Meet the Director of Student Wellbeing


Mrs Ethel Cooper is a ‘newbie’ at the school having joined the staff as the Director of Student Wellbeing in 2019. Ethel came to us with 20 years teaching across numerous subjects in a range of positions combined. Her teaching roles over the years have included Head of House, Peer Support Coordinator and Head of Faculty- Drama, as well as classroom teacher and tutor. Director of Student Wellbeing brings together all facets of Ethel’s career into a role that she is excited by and passionate about.


“Student wellbeing lies at the core of the education experience. Learning, striving and excellence in personal achievement can only occur if individual emotional and spiritual needs are met. Wellbeing and its companion mindfulness are the life skills of the 21st century. Essential to all human endeavour and creative collaboration, they provide the self-responsibility and personal power needed to flourish in today’s fast paced, quickly changing world. I look forward to getting to know the students, the carers and families that comprise the CVAS community and working with them within the focus on wellbeing for the 21st century.”

Clarence Valley Anglican School is characterised by a Christian based, student centred approach to wellbeing.  Each student is valued as an individual with emotional, spiritual, academic, creative and cultural facets that need to be nurtured. CVAS attempts to create a supportive environment that allows all students to flourish - to feel good, to do good and to grow into well-rounded individuals with whole-hearted approaches to life.


Our Pastoral Care program is based around:

  • ​The services of a Chaplain, who is a minister in the Anglican Church. The Chaplain is available to help and serve you during your time at school. The Chaplaincy seeks to be a place of welcome and hospitality for all members of the School community. We will be glad to assist you in any way that we can and you will always find a friendly listening ear.

  • The Pastoral Care Team comprised of tutor teachers in the secondary school and classroom teachers in the junior school, supported by Stage Coordinators, the Director of Student Wellbeing and the peripatetic School Counsellor. This team works to ensure that all students feel safe and can communicate when emotional or social issues arise that impact their ability to fully engage and thrive at school. It reviews targeted programs eg: Cyber Bullying, Generation Next Wellbeing Webcasts and incorporates those best suited, into the pastoral learning experiences of the students.

  • The Learning Support Department, comprised of a Learning Support Co-ordinator and aides, caters to the needs of students who need support with their learning and works in tandem with the Pastoral Care Team on the basis that students cannot flourish at school unless they experience learning that suits their needs and makes success possible.

  • The family - school partnership of parent, carers and school staff working together through open, honest and congenial communication.

  • The camp, SACS and outdoor education programs that strengthen students’ resilience, broaden their horizons and build positive shared memories that enrich friendship bonds.


Clarence Valley Anglican School values each child as an individual and the Student Wellbeing program, in line with this belief, strives to provide a safe, respectful, learning environment for all.


Tenets of the Student Wellbeing Program:

  • In the Junior School classroom teachers have general oversight of the wellbeing of students in their class;

  • In the Senior School students attend a House-based tutor. Tutor teachers work with Stage Co-ordinators and the Director of Student Wellbeing to oversee and support the wellbeing of secondary students;

  • Establishing and maintaining effective communication between parents and the school.

  • A focus on outdoor education as “peer building” and leadership development;

  • A peripatetic School Counsellor who services the school across both campuses one day a week;

  • Professional development for all school staff in aspects of pastoral care that are timely and chosen to suit student needs;

  • Regular reviews and refining of welfare and associated policies, eg: bullying;

  • Christian Faith and the services of the School Chaplain as part of nurturing student safety and support.




Philosophy/Statement of Intent

At Clarence Valley Anglican School we believe that every person is equally important and that no-one has a right to harass, insult or cause offence to any other person for any reason. We particularly reject the way that some people might select to cause distress to others because:

  • they are richer or poorer, older or younger;

  • they are male or because they are female;

  • they are a teacher or a student;

  • of handicap or personal problems;

  • of their looks or what they wear;

  • they are small or tall, thin or fat;

  • of the colour of their skin;

  • of their religion;

  • of their likes or dislikes;

  • of their ability or struggle towards achievement;

  • of any other reason.


Our Behaviour Support Policy is based on positive behaviour management strategies and the following tenets:

The right to feel safe both physically and psychologically.

The right to fundamental respect and fair treatment.

The right to learn without undue and unreasonable distraction.



Parents play an essential role in promoting and supporting positive behaviour for learning at CVAS. Therefore, effective home/school communication is of vital importance to the success of each child's learning.


CVAS presumes a right to expect that parents will give their full support in the careful application of the School Behaviour Policy.


To this end, we ask that parents kindly:

​Keep us informed of any behaviour difficulties they may be experiencing at home;

Inform us of any special circumstance or trauma which may affect their child’s performance and/or behaviour at school;

Inform us about any health problems their child may have;

Support the school’s policy of non-retaliation.


For specific details concerning parent communication see the School Community Code of Conduct Policy.