Message from Gerard Mowbray

The Catholic school system in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle remains one of the most robust in NSW. 

Enrolments continue to grow, the provision of quality, contemporary facilities continues to expand, we await with great anticipation the commencement of our educational precinct at Medowie in 2021, and we continue to sharpen our focus on the quality of daily learning of each young person enrolled in our schools.

Our direction and focus will ensure quality staff committed to Catholic education operate in excellent facilities with a clear focus on our three pillars: Formation in Faith, Quality Learning, and Wellbeing.

In short, our diocesan team is charged with providing an environment that enables our system of schools to flourish and our students to thrive. The Catholic education provided within the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese presents a compelling choice for families and students.

While the key focus of our daily business is the incremental development of each and every student in our schools within a safe, caring, nurturing Catholic community, there were some developments in 2019 worthy of particular mention.

  • The completion of formation programs for staff and students on the purpose and nature of living a Christ-centred life.
  • The maturation of the Continuum of School Improvement (COSI).
  • Schools and system commitment to quality planning.
  • The alignment of COSI, planning, professional learning and development, and daily practice.
  • The ongoing roll-out of Gifted Education Lead schools and the work of the Virtual Academy.
  • The ongoing expansion of the Successful Foundations Action Research Project.
  • Enhanced staffing models and the implementation of key roles of pedagogical mentors and leaders of learning.
  • The sustained commitment to principal wellbeing.
  • The successful embedding of our principal and middle leader coach.
  • The sustained commitment to the refurbishment and development of current and new school facilities.
  • Our capacity to prioritise not only government-funded capital projects, but also system- driven projects.
  • The focus on writing development.
  • The first HSC classes at Gateshead and Lochinvar.
  • The implementation of the Diocese’s first Flexible Learning Centre.
  • The review of our provision of Aboriginal education.

At the heart of all we do is Jesus Christ. At the centre of all our endeavours are the young people in our care. As we move into our new strategic phase (2020-22) it is important to note the focus of this plan is to:

  • ensure every student is known as a person and learner and demonstrates growth in their learning every day (Goal 4)
  • build the capacity of every teacher, every leader and every school through collaborative professionalism and relevant, contemporary professional learning (Goal 5).

We have much to celebrate in Catholic schools, much to look forward to, yet so much to achieve as we form and develop young lives.

Gerard Mowbray

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Gerard Mowbray

Gerard Mowbray is the Director at the Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.