St Mary’s Gateshead moves into the future

January 2018 will be the beginning of great change for St Mary’s High School, Gateshead, with a new school name, crest and senior cohort to see in the new school year.

St Mary’s Catholic College signals a renewed vision for the school community which will operate as a Year 7 to 12 school commencing in 2018. The school will offer a comprehensive curriculum driven by student preference for its senior students and school population projections predict the school body will grow to some 1200 students within the next five years.

To accommodate this growth and additional educational offerings, the school will be undergoing a rejuvenation that will see its appearance change significantly with new buildings and major refurbishment of existing learning spaces.

This change is among 12 recommendations to emerge from a 2013 study, commissioned by Bishop Bill Wright, into the Provision of Secondary Education in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle to ensure the diocese will be able to meet the future needs of students in Catholic secondary schools. The decision to grow St Mary's will also allow for more enrolments to be taken at Catholic primary and secondary schools in surrounding areas that are already at capacity.

On Wednesday, 31 August, the executive team of St Mary’s invited parents, students and members of the school community to “ignite, enliven and inspire” at the launch of the new school name, school crest and showcase of the redevelopment of the school.

“Tonight heralds a new beginning for our school,” said Principal Larry Keating.

“We stand on the threshold of a “new beginning” as a comprehensive Year 7 to 12 Catholic high school. A transition from two rooms in a small cottage to what we have today and what we look forward to in the future, owes so much to those who gave so generously of their time to the school community we enjoy today.” 

Director of Schools, Ray Collins, launched the new visual identity of the school and emphasised the “thorough preparation, development of staff, great consultation with families, students and broader education community” that has gone into this project.

St Mary’s has experienced rapid growth over the past five years with a waiting list already for Year 7, 2017.

“The population for next year’s Year 7 class is for a seven stream school with 210 students,” said Mr Keating.

“We have great scope to be able to accommodate an increase in school population over the coming years.”

Architectural impressions courtesy of QOH Architects. 

Milestone events for the school 2016 - 2018:

05/08/16 – Project architect appointed

10/08/16 – Courses of study for Year 11 developed

31/08/16 – Unveiling of new visual identity for St Mary’s

2017 – Stage one construction of new facilities – including hospitality, building and construction centres and café

13/02/17 – Enrolments open for 2018

31/01/18 – Year 11 students commence at St Mary’s Catholic College

2018 – Stage 2 construction commences

15/10/18 – First HSC student cohort commences.

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Alyssa Faith Image
Alyssa Faith

Alyssa Faith was the Communications Manager for the Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle from 2016 - 2017 and a regular contributor to Aurora and