OUR SCHOOL PHILOSOPHY
(Based on “The Catholic School” issued in 1977 by the Holy See-Congregation for Education)
This school has as its foundation Christ and His Revelation. Its entire motivation and final goal are to be found in the principles of the Gospel.
A good school is one ordered to the authentic good of human persons. Each of our Catholic school students must be seen as a candidate for Heaven. Indeed, each must be seen as Christ in need: “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.” (cf. Mt 25:40)
Our children must feel loved as individual persons. They must be guided in the training of their freedom to freely seek what is true and good. The school must be seen as a place of Catholic formation, a place of prayer and work (including rigorous academic labour and cultural endeavour). This will include, primarily, a cultural atmosphere in which all the Christian virtues can be developed and intellectual knowledge personally and deeply imbibed – because although academic excellence is an important and necessary goal of the school, it is not sufficient.
The educational aim of the school is the critical communication of human culture and the total development
of the individual, according to a specifically Christian vision of reality. Here, absolute values, including the absolute value of the individual human person, are conveyed in a life-context, stimulating the pupils to exercise their intelligence and helping them to discern true and positive cultural factors from false and destructive ones, using the teaching of Christ as their yardstick.
- To provide pupils with the norms and procedures for rational thought.
- To present them with the Truth and with the methods they may use to arrive at and justify it.
- To teach them the critical skills needed for prudent judgement.
- To help them to know the teaching of the Gospel and to build it into their lives.
- To teach them the Christian way of life using Christ’s life as their model.
- To discern in the universe the God whom it reveals, and to take from the world around them all that is good and compatible with Christianity.
The specific role of the school is the Christian formation of its students. It exists to help them to take on the lifelong personal conversion which the Christian life entails, to encourage them to give themselves to God in prayer and reception of the Sacraments and to overcome selfish individualism and grow in all the virtues. They are helped to discover their specific vocation as the way in which they will do God’s Will and reach human fulfillment.
This role is accomplished by an integration of Faith and Life which involves:
- The systematic and coherent teaching of the truths of Catholic doctrine.
- Instruction in the principles and doctrines of Christian morality.
- A special emphasis on the three theological virtues and the four cardinal virtues.
- Recognition and evaluation of the spiritual implications to be found in day-to-day situations.
- Class and school prayer – especially liturgical prayer.
- Opportunities for spiritual reading and silent, personal prayer, including Eucharistic adoration.
- Studies of the writings and lives of the saints.
We aim to help our students to realise that they are called to be living witnesses and apostles, and we give them opportunities for sharing their faith with others in the wider community and of giving service to the needy.
We recognise that parents are the primary educators of their children, with a right to choose schools for their
children. Parents who enroll their children in this school are expected:
• To be faithful in bringing up their children in the Christian faith.
• To be cooperative with the school in its efforts to offer formation in the Faith.
• To utilise the opportunities given by the school for parental education and involvement.
Our desire is to have men and women religious, priests and lay teachers involved in the school so that it will present to pupils and parents and the whole wider community a ‘vivid image of the Church’ making easier a recognition of its riches. Teachers are to be compliant with the NSW Institute of Teachers Act.
All teachers and members of the school community draw their authority to educate from their adherence to
Christian values believing in these values and reflecting them in their lives. Teachers in this school will, then, be believing and practicing Catholics, showing themselves to be, as Canon 803 requires, ‘outstanding in true doctrine and uprightness of life’ and faithful in living the full Sacramental life of the Church. They should be aware that they reveal the Christian ideal to their students not just by their words, but by every gesture of their behaviour.
As a school in which the Catholic faith is taught, we receive from the Bishop the ‘mandate’ to carry out our apostolate of formation in the Catholic faith. The Bishop has the right to oversee the orthodoxy of the religious instruction in the school. As an independent school, we are not affiliated with, or subject to the Diocesan education system.
The love for Truth and a desire for knowledge will inform the attitudes and pedagogical practices of all the teachers in this school. Here there will be preserved a synthesis of culture and Faith so that:
- The students are taught the value of knowledge as such, and are helped to desire and find truth by means of instruction, study and experience.
- Individual subjects are taught according to their own particular discipline and methodology. They are not taught as mere adjuncts to faith or a means to teaching apologetics.
- The school aims to enable all the students to gain practical and intellectual skills, knowledge, intellectual methods and moral and social attitudes through a range of well-chosen subjects, so that they may attain to knowledge of Truth, develop their personality, and take their proper place in society.
- Students will be helped to realise that education is not aimed at gaining power or material prosperity and success, but as an aid to a fuller understanding of God, mankind and the world.
We desire that this school be a true community of faith, fed and stimulated by the word of Christ in Scripture and Tradition – especially in the liturgical and sacramental tradition – and in the lives of the saints who have witnessed to that Word, especially Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Heaven and Earth, who is loved and revered in this school as the “‘highest honour of our race” and as the mother and model of all Christians.