News

Mary Immaculate Eagle Vale principal Don Spencer retires after 39-year career in Catholic education

Posted 16 September 2019 by Catholic Education

After a most distinguished 39-year career as a Catholic educator and leader, Mary Immaculate Catholic Parish Primary School, Eagle Vale’s Don Spencer has enjoyed his last day as principal, retiring from his position last Friday, 13 September 2019.

Read more from Don on his retirement, and the Mary Immaculate community's retirement celebrations for Don at Eagle Vale last Wednesday. 

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Nominations for the Lighting the Way Faith & Learning Awards close this week!

Posted 15 September 2019 by Catholic Education

It’s the final countdown to nominate someone for a prestigious Lighting the Way Faith & Learning Award for 2019.

Hurry! The deadline for nominations is THIS FRIDAY, 20 September.

Head to www.dow.catholic.edu.au/ltw-awards for more information and to nominate today.

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‘No place like home’: St Joseph's Albion Park students produce local Oz magic to win Tournament of Minds

Posted 13 September 2019 by Catholic Education

Forget the Scarecrow’s wish: ‘If I only had a brain’! Students at St Joseph’s Albion Park have creatively and cleverly tackled a ‘Wizard of Oz’-inspired challenge at the Tournament of Minds Regional Final, outdoing all other Illawarra and South Coast secondary schools to win the Arts competition and earn their place in the NSW State Final!

Read more about the ToM success at St Joseph's, as well as at St Clare’s Narellan Vale, inside.

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Students code their way to victory at CEDoW mBot Challenge Finals

Posted 10 September 2019 by Catholic Education

Robots ready to rumble! After weeks of practising and refining their coding, students across the Diocese who qualified for the CEDoW 2019 mBot Challenge Finals were set to let their mBots do the talking! The culmination of northern and southern regional rounds, the Finals saw over 250 people pack into the Fraternity Club at Fairy Meadow to cheer their teams on, as students coded their mBots to battle, dance and race their way to success.

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Adolescent expert Maggie Dent shares insights with Holy Spirit parents and teachers

Posted 8 September 2019 by Catholic Education

How do you raise resilient children? How can I help my teen manage anxiety and stress? What’s going on inside my child’s adolescent brain? 

Parents at Holy Spirit College, Bellambi have gained insight into the answers, hearing from adolescent expert, author and educator, Maggie Dent, on how to help teens cope, conquer and shine, with what she calls "calm, common-sense, connected parenting".

Read more about her visit and what advice she gave to parents and teachers.

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Celebrating Teacher Accreditation

Posted 6 September 2019 by Catholic Education

The next generation of teachers was celebrated at a special event last week to commemorate the achievement of 66 proficient teachers – 30 primary and 36 secondary – who will educate and guide the minds of tomorrow.

At Villa D’oro Function Centre in Wollongong, guests gathered for the Teacher Accreditation Recognition Ceremony - an initiative under CEDoW’s Awards and Recognition Program, acknowledging the achievements of teachers who have reached this significant career milestone.

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Zambian High Commissioner admires innovation at St Joseph’s Albion Park visit

Posted 4 September 2019 by Catholic Education

It’s not every day another country hears of your school’s innovative learning and teaching, and sends delegates to visit to learn more. But that’s exactly what has happened at St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Albion Park, where the High Commissioner for Zambia and his delegation have seen firsthand how the school is using technology to improve student outcomes.

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Together As One: Year 6 Students Gather to Celebrate an Education Milestone with Bishop Brian Mascord

Posted 2 September 2019 by Catholic Education

From Kiama to Eagle Vale, Fairy Meadow to Moss Vale, Year 6 leaders across our diocese congregated as faith-filled communities, when Bishop Brian Mascord led a series of regional Masses to mark the students' transition to secondary school – an important milestone in each child’s educational journey.

The yearly Masses, which are a coming-of-age tradition for students graduating from their primary school education, are an opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist and they also remind students how they can foster their relationships with Jesus through compassionate actions and loving words as they grow.

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St Joseph’s Bulli teacher Michelle Bunder named Apple Distinguished Educator

Posted 29 August 2019 by Catholic Education

App smashing, augmented reality, iPad tips and tricks, and even creating new and innovative ways of learning using Apple apps and technology – it’s all at the fingertips of St Joseph’s Bulli teacher, Michelle Bunder, who has been accepted into the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Class of 2019!

Read more from Bunder on her experience as an Apple Distinguished Educator, attending the recent ADE Institute event, and using Apple technology in the classroom to enhance learning and teaching.

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Wakakirri success! St Paul’s Moss Vale wins two performance awards

Posted 25 August 2019 by Catholic Education

In just their first time participating in Wakakirri – Australia’s largest Story Dance Festival involving hundreds of schools and over 20,000 students across the nation each year – St Paul's Moss Vale has won not one, but two awards for their fantastic contemporary dance performance.

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St John’s Nowra wins Wakakirri Shoalhaven Regional Challenge

Posted 23 August 2019 by Catholic Education

A phenomenal effort from the St John’s Nowra Wakakirri dance troupe – they’ve performed spectacularly to win the 2019 Wakakirri Shoalhaven Regional Challenge and pick up a further nine performance and production awards for their powerful dance telling the heartfelt story of a Syrian refugee's tumultuous journey fleeing home.

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Pastoral Statement from Bishop Brian Mascord on the appeal of Cardinal George Pell

Posted 21 August 2019 by Bishop Brian Mascord

My Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I write to you concerning the decision handed down today by the Supreme Court of Victoria’s Court of Appeal in relation to Cardinal George Pell’s conviction on five charges of child sexual abuse. The court rejected the cardinal’s appeal, in a 2–1 ruling...

Read more from Bishop Brian inside.

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Reading Is My Secret Power: 10 ways our schools are celebrating Book Week

Posted 19 August 2019 by Catholic Education

Caped crusaders, crazy costumes and colourful characters – it’s shaping up to be a jam-packed week of fun and creativity this Book Week, bringing children and books together in our schools all across the Diocese. With inspiration from this year’s theme, ‘Reading Is My Secret Power’, we have a lot to look forward to! 

Here is a snapshot of some of the wonderful celebrations of children’s literature in our schools this week – 10 ways our CEDoW schools are marking Book Week 2019.

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Vinnies and our CEDoW schools: A match made for heaven

Posted 16 August 2019 by Catholic Education

It was a young 20-year-old, Blessed Frederic Ozanam, who started the St Vincent de Paul Society when he decided to do something about the poverty he saw in his community. Today, it is the young people in our Catholic primary and secondary schools who are a driving force behind the success of Vinnies’ good works in the Diocese of Wollongong. 

Read more about the Vinnies-CEDoW partnership, as published in the Winter 2019 edition of Journey Magazine.

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Inspiring Hearts and Minds: Leading Inspirations Dinner 2019

Posted 14 August 2019 by Catholic Education

Smiling in the face of adversity, the value of hard work and ‘doing the God stuff’ - these were some of the topics that delighted, educated and had guests in fits of laughter at the biennial Leading Inspirations Dinner held on 2 August 2019, an initiative of CEDoW's Workplace Gender Equality (WGE) Committee.

Since its inception, the dinner has become a significant networking event for CEDoW employees and their external colleagues, to inspire attendees to pursue their passions while maintaining a work-life balance. This year, we were fortunate to have Robyn Moore as the evening's keynote speaker, whose motivational talks have touched hundreds of thousands across Australia and internationally.

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St Joseph’s Albion Park aspiring athletes offered best opportunity for success

Posted 5 August 2019 by Catholic Education

Students at St Joseph’s Catholic High School, Albion Park will now have the chance to train next to first-class athletes at the top of their game – the likes of Matildas star Caitlin Foord, UFC champion Alex Volkanovski, and the Illawarra Hawks. The school’s Aspiring/Elite Athlete Program will see students enjoy state-of-the-art facilities, resources, mentoring and support to be the best-equipped young athletes in the region. 

The exciting new program is aimed at providing aspiring athletes at St Joseph’s with the education, skills and support they need to reach their full potential – in their chosen sport, their academic studies and their life and career ahead.

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A Life Less Ordinary

Posted 2 August 2019 by Catholic Education

In 2019, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Pope Benedict XV's Apostolic Letter Maximum Illud, Pope Francis announced that October would, from that point, be known as The Extraordinary Missionary Month - a worldwide occasion of prayer, stories of mission, formation and charity.

This year, the theme of the month is ‘Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.’ As his Holiness Pope Francis shared in an open letter, “I have asked that the whole Church revive her missionary awareness and commitment. Celebrating this month will help us first to rediscover the missionary dimension of our faith in Jesus Christ, a faith graciously bestowed on us in baptism.” 

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St Paul’s Camden students learning art from the experts

Posted 30 July 2019 by Catholic Education

Students at St Paul’s Camden have enjoyed valuable opportunities to sharpen their artistic skills from those who have come before them, engaging in experiences with talented local artists – including a former student!

Year 4 students were excited to have Magdalene Catholic College, Narellan Year 12 student and gifted artist, Peter Cornett, visit the school to facilitate a manga art workshop with them. Meanwhile, Year 2 students enjoyed learning about perspective drawing from Camden artist, Roger Percy.

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AWARD: CEDoW recognised for building relationships for sustainable solutions to poverty

Posted 26 July 2019 by Catholic Education

Congratulations to our CEDoW staff involved in promoting sustainable development projects and solutions to poverty in disadvantaged communities in the Pacific – our Diocese has been awarded the ‘Sustainable Relationships Award’ at Palms Australia’s Solidarity Awards 2019.

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Primary Teaching Immersion

Posted 24 July 2019 by Catholic Education

As a roomful of primary school children sat in their classroom engaged in a STEM activity, there wasn’t anything unusual about the scene – apart from the age of their ‘teachers’. On this day, a group of Corpus Christi Catholic High School, Oak Flats students took part in a role swap and became educators for the day in a unique immersion.

A group of students from Years 9 to 12 were tasked with teaching younger students from Nazareth Catholic Primary School in Shellharbour City to give them a glimpse of what it takes to be a teacher and whether it could be their future vocation.

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PRINCIPAL PROFILE: Danny Sykes

Posted 18 July 2019 by Catholic Education

Catholic Schools NSW's latest 'Teacher Feature' stars Mr Danny Sykes, principal of Stella Maris Catholic Primary School, Shellharbour. Stella Maris was founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1958. Seven Sisters of Charity have guided Stella Maris in faith, hope and love as educational leaders since the school's foundation, including Sr Colleen Mills, who retired in 2009 – the last Sister of Charity principal in the country. 

We spent #OneMinuteWith Danny to ask him about his hopes in Catholic education and returning as principal to the primary school he once attended himself...

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Holy Spirit invites you to 'be their guest!' for school production of 'Beauty and the Beast'

Posted 12 July 2019 by Catholic Education

Holy Spirit College, Bellambi invites you to their musical production of Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast'.

See inside to purchase tickets, and for performance dates and times.

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Crazy hair support for student at St Justin's Oran Park

Posted 8 July 2019 by Catholic Education

Students at St Justin's Oran Park have rocked up to school with some spectacular crazy hairdos to end Term 2! The children sported many fun looks – tall hair, glittered hair, and even rainbow-coloured hair with monster faces – to raise funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis in support of one of their own.

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The Power of Prayer: Month of Mary Rosary Challenge

Posted 5 July 2019 by Catholic Education

“As a student, I am one of many who seem to almost lose themselves in the rush of schoolwork, extra-curricular activities and growing responsibilities,” shared Jaden from Mount Carmel Catholic College in Varroville.

“In this chaotic world, controlled by social media and influenced by the advancement of technology, it’s easy to not find time for reflection and engagement with faith, and to lose track of the important things in life.”

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Making the next Masterchefs: John Therry VET students enjoy 'real' work experience

Posted 3 July 2019 by Catholic Education

Forget making sandwiches on kitchen work placements – it’s all about the real experience of working in the hospitality industry for students at John Therry, Rosemeadow. A team of more than 30 Year 12 Hospitality students have prepared, cooked and served a delicious three-course dinner to a packed dining room at the Campbelltown Catholic Club – with glowing reviews!

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Diocese’s new video shows 'who we are'

Posted 2 July 2019 by Catholic Education

It started off as a short 20-second background video for the homepage of the Diocese of Wollongong’s new website. Six months and 23 separate film shoots later, the diocese has released its new 'It’s Who We Are' video.

The short sub-three-minute video clip narrated by Bishop Brian Mascord and shot by master filmmaker, Hugh Clark, showcases the wonderful people and works of the diocese that happen every day and often go unnoticed.

WATCH the diocese's new video inside.

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‘Una visita meravigliosa!’: Holy Spirit language students visit Italian residents at Marco Polo Aged Care

Posted 1 July 2019 by Catholic Education

What better way to practise your language skills than to speak to the experts! In a heartwarming intergenerational experience, students at Holy Spirit College, Bellambi have visited the Italian residents of Marco Polo Aged Care to get to know about life in Italy and put their beginner Italian to the test.

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Over The Wall

Posted 26 June 2019 by Catholic Education

Why did Humpty Dumpty fall? How does an egg move? If Humpty wanted to sit safely on the wall, how could the structure be changed to keep him upright?

These are some of the key inquiry learning questions children from Kindergarten Blue at St Francis of Assisi Warrawong have been investigating, as part of their STEM inquiry based unit – and they’ve left no brick unturned!

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VEX Robotics Scrimmage Day builds students’ problem-solving, STEM skills

Posted 17 June 2019 by Catholic Education

Building the next generation of innovators, programmers and problem-solving leadersSt Paul’s Albion ParkSt Paul’s Moss Vale, and St Therese West Wollongong have given their Years 5 and 6 students the opportunity to excel in VEX robotics, participating in the first CEDoW VEX Robotics Scrimmage Day.

Hear from the students and teachers involved, and see pictures and video from the day.

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PRINCIPAL PROFILE: Philip Barrington

Posted 14 June 2019 by Catholic Education

Catholic Schools NSW's latest 'Teacher Feature' stars Mr Philip Barrington, principal of St Thomas More Catholic Parish Primary School, Ruse. St Thomas More is located in Campbelltown in the Macarthur region, with traditions enriched from the foundational charisms of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan and the Marist Brothers.

We spent #OneMinuteWith Phil to ask him about his background in Catholic education and his hopes for the children in his care at St Thomas More.

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‘Everyone has the right to a home’: 2019 Wollongong Vinnies CEO Sleepout

Posted 12 June 2019 by Catholic Education

Dozens of local business and community leaders will come together on Thursday 20 June at the University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus for the eighth annual Wollongong Vinnies CEO Sleepout, forgoing a night of comfort to help make a tangible difference to the lives of those less fortunate.

As well as raising money for crucial Vinnies services and programs providing food, accommodation and support to people experiencing homelessness and disadvantage, the initiative is a chance for Wollongong leaders to gain a better understanding of the issue and how they can continue to make an impact through their own work.

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When in Rome: A Letter from Bishop Brian as he prepares for Ad Limina visit

Posted 10 June 2019 by Catholic Education

"My Sisters and Brothers in Christ – this year will mark the first time that I have experienced an Ad Limina visit to Rome with my fellow Australian bishops. The last Ad Limina took place in 2011 and usually happens every five years. So, this visit is very overdue..."

Read more from Bishop Brian as he prepares to travel to Rome next week with Australia’s Catholic bishops for their Ad Limina Apostolorum visit.

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Compassion, support and a hot meal: Call for Vinnies Van volunteers this winter

Posted 7 June 2019 by Catholic Education

As winter begins and times get even tougher for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness in our region, the St Vincent de Paul Society is calling for people to generously volunteer their time to help support our local Vinnies Van.

Read on for more information about the Vinnies Van, what our volunteers say about the experience, and everything you need to know to be a Vinnies Van volunteer and help those in need in our region this winter.

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The power of connection: Holy Spirit College Bellambi students build special bond with Jarjum College

Posted 3 June 2019 by Catholic Education

It started off as a simple excursion; a fun trip away from school to visit the kids of Jarjum College in Redfern. But by the end of the day, the students of Holy Spirit College Bellambi came away having an experience they won’t soon forget – appreciating the power of human connection and valuing the start of beautiful, lasting friendships between the students and both schools.

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St John's Nowra's Natalie Abbott stars in 'Muriel's Wedding the Musical'

Posted 29 May 2019 by Catholic Education

It's the role that makes actors into stars, and now it’s the turn of St John the Evangelist, Nowra alumni, Natalie Abbott, to catch the bridal bouquet and take on the lead role of Muriel in Muriel’s Wedding The Musical.

 

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CEDoW schools shake maracas with alpacas for National Simultaneous Storytime

Posted 27 May 2019 by Catholic Education

Alpacas, maracas and book stackers galore! Students in our CEDoW schools across the Diocese have joined over one million kids for National Simultaneous Storytime – gathering together in libraries, classrooms and homes across in Australia and New Zealand to be read aloud Australian author and illustrator, Matt Cosgrove’s book ‘Alpacas with Maracas’ at the same time.

Here’s a round up of National Simultaneous Storytime activity in our Catholic primary schools.

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PRINCIPAL PROFILE: Steve Lo Cascio

Posted 25 May 2019 by Catholic Education

Catholic Schools NSW's latest 'Teacher Feature' stars Mr Stephen Lo Cascio, principal of Mount Carmel Catholic College, Varroville. Mount Carmel is a Year 7-12 co-educational Catholic college serving the parishes of Campbelltown, Eagle Vale, Ingleburn, Macquarie Fields, Ruse and Varroville in the Macarthur region.

We spent #OneMinuteWith Steve to ask him a bit about his background and aspirations in Catholic education...

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Healthy Habits: St Michael’s Nowra Canteen Sets The Benchmark

Posted 22 May 2019 by Catholic Education

St Michael’s, Nowra is making the healthy choice the easy choice for students after becoming an official ‘healthy school canteen’, meeting the NSW Government’s new Healthy School Canteen Strategy and food and drink criteria.

The St Michael’s canteen menu now includes a variety of healthy, tasty and interesting food options, providing students with the essential nutrients they need to learn, play and grow.

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Nurture a child's potential with CatholicCare's 'Fostering Futures' Permanency Support Program

Posted 16 May 2019 by CatholicCare

Illawarra carers Nathan and Deb have been carers for 11 and a half years through CatholicCare Wollongong's Permanency Support Program, Fostering Futures.

After being unable to have their own biological children, Deb and Nathan (pictured) decided to enquire about becoming carers in the hope of being able to provide a child with a permanent home.

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STATEMENT FROM BISHOP BRIAN MASCORD: Court Appearance, Fr Ron Peters

Posted 15 May 2019 by Bishop Brian Mascord

Please find a statement from Bishop Brian Mascord regarding the court appearance of Fr Ron Peters.

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National Families Week 2019

Posted 14 May 2019 by Catholic Education

Each year, over a hundred thousand people and hundreds of organisations celebrate National Families Week — Australia’s biggest celebration of families in all their diversity.

The aim of National Families Week (15–21 May) is to celebrate the vital role that families play in Australian society. The enduring theme ‘Stronger families, stronger communities’ highlights the importance of families to communities and that community wellbeing is enhanced by family wellbeing.

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Federal election 2019 – know the facts before you vote

Posted 12 May 2019 by Catholic Education

The 2019 federal election will be held this coming Saturday, 18 May 2019.

Throughout the election campaign, Catholic Education has highlighted the needs of Catholic schools, and the parties have responded with various election promises. Here are the facts to keep you informed about the policies that affect our Catholic school students and their families.

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PRINCIPAL PROFILE: Michael Reardon

Posted 8 May 2019 by Catholic Education

Catholic Schools NSW's latest 'Teacher Feature' stars Mr Michael Reardon, principal of St Paul’s Catholic Parish Primary School, Camden. The school’s origins go back to 1883, when two Josephite nuns arrived to teach in what is now the school library.

We spent #OneMinuteWith Michael to ask him a bit about his background and aspirations in Catholic education.

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Calling All Primary School Children - It’s Time To Get Walking

Posted 1 May 2019 by Catholic Education

On Friday 17 May, children from across Australia will put their feet first, and journey towards a healthier future by participating in the 20th anniversary of National Walk Safely to School Day.

The annual event raises awareness of the health, road safety, transport and environmental benefits that regular walking (especially to and from school) can provide for the long term wellbeing of our children. Apart from the physical benefits, regular walking also has a favourable impact on their cognitive and academic performance.

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New Makerspace at St Therese

Posted 15 April 2019 by Catholic Education

Students with a passion for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at St Therese, West Wollongong are now able to engage in STEM learning in a dedicated ‘makerspace’ area, fostering creativity and inquiry-based learning.

St Therese’s once tired looking basement has been transformed into a vibrant and engaging space that incorporates the school’s Spheros, mBots and VEX robots, as well as a range of construction tools and materials for the students to use to engage in STEM-related activities both as part of in-class learning and during lunchtime workshops. 

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A History task with a difference: St Francis students dig up archaeology answers

Posted 10 April 2019 by Catholic Education

Keep clear! Archaeological dig in progress! Cue the Indiana Jones music and grab the trowels and dusting brushes – Year 7 students at St Francis Catholic College, Edmondson Park have used their expertise to excavate and explore a unique dig site on school grounds, uncovering a number of hidden artefacts to analyse.

Read more about this practical, hands-on History task designed by the staff at St Francis – an exciting and memorable way for students to consolidate their learning and apply the theoretical skills explored in class over the past term.

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St Clare’s Narellan Vale serves up next generation of foodies in new educational YouTube series

Posted 8 April 2019 by Catholic Education

Passion and culinary skills are currently on display, with students from St Clare’s, Narellan Vale now featuring in ‘Foodie School’ – a YouTube cooking series hosted by renowned chef and dad, Peter Sheppard, in partnership with the Campbelltown Catholic Club.

Launched last week, the fun and educational initiative aims to help children and families enjoy the steps involved in food preparation and encourages good eating habits by learning the source and importance of cooking with fresh, quality ingredients.

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You're invited: Appin Massacre Memorial 2019

Posted 7 April 2019 by Catholic Education

Remembering. Healing. Reconciliation.

The Appin Massacre Memorial event is held in recognition of the Aboriginal people who were killed by government troops in April 1816. Held annually for over 20 years, this memorial is an important cultural gathering for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to come together in a spirit of reconciliation and healing.

Read more for details on the 2019 Memorial and to download the event flyer.

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Pope Francis writes to young people – the ‘now of the Church’

Posted 3 April 2019 by Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

Pope Francis has urged young people to embrace their role as the present and the future of the Catholic Church by building relationships with their community and with God. 

The Holy Father has issued the apostolic exhortation following last year’s Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. The exhortation, Christus Vivit (Christ is Alive), takes the form of a letter to young people and, through them, to the entire People of God. 

Read more about Christus Vivit and download a copy at the link below.

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Making the most of the nature around us: Stella Maris embraces outdoor learning and teaching

Posted 1 April 2019 by Catholic Education

A gentle sea breeze and the feeling of the sand between your toes; water lapping onto the rocks nearby. It could be mistaken as a break far away from the classroom, but this is the future for students’ Science, Maths, English and Geography lessons at Stella Maris, Shellharbour.

Stella Maris is set to incorporate outdoor learning into a typical school day for their classes – an innovative approach to teaching an integrated curriculum and, quite literally, a breath of fresh air that will benefit students academically, physically, mentally, socially and emotionally.

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