Counselling Services

Awhi mai, Awhi atu

Counselling Support

in Schools

 Supporting learner wellbeing 

Our school is now part of the Ministry of Education’s Counselling Support in Schools programme. This means we now have a free counselling service at our school to assist with your child’s wellbeing.

Our counselling support is designed with input from our whānau and staff, to support our learners so they can thrive at school. 

Our counsellor is a registered professional, carefully chosen for her skills and experience working with children and their whānau. Counselling support can help children and young people to understand how to navigate their feelings, such as grief, anxiety, stress, or loneliness, and to discover new coping skills. 


Wellbeing can be understood through the idea of hauora, which embraces the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of a person. The idea of mauri (life force) is also central to counselling, to protect and enhance the mana and wellbeing of children and their whānau. 

Counselling can play an important role in supporting learner wellbeing.  Our counsellor will work closely with schools and whānau, wherever possible, to get the right support in place at the right time. 

How will counselling work in our school? 

Our school has designed our counselling support to best meet the needs of our learners.  The support is described in our School Delivery Plan (SDP).  The Plan was put together with input from whānau, school staff, Board members and our counselling provider.

The Plan shows how we will work with our counsellor to support our learners. 

What can I expect from this support?

We want you to be involved, as much as possible, so we can work together to get the best support for your child.  


Our school counsellor will:

·       be safe, honest, and trustworthy

·       listen carefully, be respectful, and value your culture, language, and identity 

·       provide this service at school, in a safe space.


You will have an opportunity to meet the counsellor, Catherine Coster, and discuss how this support can work for you.

We will contact you if we think your child might benefit from this support and you can talk to the principal or any teacher if you would like to seek counselling support for your child. We will uphold you and your child’s rights to privacy and keep all information safe. Counselling support will not be provided without your involvement.

You can request counselling for your child by completing the referral form that is on our school website and emailing it to the counselling provider, or by dropping the form at school, or by asking a teacher to send a referral on your behalf. You can also request a phone call with the counsellor by emailing your details to Vonnie Marshall. Vonnie is the Clinical Co-ordinator for the counselling provider- Skylight Trust. Her email address is-

Kia Ora,

I hope this day finds you all well.

I have been asked to introduce myself and to share with you a little about myself and my new position. 

My name is Catherine Coster and I am a trained counsellor. I have recently been appointed to the new position of school counsellor across 7 local schools in the Timaru/Temuka areas.

I am an Aussie (don’t hold the Aussie part against me) who met a kiwi in Sydney (where else) fell in love, married and within a very short period found myself crossing the ditch with 2 small children to come and check out NZ. I was assured it would be a short stint, however a short stint became 17 years and counting. The 2 children became 5 and the Aussie became a Kiwi citizensomewhere along the line.

I became a counsellor 10 years ago and have worked for a number of agencies including, Relationships Aotearoa, Family Works, Interrelate and now Skylight. My background in counselling includes working with individuals, couples and running various groups.

My other passion in life apart from my family is being creative. I am a working artist and love encouraging others to discover and embrace their own unique creativity.

I look forward to meeting with you and your children in the months ahead to see if I may be of some assistance to you and your whanau and to offer another avenue of support in your kete.

Haere ra.