Caring for Students

Our school welcomes and cares for students from all backgrounds.

One of the essential elements of Christian education is the pastoral care of its students. Every student has the right to be acknowledged as significant and special knowing that their specific talents are noticed and matter. Our approach to pastoral care is based on a deep respect for the dignity and uniqueness of the individual person as we are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). As a school we are concerned with the total wellbeing of our students and therefore the wellbeing programs aim to complement the wider philosophy and practices of the school that promote an atmosphere of learning, growth and development.

The National Safe Schools Framework (2011) states that “in a safe and supportive school, the risk from all types of harm is minimised, diversity is valued and all members of the school community feel respected and included and can be confident that they will receive support in the face of any threats to their safety or wellbeing” (2011, p. 4). As a team committed to student welfare we support the National Safe Schools Framework (2011) in regards to:

  • Encouraging a supportive and connected school culture,
  • Assisting in positive behaviour management,
  • Offering a focus on student wellbeing and student ownership,
  • Offering early intervention and targeted support for students.

Student wellbeing incorporates collaboration with families and at times will require referral to relevant community support organisations (church youth groups, mental health services, Headspace, kids helpline, legal aid, department of housing, general practitioner, private counsellors, etc.).

Families are an integral component of positive change in student lives and will be increasingly engaged in order to explore solutions for the range of educational, disciplinary, mental health and general wellbeing issues. In line with the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for School Students with Disability this process is aligned to current best practice models.

Student Counselling

Our school counsellor supports students from Kindergarten through to year 12 and aims to work collaboratively with teachers, families and support organisations to facilitate the best possible outcomes for student education and wellbeing. Our counsellor deals with a range of issues related to mood, motivation and behaviour while working closely with the discipline coordinators.

As a school we cannot provide the same level of response that may be expected from a private psychologist or mental health service and so encourage families to engage with community supports through their General Practitioner and services like Headspace or local child and adolescent mental health services.

If your child is having difficulty regarding their mood, motivation or behaviour please communicate this to their teacher or year coordinator. Our counsellor can provide a mental health assessment that may help you to determine whether your child can be supported within the schools counselling and wider pastoral care structure or alternatively they may need more intensive and specialised care that is outside of our scope of practice. In any case the school is happy to contribute within a multidisciplinary approach to supporting your child.

Our students can approach our counsellor and arrange an appointment at a mutually convenient time within school hours.

Important resources and contact numbers

Headspace Coffs Harbour – 66521878
Mental Health Access Line – 1800 011 511
Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800
Life line – 13 11 14

Reach Out –  (this will redirect you away from this website)

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636


KidsMatter Primary is a mental health and wellbeing framework for primary schools and is proven to make a positive difference to the lives of Australian children.

It provides the methods, tools and support to help schools work with parents and carers, health services and the wider community, to nurture happy, balanced kids. KidsMatter Primary was developed in collaboration with beyondblue, the Australian Psychological Society, and the Principals Australia Institute, with funding from the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and beyondblue.

Following are some fantastic parent resources developed by KidsMatter on a range of topics. Please take the time to have a look.

Mental Health Information Sheets

Component 1: Positive School Community
Component 2: Social and emotional learning for students
Component 3: Parenting support and information
Component 4: Early intervention for students experiencing mental health difficulties

Literature Summaries

Component 1: Positive school community
Component 2: Social and emotional learning for students
Component 3: Working with parents and carers
Component 4: Helping children with mental health difficulties

Student Wellbeing Model

The Model pictured demonstrates the important linking of Discipline, Counselling (includes group work and structured programs) and Pastoral Care in our pursuit of student wellbeing. It also identifies that there are clear boundaries between formal and informal helping with the three areas requiring consistent communication pathways and processes. The communication pathways and processes are established by the Principal, Senior Deputy Principal, Deputy Principal and Head of Middle School.

The model pictured builds a student’s sense of wellbeing by addressing three key factors:

  1. Encouraging a strong sense of identity,
  2. Facilitating supportive relationships with others,
  3. Creating a sense of belonging within the community.

Students who are mentally and physically well are optimistic and can engage fully with life. They have a sense of purpose and of self-acceptance, while demonstrating resilience as well as the capacity to form sustained, positive relationships. Research indicates that young people’s wellbeing, and therefore their ability to learn effectively, is enhanced when they are strongly connected to their school. Such connections enable students to flourish academically, socially and spiritually, while allowing them to develop the confidence, optimism and skills to take their place in the world.

Student Wellbeing Model

Senior Campus Help Flow Chart

Below is a useful resource for students looking for who and where to go to for support.

Download Flow Chart

Junior Campus Help Flow Chart

Below is a useful resource for students looking for who and where to go to for support.

Download Flow Chart

Welfare Team

The Wealfare Team provides an extensive support network to assist all students with their personal, social, emotional and learning needs. We aim to provide a positive, safe and caring learning environment that recognises each student and encourages them to reach their potential.

Yardley Terrence Coffs School

Terrence Yardley

Terrence has been at Christian Community School since 2007 and is currently the Head of our Junior School Campus. Before he was a teacher Terrence worked as a youth pastor at a local church and in student support services at Orara High and Tyalla Primary.
Edwards Paul Coffs School

Paul Edwards

Paul is Head of our Student Support Services (Years K to 12). Paul has a Cert IV in Workplace Training and Assessment, a Diploma of Christian Ministry, a Bachelor of Nursing, Master of Nursing (mental health) and Doctor of Philosophy. Prior to starting at Coffs Harbour Christian Community School, Paul had worked for NSW Health as a Clinical Nurse Consultant in child and adolescent mental health.

∙ Taylor, B., Edwards, P., Holroyd, E, Unwin, A and Rowley, J. (2005). Assertiveness in nursing practice: An action research and reflection project. Contemporary Nurse, 20 (2), pp. 234-247.
∙ Edwards, P. (2006). Between a rock and a hard place. The Boys in School Journal, 9 (1), pp. 29-33.
∙ Edwards, P. (2013) PhD Thesis: An action research project examining anger and aggression with rural adolescent males participating in the Rock and Water Program. Southern Cross University: Lismore, NSW.
∙ Edwards, P., van de Mortel, T. and Stevens, J. (2016). Addressing engagement, anger and aggression through the Rock Water Program: Rural adolescent males’ perceptions. Australian Journal of Rural Health. doi:10.1111/ajr.12332.
∙ Edwards, P., van de Mortel, T. and Stevens, J. (2018). Perceptions of Anger and Aggression in Rural Adolescent Males. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing. Manuscript ID: IJMHN-2017-209

Matt Currie

Matt is the Head of TAS and our Senior School Behaviour Management Co-ordinator.
Pratley Matt Coffs School

Matthew Pratley

Matt is our Head of Middle School and has been teaching with us since 2002. He was originally trained as a primary school teacher at Southern Cross University. Matt has taught in a variety of schools in Australia and the UK. Matt has a Bachelor of Teaching; Primary and a Diploma of Applied Linguistics.