St John's College Student Services

Working alongside our boys

When the Student Services Centre opened in 2006, the hope was for it to become a focal point for a range of information and support services. We did not expect that it would become quite so central to the lives of our students here at St John's College.

Run by Mrs Sarndra Petrin and Mrs Jillian Stone, the Student Services Centre is where the students can sign in if they arrive late, organise the hiring of a blazer, check lost property, or log on to a computer to print documents etc.

The Student Services Centre is where all the pastoral care staff are located, including the two guidance counsellors, and where much of the learning support is provided.

 

Student Services Staff

 

Special Needs

The value of Family Spirit is reflected in the St John's College Special Needs programme. From a prospective student's first visit to the college, through to his time to leave school, we endeavour to highlight strengths, maintain flexibility and look for positive opportunities throughout his high school experience.

The transition to high school can be an anxious time. We aim to minimise that with multiple individual school visits if necessary, meetings with parents, the Initiation Day in November for the incoming Year 9 class, as well as a two-day Orientation Programme for new students at the start of the school year. We believe it's important to maintain a personal presence with each boy through these vital teenage years.

For students who do not wish to conduct an entirely academic pathway and want a more practical alternative, our Vocational progammes offer a chance to combine school and work.

 

Success Story

David came to St John's in the middle of Year 9 from another school where he had experienced some concerns around being bullied. David was an ORRS funded student: a young man with high learning assistance needs. A teacher's aide was assigned to David, and these two people established a close working relationship over the next two years. Angela, the teacher's aide, used many creative ways to keep David interested in his classwork, and through her strong rapport with him, helped David to find his personal strengths, which happened to be drawing and a love of computers.

David ate his morning tea and lunch in our Learning Support Room, which is the social hub of the St John's Student Services Centre. Over time he established good friendships, and even took on a leadership/mentoring role as a senior student with the younger boys in the room.

Through some of David's more challenging times, he was able to utilise our time-out rooms to get some much-needed quiet time. He was allowed a more flexible timetable of classes to meet his very important, and different from the mainstream, needs. Through all of this, staff worked at building and maintaining a good relationship with David so his anxiety with school life could be minimised. Because he knew and felt cared for and safe, David thrived.

In his senior years, the flexibility applied to his timetable scheduling continued. David chose to pursue his NCEA level assessments, and also to pursue some occupational training. He visited workplaces to decide what his career path would be. He chose a program at Wintec where he could study computer and media arts. Our SENCO coordinator liaised with her learning support colleagues at Wintec to make sure his transition to tertiary training would go smoothly.

David is now a successful young man studying at Wintec. His personal growth in the five years he was a student at St John's was amazing. He became significantly more mature and confident, both socially and academically.