Chaplaincy creating stronger school communities

Jon is the Hobart City Mission school chaplain for Rosetta Primary School. The chaplaincy program at Rosetta has facilitated a number of strategies to support student wellbeing and engagement across the school from Kinder to Year 6.

The ongoing development of break-out and activity spaces have encouraged student participation at school and scope for students to pursue their own interests. Jon has worked to support students in their interests, developing engagement programs that include photography, film-making, drawing, story-writing and many other creative areas.

This strategy has sought to inspire student “voice”, confidence and resilience in expressing their thoughts and feelings in a safe and secure environment. Students have found success entering the MyState Film Festival and been motivated to undertake a blanket drive for vulnerable people.

During COVID-19, many students became isolated from their schools and peer groups. For families and students during this time, new challenges have arisen.

In an attempt to avoid students disconnecting entirely, Jon developed an online “Chaplaincy Corner”, providing weekly check-ins for students to engage on their own terms, reflect on their experiences and undertake wellbeing activities. As the world remains an uncertain place, this new section of the program will continue to evolve.

Most of the work chaplains do isn’t normally high-profile. Sometimes it is as a person to listen, as an advocate, mediator or as a positive role-model. It also extends to tying shoelaces, finding lost property, playing board games, figuring out who forgot their lunch, reading out stories or just having an inkling that someone just isn’t feeling great.

Chaplains support schools, students, teachers and staff, families, parents, carers and in that way, the community. 

This story was first published in our 2020 Annual Report. To view the full Annual Report, click here. 

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