With Australia's first Catholic school opening in October 1820, Catholic schools and systems across Australia are celebrating 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia. There are now more than 1750 Catholic schools nationally, educating some 765,000 students: that is one in five Australian students.
From Baradine and Coonamble in the north, to Cowra and Oberon in the south, the Catholic Diocese of Bathurst provides a diverse range of educational opportunities to over 9000 students in 33 schools, from primary schools in small rural communities to large secondary schools.
Parents are always encouraged to visit one of their local Catholic schools to experience the safe, supportive learning community provided, where the unique dignity of each child is respected, nurtured and valued. Catholic education provides holistic, student-centred education and encourages innovation in learning and teaching. Teachers embrace the privilege and challenge of teaching in a Catholic school and belonging to a professional learning community. They encourage students to strive for excellence and prepare students to become responsible citizens and agents for change in seeking a more just and sustainable society.
Right from kindergarten, students are taught to be successful learners. Catholic schools provide a six-week program at the beginning of kindergarten to teach young students how to settle in class, how to learn, how to correctly hold their pencil and to develop social and emotional skills. Solid foundations are developed in literacy and numeracy, and great intervention programs support and extend students.
Older students throughout their learning journey are exposed to state-of-the-art technologies, vocational training resources, shared partnership programs with universities and a wide array of extra-curricular activity.
The Diocese acknowledges the Wiradjuri, Gamilaraay and Wailwan peoples as the traditional custodians of the lands and indigenous students are encouraged to be proud of their heritage.
Bishop of Bathurst, Bishop Michael McKenna, said that Catholic schools across the Central West provide affordable, inclusive, quality learning environments. "Our fundamental principle remains that no family will be denied a Catholic education due to genuine financial hardship," he said. "Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst will continue to provide affordable, quality Catholic education for all".
On visiting the schools, you'll discover all of the ways in which they each provide a safe, welcoming community in which all students can flourish. For more information about a Catholic education or to arrange a meeting with the principal and request a school tour, visit your local school's website.