2019 Catholic Schools Week - Celebrating our connection

OPENING DOORS: Catholic Schools Week celebrates  connection to the community, the diversity of learning and the supportive and inclusive environment that students experience as part of their Catholic education.
OPENING DOORS: Catholic Schools Week celebrates connection to the community, the diversity of learning and the supportive and inclusive environment that students experience as part of their Catholic education.

The Catholic Diocese of Maitland- Newcastle encompasses a vibrant and dynamic school community, with over 3500 teaching and support staff in 57 schools, teaching 19,600 students.

From Sunday March 3 – Saturday March 9, Catholic schools across the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle are opening their doors to families, friends and community members in celebration of Catholic Schools Week 2019.

This year’s theme, ‘Learn, Serve, Belong’ celebrates our connection to the community, the diversity of learning and the supportive and inclusive environment that students experience as part of their Catholic education.

Our Diocesan schools continue to be a place of choice for parents. We are committed to delivering outstanding outcomes for all of our students. Proudly, our schools continue to achieve annual enrolment growth and Catholic Schools Week (CSW) marks the start of the 2020 enrolment period for all schools across the Diocese, including the region’s newest Catholic high school St Bede’s Catholic College, Chisholm.  In addition, there are many other exciting progressions including two of the region’s high schools; St Mary’s Catholic College in Gateshead and St Joseph’s College in Lochinvar, now accepting students for Years 11 and 12. St Clare’s High School in Taree will officially open their new Flexible Learning Centre and St Laurence Flexible Learning Centre in Broadmeadow will open its doors.

I have 42 years serving this Diocese - as a teacher, school leader, principal, Assistant Director and now, Director. My own three children went through schooling here and soon, my grandson will commence his formal education in the Diocese also. My wish for them is the same wish I have for your children- for the following core needs to be met as part of their education in a Catholic school;

  1. That your child will be always wholly safe
  2. That your child will be happy and feel loved in their school environment. It is my personal belief that the most important gift we give a child in a Catholic school is their sense of incredible self-worth
  3. That your child has his or her learning needs met appropriate to their abilities, needs and aspirations. This will also include access to a rich and diverse co-curricular experience
  4. That the skills and attributes your child will need to equip them for life beyond school, will be met
  5. That all facets of their being – physical, cognitive, emotional, psychological and spiritual will be developed
  6. Finally and most vitally, your child will understand the profound value of a relationship with Christ, and an involvement with our church.

I want Catholic schools, as faith-filled communities, to be places of great hope for your children, schools that will shape young men and women able to take a positive and responsible place in their post-school world.

I give you every assurance of the commitment we bring to the needs of the children in our care. To be an educator is the greatest privilege and most significant responsibility because we have your children, our students, to support.

For information about all the activities happening across all schools throughout the week,visit www.mn.catholic.edu.au or contact your local school to get involved in the celebrations, and see why so many families choose Catholic education for their child.

Gerard Mowbray, Director of Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle

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