St Peter’s Prep Schools welcomed over a hundred delegates to its bi-annual Pastoral Care Conference, held on 6 and 7 June. After much needed tea and coffee during registration, our Rector, Greg Royce, welcomed everybody and opened the conference. Roy Gluckman, a Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, provided much food for thought with his engaging talk on ‘Social Education: The Forgotten Component to Holistic Education”, and his hour and a half slot flew by in the blink of an eye. Tania Johnson, from the Institute of Child Psychology in Canada, led a workshop on “Anxiety in Children”. After lunch, Karen Denny, Divisional Executive: Digital Marketing at Liberty Group South Africa, highlighted the “Dangers of Social Media in Schools” which led to many discussions as the delegates split into the various Break Away sessions in the early afternoon. The final session of day one was a forum in which various pastoral care systems in school were discussed, and there were opportunities to pose questions and learn from each other.
Carey-Ann Dellbridge, Educational Psychologist and Director of Psychological Services at St Stithians Girls’ College, opened day two with her talk on “Mindfulness and Mindfulness-based practices”. This was followed by the delegation from Michaelhouse, Allan Laing, Tim Jarvis, and Peter Huntley, who spoke on “Passionate Pastoral Care in Practice”. In the session directly after tea, Luke Lambrecht, a Child Protection and Development Specialist, highlighted “Sexual Development in Children and the Challenges Faced by Online Exposure”. Wrapping up the talks in Dodson Hall was Dr Colinda Linde, a Clinical Psychologist, leading CBT expert, and SADAG Chairperson whose talk on “Teacher Burnout” was informative and thought provoking. Following another tasty meal and brief Break Away sessions, the conference officially came to a close and the delegates were bid farewell with new connections made and plenty to think about.