Student Wellbeing

We hope that the clearest indication of Encounter being a Christian school is demonstrated through the authentic and ongoing nurture of your children. Beyond this, there are some aspects of College life that have been established and are both unique and important to us.

Providing Pastoral support for children is critical to help them through the many changes and challenges that occur in their lives. These may include natural developmental changes as well as unnatural changes caused by the death of a family member, divorce, change of schools etc. The College adheres to the Lutheran Ethos and its college values through the Pastoral Care program. Encounter Lutheran College strives to be student-centred, spirit sensitive, and community orientated.

Student wellbeing is supported through the Home Class structure, Home Class devotions, weekly SHINE (Chapel), the Christian Studies curriculum, links with the local Lutheran Church, ELC Class Carers, and providing students with access to the College Counsellor.

At Encounter we are committed to providing the highest quality care to our students. We are committed to work closely with students and parents so that our young people can make the most of the opportunities available to them and develop confidence and self-esteem to grow as individuals.




Wellbeing Team

Caring for the wellbeing of staff, students, and the college community is a central to everything we do at Encounter Lutheran College. The College has developed a Wellbeing Team who oversee the strategic direction of Pastoral Care and Wellbeing policies, programs, and curriculum. The wellbeing team consists of:

Principal and Heads of School: Kelvin Grivell, Penny McKenzie, & Tori Weiss

Wellbeing Coordinator: Thomas Ling

Spiritual Life Coordinator: Dan Sawade

Inclusive Education Coordinators: Jen Biscoe (Middle & Senior School) & Ben Chesser (Junior school)

College Counsellor: Jo Ashcroft

A Positive Psychology approach underpins all decisions made by the Wellbeing Team, and we believe that connecting with families can help to develop resilience through gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. The PERMA+ model of systematically building wellbeing is an umbrella philosophy that guides the Wellbeing Team in developing a culture of positive mental health and wellbeing at Encounter Lutheran College. We value relationships with the entire College community, and partner with parents and outside organisations to empower families in supporting the wellbeing of their children.

Appointments to see the College Counsellor Jo Ashcroft can be made via the Front Office or by emailing Jo directly



Shine & Christian Studies

A special time each week at Encounter is when we come together as a community to share in a time of worship. With students usually leading this time, parents and friends of our College are welcome and often attend this service, accompanied before or after with a welcoming cup of tea or coffee.

This time includes singing, dance, drama and prayer, as we reflect on God’s love for us and celebrate how we can live our lives in service to others.

The Departure

In Year 9, students spend time together, as well as in gender groups, working through a program called ‘The Journey’. This has been developed to initiate discussions and understandings in regard to the rites of passage from childhood to adulthood, especially in the light of students being created and loved by God.

Students encounter issues relating to identity, family, relationships, puberty and their future. In addition to the weekly lessons they participate in, the ‘Vinetops’ camp to Padthaway Estate in the South East and the ‘Heysen Hundred’ Outdoor Education challenge form a holistic and meaningful approach to Christian Studies’ for our emerging adults.
In Christian Studies lessons, teachers engage students in discussions that enable them to recognise God’s love for them in the context of the community and the world around them. A focus of this time relates to serving others.

House System

Encounter’s unique House system seeks to reinforce and celebrate the healthy, supportive culture that exists across our student population.

All students in Years Reception to Year 12 take part in a number of House meetings each term, where students gather as members of Coorong, Granite, Rosetta or Yilki.

With student leadership opportunities being an obvious benefit, mentoring and role-modelling (both formally and incidentally) for all students also helps to create and uphold our sense of family and connection that is valued so dearly in our College community.

Our Clans are also quite a distinct Encounter initiative, where groups of 20-30 students meet regularly as teams or family groups to prepare for an activity or event, brainstorm ideas or to simply build a sense of team and togetherness.

While the House and Clans focus is often on major school events such as Sports Day, Cross Country and The Amazing Race, this inclusive approach to House also helps to break down barriers between older and younger students, helps to minimise bullying and encourages genuine relationships amongst our entire student body.

At Encounter, our House program is another special way in which we extend the invitation to be part of the broader Encounter family.