RAY COLLINS: Catholic Schools Week

 This week we celebrate Catholic Schools’ Week, a very important time in the busy calendar of events in which our schools participate.

The theme of the week is Educating Today and Tomorrow. The theme was chosen to tie in with the 50th anniversary of Gravissimum Educationis. Gravissimum Educationis, the Declaration on Christian Education, is a document of the Second Vatican Council and was created by the Synod Fathers in 1965. The document recognised the continuing need for the Church to support parents in the education of their children so that they might be better equipped to participate professionally in the social, political and economic life of their communities.

It was in many ways a blueprint for the direction Catholic education has taken over the intervening years.

This year in particular we acknowledge this important document as we celebrate the Blessing and Opening of the first newly established Catholic school in our diocese in 30 years. St Aloysius Catholic Primary School, Chisholm will certainly live up to the theme of this week through the innovative architecture of the school and the emphasis on contemporary pedagogy in its learning platform.

As we gather to celebrate this new school’s birth we will also reflect on the quality education program being offered across our other 55 schools which have seen record numbers of students enrolled in our schools and above average enrolment of students with disabilities and Indigenous students.

There is much to celebrate this week and as a diocesan system of schools we will gather on Tuesday for the annual Catholic Schools Week Mass in Sacred Heart Cathedral. A feature of this Mass will be the announcement of the Bishop’s Scholarships, awarded to students in our Secondary schools who demonstrate a commitment not only to the life of their school but particularly to the life of their parish community.

A series of open days will feature across our diocese as schools showcase the many learning experiences made available to the young people in their care.

I wish everyone involved in Catholic Education a very special Catholic Schools Week and I thank you for your ongoing commitment to the education of almost 19,000 students ensuring that not only do we provide quality education today but will continue to do well into the future.

Have a great week.

Ray Collins Image
Ray Collins

Ray Collins is the Director of Schools within the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. He is an authority on education issues.

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