At Toowoomba Grammar School we believe that a good education must include good character education

Pastoral care program

While character can be taught a great deal of boys’ character is “caught” through good role modelling and a positive school culture. Much of the nurturing our boys experience at Toowoomba Grammar is incidental – it occurs as a result of the friendly, professional relationships that exist between boys and staff in the classroom, in the playground, on the sporting field and in the rehearsal rooms. The teachers are genuinely interested in the boys and that interest ensures a focus on seeing each boy grow as a whole person, who feels safe and secure in our school community and who acquires skills and philosophies that enable him to become a positive contributor to wider society.

Our boys meet as part of a Pastoral Care Group regularly during the week. Meetings are in year level groups and are led by House Mentors who guide the boys through topics relevant to that age group. The boys also hear from outside specialist presenters who explore issues pertinent to adolescents. Our programs are supported by research and internal data collected by the School’s wellbeing surveys.

Pastoral Care Group lessons cover a range of topics including:

  • Setting up for success
  • Teamwork and resilience
  • Growth mindset
  • Grit
  • Goal setting
  • Respectful relationships
  • Identity
  • Healthy decision making
  • Habits
  • Character development

Relevant to the topics covered in Pastoral Care Groups the School engages in several proactive strategies to promote wellbeing and address bullying. Each year boys complete a wellbeing survey which measures coping strategies, self-efficacy, levels of conflict and sleep patterns. Further to this, the boys complete a bullying survey which assesses rates of bullying at our School. Boys are encouraged to report bullying to staff or via the online notification form.

All of the boys participate in School and community service initiatives. We highly value these because it teaches our boys to value what they have and to learn the importance of giving to those less fortunate than themselves. Some of our regular service activities include visits to local primary and special schools, Clean Up Australia Day, Landcare projects, Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp, Relay-for-Life, the Million Paws Walk and fundraising for various charities.

These initiatives are augmented by the challenges and experiences the boys face during Outdoor Pursuits and Activities Week, at the end of Term 1 each year, where they participate in a range of activities designed to build teamwork, self-awareness and character.

Year 7: Alexandra Headland, Sunshine Coast

Year 8: Camp Warrawee, North Pine River

Year 9: Lake Cootharaba, Noosa North Shore

Year 10: Work experience

Year 11: Leadership conference

Year 12: Life skills activities

House system

The overall administration of the Pastoral Care system is in the hands of the Head of Senior School and the 12 Heads of House. There are five senior houses, each with a Head of Boarding House and Head of Day House. Year 7 is a year of change as the boys move from primary school into the secondary school. This transition is overseen by the Head of Year 7 and the Head of Corfe House (Years 5 to 7 boarding).

Each House has both dayboys and boarders from Year 7 to Year 12. Under this system, a boy feels a part of a family within the School and grows his connection and identity. The House system provides a unit for organisation, sporting and pastoral care purposes. Boys can obtain assistance and advice about any aspect of school life from their Heads of House. Each House has a number of teachers called the House Mentors, who are each responsible for the wellbeing of each boy in their small group. Seniors assist in leading the House and organising the House teams for the inter-house competition. Most importantly they are also charged with assisting the younger boys in the House.

The five Houses are: Taylor (black), Boyce (maroon), Mackintosh (red), Groom (dark green) and Stephens (royal blue). Each of these Houses has resulted from the amalgamation of a Boarding House and a Day House, thereby serving to effectively integrate the boarders and dayboys into a cohesive and supportive unit.

The boys enthusiastically involve themselves in a range of inter-House sporting, academic and cultural competitions for the award of the annual ‘Headmaster’s Shield’.

Heads of House are also supported by the counselling team who are available for individual appointments to assist boys with any issues or concerns they may be experiencing.