Reach - Statement on Learning
Quality Catholic schooling: our core moral purpose
Catholic schools exist within the Church and society to provide quality Catholic schooling, a ‘synthesis of faith and culture’2 which sees each student grow to his or her full human and spiritual potential.
The work of the school is learning, and the Catholic School supports the work of the Church as an agent of learning. The work of the Church, the development of the individual and the good of society, are promoted within a Quality Catholic School through improving learning outcomes.
These learning outcomes include learning the Faith, responding to the invitation to Faith within a relationship with Jesus Christ, learning to know themselves and the persons they are created to be, learning the formal curriculum, and learning the interpersonal, intrapersonal and other skills that are necessary to be a contributing member of society and a faithful disciple of Christ.
There are five essential marks of a Catholic School:
- It is inspired by a supernatural vision. A Catholic experience of learning and teaching is the lived expression, celebration and response to the love of the risen Jesus. Learning and teaching which is characterised by the search for truth and wisdom is enlivened by the presence of the Spirit within each person.
- It is founded on a Christian view of what it is to be human. The dignity of the human person is a central pillar of Catholicity. Therefore, learning needs to be rich, real and relevant. The role of dialogue and being present to the other is central to the Catholic dimension of learning and teaching and the building of new and deeper understandings.
- It is animated by communion, and is itself a real community. Teaching in our Catholic schools is inclusive, acknowledges and builds on the strengths of the learner and honours diversity. In so doing we ensure ‘young men and women of character and faith whose individual gifts are nurtured to their highest potential [so that they] can contribute effectively to Church, society and culture’.
In this context it becomes especially urgent to offer young people a course of scholastic formation which is not reduced to a simple individualistic and instrumental fruition of service with a view to obtaining a qualification. As well as gaining knowledge students must also have a strong experience of sharing with their educators.
For this experience to be happily accomplished, educators must be welcoming and well-prepared interlocutors, able to awaken and direct the best energies of students towards the search for truth and the meaning of existence, a positive construction of themselves and of life in view of an overall formation. In the end, real education is not possible without the light of truth.
- A Catholic worldview is imbued throughout its curriculum. Our Catholic worldview is the context within which we live, learn and teach. We approach learning and teaching in our schools with a Catholic imagination and a particular hope-filled view of the human person.
- It is sustained by witness to the Gospel. When ‘learning is the work’ in our Catholic schools we witness to Christ’s presence in our lives and experience the reciprocal invitation to participation in the life of Christ. In this way we build the narrative of Catholicity in practice, in our schools. This is the core of our Catholic Education Framework.
Read the full Statement on Learning