Welcome to the Catholic Schools Office Website

The Catholic Schools Office (CSO), is responsible for the leadership, efficient operation and management of systemic schools which educate more than 18,000 students in 44 Primary and 11 Secondary schools in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

 

The CSO employs more than 1200 teachers and around 550 support staff. Our main focus is providing support for schools to ensure each student receives a quality education and has the opportunity to grow academically, spiritually, physically and emotionally.

 

Catholic schools seek to develop spirit, mind, body and character and to cultivate Gospel values that support lives filled with joy, endeavour and hope in the future. 

As a Catholic Schools Office, we model ourselves on the person of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Gospels and through the teachings of the Catholic Church. 

We invite you to look around our website, become familiar with the uniqueness of Catholic education, your local Catholic school, the many initiatives offered and why we believe Catholic education is the right choice to make.

01

AUG

We are in Week 3 of Term 3.

There are 49 days until the end of Term 3, 2014 (19/09/2014).

View Term Dates

ASPIRE 2014

Sunday 27 July 2014

Three years ago the CSO established a program for talented musicians, singers, dancers and actors to foster the performing arts. The program, aptly named ASPIRE, was designed to give students the opportunity to express their talents in a creative environment with similarly talented performers and to learn from one another and from experts in their crafts.

 

This year’s production of A Night in the Forest clearly demonstrated just how successful this program has been in such a relatively short period of time. The talents of so many students were given full expression in this creative adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The dancing acting, singing and music combined in a spectacularly colourful presentation that held the audience enthralled.


What was evident from the commencement of the production was the strong sense of fun these students have had in the ASPIRE program. The video clip, with students reflecting on what ASPIRE has meant to them, emphasised how much they have enjoyed being part of the program, working with like-minded people, developing new friendships and networks and having the opportunity to perform on stage.


As the video clip played I found myself really enjoying the unfamiliar song that was background to the images. As the credits for the video rolled I realised that it was an essential part of the creativity ASPIRE encourages. The song was composed by Dominic Moore from All Saints College, St Peter’s Campus, Maitland who was the winner of the competition sponsored by Aspire to encourage students to explore their creative abilities. The song was admirably performed by Billie Wheildon also from St Peter’s and Lucy Taylor from St Paul’s High School, Booragul to a very appreciative audience, setting the tone for an evening of high quality entertainment. Thereafter the mix of humour, exquisite dancing, beautiful singing and moving instrumental pieces ensured that the production was well received by the audience. The staging was exquisite, with the establishment of a moody atmospheric forest portrayed to perfection using effective sets and an abundance of smoky mist. The movement of performers on and off stage was seamless and resulted in a smooth, flowing production. Sound and lighting added to the magic of the show. I enjoyed it immensely and it was obvious from the audience participation that they did as well. This was verified by the many parents, grandparents and staff with whom I spoke after the show.


A special feature for me was the inclusion of a string ensemble which we did not include in the first ASPIRE program. To witness the ensemble playing together and to be enchanted by Megan Purkiss’s rendition of Meditation added that extra dimension that enriches a performing arts program.


Such productions cannot be achieved without the wonderful talents and dedication of the production team who have ensured that ASPIRE has achieved the goals that were set when it was established. I am indebted to the ASPIRE committee led by Assistant Director of Schools, Craig Wattam and Education Officer, Lisa Little and a host of immensely talented teachers and staff members from our schools and the CSO for the energy and commitment they have given to ensuring our students have this opportunity to express their talents.


In choosing Anna Kerrigan as the Artistic Director the committee has provided our schools with a special talent and as the ASPIRE program has developed it now goes beyond this production to providing advice and expertise to individual schools and to those staff in schools with a passion for the performing arts. Anna has brought her vast experience in theatre production to the benefit of all involved in this exciting program. She is ably supported by her team of ensemble directors and support staff who have continued to develop the quality of the respective disciplines to the standard witnessed in this production.

 

To all involved I simply express my appreciation of your willingness to share your talents for our enjoyment. You did that to a very high standard though this production. We are very grateful. Well done.

 

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What's On

13

Aug

Full Day Child Protection Training

9:00 AM

St Clare's HS, Davis St, Taree.

10

Sep

Full Day Child Protection Training

9:00 AM

CatholicCare, 50 Crebert Street, Mayfield.

19

Sep

End of Term 3, 2014

19 September 2014

07

Oct

Start of Term 4, 2014

07 October 2014

08

Oct

Full Day Child Protection Training

9:00 AM

Corcoran Centre, George St, Morpeth.