There are now almost 600 Catholic schools in New South Wales, with schools in this sector continuing to go from strength to strength. Guided by Catholic beliefs and values, they provide a caring learning environment where students are taught many important values including respect and social responsibility.
WhichSchool? Magazine speaks with three of New South Wales’ Catholic schools to learn more about their educational approach and the opportunities they provide for their students.
Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta is among the state’s oldest Catholic girls’ schools, founded in 1889. Principal Stephen M Walsh, says that the school has maintained an unwavering commitment to social justice since it was established so many years ago.
“Our vision is to provide a contemporary Mercy Education that empowers young women to lead with courage and act justly, making a difference in whatever sphere of life they choose to move,” says Mr Walsh.
He describes education at Our Lady of Mercy College as a faith-filled experience. “Mercy Girls are encouraged to explore the Catholic faith and maturely engage with their spirituality. In addition to excellence in education, we are known for our focus on dignity and respect, and our strong sense of justice and social responsibility. The school firmly believes that a positive approach to learning, a nurturing environment and quality relationships, both inside and outside of school, improves student performance.”
At Loreto Kirribilli on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, the school places a strong focus on faith formation and pastoral care. Directed by the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, also known as the Loreto Sisters, Loreto Kirribilli aims to develop its students into confident and successful learners.
“The Loreto Kirribilli values of felicity, sincerity, verity, freedom and justice underpin our entire educational approach,” says Principal Anna Dickinson. “Our goal is to nurture these qualities in our students to help them develop into mature, well-educated, socially responsible women. Learners are encouraged to be open and discerning to ideas and movements of the time, ‘referring all things to God’ to sift what is truly good from what diminishes.”
Guided by faith-based values, Catholic schools aim to nurture and support their students throughout their educational journey, with a strong focus on social and emotional wellbeing.
St Josephs College Hunters Hill has been educating boys since 1881. The school offers an inclusive environment that caters to its students various talents, interests and needs.
Headmaster of St Josephs College Hunters Hill, Dr Chris Hayes, says the school is committed to the development of the whole child. ‘‘As a Catholic secondary school, St Joseph’s College Hunters Hill draws the inspiration for its overall pedagogy principally from the Christian tradition. This tradition prizes all activities that contribute constructively to the harmonious and complete development of the whole person – mind, body and soul. We believe that such activities give praise to God who is glorified in humanity fully alive. At Joeys, we are committed to helping each boy become the best possible version of himself.”
Pictured above: Students from Loreto Kirribilli