The pastoral system in Mercy College is integral to supporting the school in achieving its vision and aspirations. It is based on the Mercy ethos and has grown and developed over the years in the capable hands of the Mercy Sisters. Our pastoral system embraces all the approaches and programmes within the school that are concerned with the well-being and personal development of each individual pupil, meeting the requirements of the national curriculum.

The child is central to all that we do and it is our aim to develop the pupil as a person as well as a learner. It prepares them for adult life and is concerned with pupils learning a wide variety of skills, attitudes and knowledge so that they might become mature adults, able to cope with the stresses of our complex, changing society.

Above all, the pastoral system arises out of the precepts of Catholic teaching and aims to promote in its pupils a caring commitment to others, tolerance of others’ views and an understanding of and growth in our faith. Thus the pastoral policy of the school is designed to promote self-discipline and a sense of personal responsibility, practical and social skills and a listening culture in which pupils respect the views and attitudes of others.

The Pastoral system is based on regular two way communication and collaboration between home and school and on effective liaison with external agencies in order to support pupils facing challenging circumstances. Pastoral care is explicit in the relationships which exist in the school between teacher and pupil, teacher and parent, and among the pupils themselves. We believe that this can best be achieved in an atmosphere of community where relationships between staff and pupils are warm, loving and respectful. All teachers in Mercy College strive to ensure that their professional skills and knowledge as subject specialists are matched by a commitment to understanding and guiding pupils and assisting them in their personal development in the formative years they spend at school.

Pastoral Care Organisation

To foster this sense of community our pupils are organised in form classes, each of which has a Form Teacher who remains with her form through years 8-12. Each year group has a Year leader who also remains with the group through years 8-12. These key players will nurture, encourage and provide support to meet each pupil’s individual needs as well as ensuring that the best academic standards are achieved and maintained.

Form 6 students have their own designated Year Leader. The pupils are grouped according to their course of study and each course is assigned to a Form Teacher, who remains with the group for their time spent in Form 6.

The pastoral structure aims to ensure that each Form Teacher gains a detailed knowledge of the needs, emotional development, progress and academic achievement of each pupil in his/her Form. Two periods each week (1 hour) are set aside for Form teachers to meet their Form Class and deliver a pastoral programme specifically designed to meet their needs and in line with the Personal Development strand of the NI Curriculum.

Parents are encouraged to contact Form Teachers at any time during the year.