Exploring Student Talents

In the Parramatta Diocese there are numerous programs and initiatives that offer students an infinite array of opportunities to explore students' talents and interests. They also provide students with opportunities to further enhance their knowledge, skills, friendships and confidence.

These activities are considered to be an integral part of school life and are central to each school's commitment to the academic, social and emotional well-being of their students. The following are some of that may be offered at your local school.

Music and performance

Many opportunities exist for student participation in musicals and other stage productions as well as ensembles and choirs. These opportunities cater for a wide range of student ability and musical taste.

Learn more about CAPTIVATE, the exciting Creative and Performing Arts initiative for primary and secondary Catholic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta.

Private music tuition

Many of our accomplished teachers instruct on a range of instruments, voice, music theory and speech and drama. Individual and small group instruction (upon consultation with the teacher) is available on a wide range of musical instruments.


Students from Kindergarten to Year 12 may be able to participate in regional art displays and competitions. These opportunities are excellent vehicles for stretching student abilities.

Learn more about CAPTIVATE, the exciting Creative and Performing Arts initiative for primary and secondary Catholic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta.

Career education

In secondary schools guidance towards the choice of career is given through a formal career education program as well as through the availability of a careers advisor and career resources:

  • class-based instruction is given in the middle secondary years
  • work experience segments are organised for Year 10 students
  • senior students have the opportunity to meet with the school careers advisor
  • presentations on career options are made to senior students
  • visits are arranged to careers exhibitions and to industry and university information days
  • talks by representatives from professions, industry, the defence forces, and other groups.

Camps and retreats

These activities are designed to complement the religious and academic development of students, and to promote qualities of self-reliance, initiative, cooperation, confidence, leadership, and the capacity to deal with significant emotional and physical challenges.

The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme is offered at some secondary schools in the diocese as an additional avenue to pursue those objectives.

OPTI Minds (Formerly Tournament of Minds)

OPTI Minds is a problem-solving program for teams of Years 5-7 students where students are required to solve quite demanding open-ended challenges in an exciting, vibrant and creative way. OPTI Minds promotes creative thinking, strategies for collaboration and team work, and presentation and drama skills.

Debating and public speaking

Students in both primary and secondary are often able to participate in debating and public speaking competitions, enabling students to extend the skills already developed in class.

Extra-curricular activities

Some of the other activities commonly offered throughout Parramatta Diocesan schools include:

  • mock trials
  • chess club
  • Voice Of Youth
  • astronomy
  • art competitions
  • dance clubs
  • the St Vincent de Paul Society
  • science clubs
  • computing clubs
  • community service
  • photography
  • school newspapers
  • maths clubs

LOTE (Languages Other Than English)

This program is designed to enhance language programs in primary schools and to encourage the provision of school-based LOTE, teacher professional development and resource support. There are a variety of languages including Italian, German, Spanish, French, Indonesian and Japanese. Schools have chosen languages for particular school community needs. Current languages in primary schools have strong links to the secondary programs.


For further information regarding any of our programs and initiatives please contact the Catholic Education Office.


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