What is Academic Care?John Blois
“Academic care is the teaching and monitoring of all students and provision of additional support for some students, to encourage academic engagement that results in academic growth.
The School’s Academic Care Programme outlines the pedagogies, structures, processes and programmes for the teaching and monitoring of all students and provision of additional support for students identified at academic risk.”
– Trinity Grammar School, Academic Care position.
While the idea of nurturing students through their academic career is far from a new idea, Trinity has recently been deepening staff, student and parent engagement with the concept through the School’s Academic Care Programme.
There are lots of different approaches to academic care: many schools weave pastoral care and academic care together, the two indistinguishable from one another. Other schools see academic care as an opportunity to push for better results. There are as many different approaches to Academic Care as there are schools.
A parallel partnership
Trinity’s Academic Care Programme, however, sits parallel to the Pastoral Care Programme, working in tandem to ensure students are supported in different ways according to their needs.
Deputy Headmaster – Academic, Mrs Deborah Williams, describes the two programmes as book ends of the full support system at Trinity:
“We care for students in many, many ways. Academic Care and Pastoral Care need to speak to each other and cross over, but they are separate book ends of a strong support system.”
She says that their distinct roles benefit students further.
“The Pastoral Care system is very good and very responsive. When students have wellbeing issues – problems with friends or struggles at home – there are systems and structures in place to support them to ensure their wellbeing is a priority.
“For those boys who just aren’t succeeding or growing academically, or are experiencing academic challenges, their needs are not only different to what is offered by pastoral support, but also different to requiring learning and educational support services. This is where Academic Care comes in.”
“Academic Care is there to be preemptive and proactive, to ensure no student falls through the cracks.”
Importantly, Trinity’s Academic Care Programme doesn’t put undue focus on results.
“Great results are fantastic to see and we celebrate when students achieve them, but they certainly aren’t the only measure of growth,” Mrs Williams says. “Academic Care puts structures and processes in place to support every student to reach their own, personal academic goals.”