The day began with an opening school liturgy and assembly, where students, staff, family and special guests gathered to commemorate the official first day of school for the St Bede’s community.
“Today was a very historical day not only for our College community, but for the broader Catholic community of the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese,” said Principal John Murphy.
“St Bede’s Catholic College is the first secondary school in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle to open since 1984 when St Paul’s at Booragul was opened.”
Commenting on the new students, Mr Murphy said: “Students will leave St Bede’s as confident, resilient and reflective young adults, embracing learning, searching for truth and living their faith in a contemporary world.”
Assistant Principal Brett Donohoe said: “The opening day at St Bede’s was a day filled with energy, excitement and enthusiasm. It was a real time of celebration and acknowledgement of those who imagined, designed and laid the foundations of St Bede’s to bring it to fruition.
“Today also marked for what will be an exciting and fulfilling 6-year journey of quality, contemporary Catholic education brought to the hearts and minds of the 109 students present today.”
The new students used the day as an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the school grounds and their home rooms, meet their teachers and learn the routines of the school environment.
The day was attended by CSO Director of Schools, Dr Michael Slattery, Assistant Directors, John Tobin and Tony Kelly, Head of Teaching and Learning, Suzanne Fern, Aboriginal Education Officer, Louise Campbell and other members of the Catholic Schools Office.
The need for St Bede's was identified by a study - conducted in 2013 by the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle - into the provision of secondary education. The study recommended the Diocese develop a new secondary school – namely St Bede’s Catholic College in Chisholm.
Dr Slattery said, “The aim of the study was to determine how best the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle could meet the future needs of students in Catholic secondary schools.
“The study found this would be achieved by ensuring that our secondary schools remain vibrant, relevant and academically competitive in an increasingly demanding and rapidly changing educational climate.
“Developing a new secondary school in the form of St Bede’s will enable the Diocese to meet its commitment of providing a secondary education that is marked by academic rigour and success and which provides students with every opportunity to improve their learning, realise their potential and maximise their post-school choices.”
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