role and work closely with students. In addition, there is a team whose primary focus is student welfare, which includes the Deputy Head of Wesley at Clunes – Student Welfare, the Head of Houses, house leaders, nurses, counsellors and, of course, parents are also a vital part of student welfare whilst their daughter or son is at Clunes.
In addition, the program is supported by local specialist services including the Clunes Medical Centre, which provides a comprehensive service including on-call doctors and 24-hour on-call nurses. Additional support is also available in Ballarat (thirty minutes drive) at St John of God Hospital.
Pastoral care is about the relationships that staff are able to build with students. It is about understanding the relationship that students have with each other and also how they see themselves. If these things can be achieved, then it is possible to provide the safe and supportive environment that is required for other aspects of the program to reach their potential.
The Wesley College Student Behaviour Expectations also apply whilst students are in Clunes and, in addition, Wesley at Clunes also has a specific Behaviour Management Policy, which is outlined to students on their arrival.
Communication with parents
Prior to attending Wesley at Clunes, families have a number of opportunities to receive information and visit the campus.
The Clunes Open Day occurs each June and is an opportunity for families (particularly Year 8 students) to visit the campus, tour the student houses and speak with staff.
Year 8 information nights are also held at each Melbourne campus in June. At these nights, the Head of Clunes talks about the Clunes program, the township, curriculum, student welfare and general information about the eight-week experience.
In the term prior to their child attending Clunes, families are invited to an information night, where specific information covering what to bring, the daily program, administrative requirements and key dates for visiting weekends and presentation day, is discussed
In the week prior to going to Clunes, an orientation session is held for all families where they are introduced to key staff, including their house leader. The house leader is the primary point of contact for parents whilst their child is in residence at Clunes and throughout the eight-week program, parents are given regular updates from them by email and phone calls.
Parents are also invited to nominate a visiting weekend to come to Clunes and visit their child. On a visiting weekend students can sign out with their parents from 4.00pm on Saturday until 6.00pm on Sunday. Families are encouraged to stay in the Clunes district, so that their child can showcase the area to them and share some of the experiences they have had during the program.
Parents are also invited to attend a film night in Melbourne in week two and presentation day in Clunes, which occurs on the Sunday of week seven.