Student Life

Enhancing Wellbeing

'Wellbeing is central to the culture of BDC and is fundamental to our educational and organisational approach.'

At BDC our wellbeing program teaches the skills and attitudes that enhance mental health, support learning and cultivate wellbeing. In our primary years this is achieved through our Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL) program and the Walker Learning approach. This is supported in our secondary years in the house system and tutor groups, with a sequential pastoral care program focussing on inclusion, student voice, and leadership. 

Our approach at BDC is one that focuses on prevention and early intervention. To ensure that mental health concerns are responded to effectively and promptly, key staff are trained in youth mental health first aid. The college has the Director of Wellbeing, two chaplains, educational psychologists and a family therapist to provide individual support. Wellbeing Team members at BDC also deliver tailored group programs for targeted interventions that students may opt into for specialised support and skill building.

Pastoral Care in the Primary School

Pastoral care aims to provide a supportive and caring environment where students can reach their intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional and social potential. Students are supported to become independent and interdependent members of the community, able to contribute to a wide range of activities.

We aim to develop students who have high self-esteem, are responsible, are capable of making sensible, informed choices, and who can recognise their fundamental rights and responsibilities. Our key rights and responsibilities aim to assist each student in the primary school to come to a better understanding of what it means to show respect for all. 

We understand that every child has the right to:
  • Be treated fairly and with respect
  • Be themselves
  • Be safe and be heard
  • Learn
  • Have fun and enjoy school
  • Be proud of Bishop Druitt College

Pastoral Care in the Secondary School

Students are assigned to a tutor group within one of the six college houses for pastoral care. The house structure and activities generate a strong sense of belonging and include regular tutor meetings, chapel, sports, creative and performing arts, opportunities for student leadership and to engage in peer support, and more. All students are encouraged to represent their house in as many activities as their talents and interests allow. Inclusion in some activities is compulsory, whereas for others it is either voluntary, by appointment or by election. Every student is expected to support their house to the best of their ability.

The names of the six houses at Bishop Druitt College acknowledge the outstanding achievements of six exemplary contributors to contemporary Australian culture. Their accomplishments establish goals for which all Bishop Druitt College students can strive - in the creative and performing arts, in sports and in community service.

Student Protection

Creating a safe school environment

Protection for children and young people is of paramount importance. Anglican schools are required to follow the diocesan policy as well as NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) policy.

Anglican schools have a responsibility placed upon them by Gospel values. They are bound by Christian, legal and professional obligations to provide spiritual and educational opportunities within a safe and protective environment and, when matters of concern arise, to have in place a procedure for reporting inappropriate behaviour, harm or sexual abuse.

Accordingly, Bishop Druitt College and the Anglican Diocese have established relevant formal policies and procedures.

All complaints of child sexual abuse and sexual misconduct are taken very seriously. If current students or parents of a current student wish to make a complaint or seek assistance they can contact one of our school's Student Protection Officers - the Director of Student Wellbeing, one of our Assistant Principals or the Principal.

Working with Children Check

A Working With Children Check clearance is a requirement for people who work or volunteer in child-related work at Bishop Druitt College. It involves a national criminal history check and a review of findings of workplace misconduct.

Wellbeing Hub Services
  • Individual counselling
  • Family counselling
  • Parental consultation
  • Advocacy and referral
  • Group work programs

The Bishop Druitt Way

'Enhancing and supporting student wellbeing is integral to the BDC Way. Everyone has the right to be safe, to learn, to be respected and to be treated with dignity.'

Bishop Druitt College sets its standards very high across all aspects of daily college life. This high expectation is referred to as ‘the Bishop Druitt Way’. The Bishop Druitt Way nurtures a child’s character, builds community and aims to transform children into world prepared citizens.

The Bishop Druitt Way has five tenets:

  1. Prioritise wellbeing
  2. Empower for life
  3. Embrace diversity
  4. Pursue excellence
  5. Serve our community

The Bishop Druitt Way builds and supports the entire school community, making positive and enduring connections between its members. It encompasses all aspects of college life through a combination of structured activities and personal relationships. The Bishop Druitt Way is concerned with the total wellbeing of individuals within the college community and with the development of the whole person.

These tenets are core to upholding the Bishop Druitt College vision. The Bishop Druitt Way is supported by our college values of mutual respect, integrity, inclusivity, courage, justice and generosity of spirit.

Rites of Passage

The Bishop Druitt Way builds upon the traditions of the college using active themes that combine our pastoral care programs, outdoor experiences, leadership and mentoring models, and our service learning opportunities with our unique rites of passage.

The Bishop Druitt Way themes are:

Pre-Kindy - School readiness

Kindergarten  - New friends

Year 1 - Independence at college

Year 2 - Being part of a group

Year 3 - Growing up

Year 4 - Belonging

Year 5 - Discovery

Year 6 - The gathering

Year 7 - Challenge and change

Year 8 - Empowerment

Year 9 - Body esteem and life skills

Year 10 - Leadership and legacy

Year 11 - Social conscience

Year 12 - I am world prepared

Leadership Opportunities - Primary School

In the primary school at Bishop Druitt College we recognise the importance of providing a range of leadership opportunities for students.

Our junior primary students students are given a number of areas of responsibility, including daily tasks that assist the running of the school and broader roles such as raising environmental awareness and assisting with recycling.

Students also have the opportunity to  informally mentor younger students in multi-age groups and through sport offerings. The elected school captains have significant areas of responsibility, including hosting assemblies and representing the school at internal and external functions such as Foundation Day, Grandparents’ Day, community ANZAC Day services and Harmony Day. Primary captains also represent the views and needs of the BDC Primary School student body in their weekly meeting with the Head of Primary.

The school captains join six other students to form the Student Representative Council. The SRC is an extremely active group that oversees fundraising for various local, national and international charities. The college’s house system also provides leadership opportunities. House captains are elected by their peers and lead their house in sporting and cultural activities. Leadership qualities are recognised formally each year with the awarding of the P&F Junior Primary and Senior Primary Awards for Leadership at the annual Presentation Day.

Leadership Opportunities - Secondary School

The Bishop Druitt College vision and values document says of our departing collegians:

‘Bishop Druitt college aims to develop graduates who are dynamic, caring and optimistic. They will be well-rounded individuals who are grounded in the Anglican way of faith, hope and love’.

In the secondary school we actively promote ways in which students can become involved in the community, both here at school and in a broader sense. Student leadership takes the form of both formal positions and informal opportunities, where students can make a difference in the lives of others.

The Bishop Druitt College Student Executive is made up of sixteen Year 12 students who are elected by their peers to represent the student body. There are ten student leaders who represent five core areas: academic, service, sports, leadership and the arts, and six house leaders. These students focus on college fundraising activities, college event organisation (Foundation Day) and student welfare issues. They meet on a weekly basis, chair the secondary assembly and present the ‘Senior Spotlight’ at each assembly.

Year 10 students have the opportunity to become leaders for the college's peer support program for their house group. All Year 10 students are trained in peer support activities and philosophy, and apply to their tutor teacher and head of house to become a peer support leader. As leaders they are responsible for the Year 7 students within each house and run a program of six peer support sessions throughout Terms 1 - 3. These sessions include activities based on topics such as belonging and participation.

Year 8 students elect Student Representative Committee (SRC) members from each house group and meet regularly in relation to middle school issues. They are elected by their house peers and represent the middle school for the duration of one year.

House fundraising provides opportunities for students to volunteer their time for charitable causes. Two houses per year are responsible for nominating charities to receive funds and then organising fundraising opportunities such as mufti days and food stalls.

Other opportunities for student leadership can be found through the college co-curricular program. Students can volunteer for activities such as:

  • Assembly presentations (music, drama and speeches)
  • Doorknock appeals
  • Anzac Day commemorations
  • Blood donor promotions
  • College tours
  • College events (greeting guests, performing music and hospitality service)
  • St John’s Anglican Church Op Shop
  • Chalkies Café (hospitality service)

Chaplaincy

Chaplaincy seeks to promote a deeper understanding of Christian faith and spirituality in the life of the college. Students, parents and staff are welcome to access chaplaincy. 

Chaplains are available to guide and prepare members of the community for baptism, eucharist, confirmation and marriage, according to the rites of the Anglican Church of Australia. 

Chapel Services

Our student-led chapel services take place weekly for primary students and fortnightly for secondary students. Their focus is an invitational exploration of Christian beliefs, stories and values as we engage with the world. Students from all faiths attend these inclusive services, highlighting the diversity and acceptance of the college community. 

Four times per year we gather for whole school services and liturgies, including Ash Wednesday, Easter, induction of new leaders and Christmas. Our year ends on a high with the annual carols service. 

There are also various whole school services of Holy Communion held throughout the year, which parents are invited to attend.These include special celebrations such as Easter and Christmas services.

It is a BDC tradition for students to recite the college prayer at important occasions throughout the year. The words of the college prayer were written by foundation primary teacher, Naomi Lunn, in 1994.

Retreats, Rites of Passage, Camps and Graduations

The chaplaincy team are integrally involved in experiential learning. Students participate in camps, retreats and rites of passage as their school years progress. Formal graduations in Year 6 and Year 12 are marked with beautiful services at St John’s Anglican Church in Coffs Harbour.

Faith Extension

Students are invited to extend their faith by attending lunchtime fellowship groups that use games, conversation and media to deeply engage with the scriptures and develop personal faith.

'We are committed to providing learning opportunities to support students to reach their potential, both educationally and culturally.'

Goori Group

Bishop Druitt College is developing and improving educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. We are committed to providing learning opportunities to support students to reach their potential both educationally and culturally. One mechanism for such learning is the inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives across the curriculum.

As a school we aim to professionally develop staff and provide classroom and other resources to enable the teachers and support staff to offer meaningful educational experiences for students. Through our ongoing commitment to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students we believe that we can assist all students to understand acceptance and celebration of diversity in our world and the belief that we all have a connection with the Indigenous and the non-Indigenous communities both locally and throughout the broader world. 

Goori students of Bishop Druitt College, both secondary and primary, participate weekly in Goori Group with Mr Clark Webb. The students have been learning traditional Gumbaynggirr language, culture and stories, and learning about the many valuable sites around Coffs Harbour and the surrounding  area.