Students and their families have consistently highlighted the following strengths that inform their decisions to choose a Catholic education for their child.
1. Learning for the future
Catholic Schools have developed a strong reputation for academic excellence, embracing the latest in learning and teaching practice. Students across Australia are reaping the benefits of this rigorous approach founded on educational research.
Teachers in Catholic Schools are passionate about their work and champion lifelong learning. Quality teaching is the heart of great Schooling: that’s why Catholic Schools invest in building the capabilities of teachers and School leaders. For example, Schools in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta have adopted three high impact strategies to promote quality teaching: data walls, instructional walks and case management.
For Principal Bernadette Fabri from St Patrick’s Primary School, Parramatta, implementing these strategies at a School level has been transformative.
“It’s critical that we develop a culture where we support each other and each other’s professional learning. Focusing on learning and how to truly improve student’s outcomes is more important than just getting good results and it is everyone’s responsibility,” Ms Fabri said.
Knowing the diverse needs of each student is essential to providing quality personalised learning. Responding to the dignity of each and every child, Catholic Schools meet each learner in creative ways that challenge the mind, stretch the imagination and improve educational outcomes, engaging with the latest learning resources and technology.
2. Faith in action
A community desire for education based on the Christian faith and strong values leads many families to choose a Catholic education when considering enrolment options.
The Catholic perspective is foundational to day-to-day School life and culture. Students learn about the Catholic faith through religious education. With strong connections with local parishes, students have the opportunity to participate in the life of the Church and receive the sacraments. The ability to put faith into action is highly valued by students, parents and educators alike.
A strong focus on social justice is a key characteristic in every Catholic School. Many School communities are actively supporting Caritas Australia, Catholic Mission and the St Vincent de Paul Society through Mini Vinnies. These activities build a lifelong sense of social responsibility and engagement to support those in need in our communities and globally.
3. Leading for success
Catholic Schools’ focus on making a contribution to society grows strong leaders, with graduates well-represented in Australian public life. A focus on 21st century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and communication prepares students to lead both at School and beyond.
Schools offer a wide range of leadership opportunities from School-based leadership roles through Student Representative Councils and School Captaincy to participation in the World Youth Day, the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, youth groups, debating competitions, the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards, Voice of Youth public speaking competitions, mock trial, interfaith dialogue and much more.
4. Connecting people with passions
A personalised approach to learning means that Catholic School students have a vast array of opportunities to pursue their passions. Students in Catholic High Schools are enjoying access to a wide range of study pathways including vocational education, trade training centres and university courses.
Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses provide students with valuable and relevant work-related learning, enhancing their employability no matter what career or profession they’re aiming for. VET courses are popular as they offer a hands-on approach to learning and give students higher qualifications that are recognised beyond School. The Trade Training in Schools program offers Years 11 and 12 students the opportunity to attain their HSC while undertaking industry training, gaining workplace experience and achieving outcomes towards a trade qualification.
Catholic Schools excel in a range of sports for all students. Schools are engaged in inter-diocesan sporting competitions that build skills and promote an active lifestyle. In fact, a number of Schools have established a reputation for strength in particular sports.
Catholic Schools offer in-School chances to build skills in the creative and performing arts abound, and many are part of regional or diocesan creative and performing arts opportunities. With so much on offer it’s no wonder Catholic Schools are experiencing unprecedented enrolment demand. In some high-demand areas it’s wise to get in early as places fill fast.
5. Catholic Schools enrolling now
Catholic Schools enroll all year round, subject to availability, with the main enrolment period from February to June in the year before commencing School. Catholic Schools enroll students from Catholic families in their local parishes in the first instance, however will generally enroll non-Catholic families where positions are available. Contact your local Catholic School for a detailed enrolment policy.
Catholic Schools try to keep the costs as affordable as possible for families. Tuition fees vary according to the diocese and type of School. Financial scholarships and bursaries may be available and many Schools reduce or waive fees for serious financial hardship. Sibling discounts are also available for many Catholic Schools.