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1. Commitment to Catholic practice and formation through:

a.   Ensuring the ongoing implementation of specialist RE Faculties in secondary schools, with a strong core of specialist, well qualified and committed teachers.

b.   Strengthening and improving the formal RE program in schools from Years 7-12 evidenced by enhanced results in Religious Literacy (8 & 10) and at the HSC (SOR I and II).

c.   Provision of increased opportunities for Eucharistic celebrations in schools.

d.   Review, evaluate and redevelop faith formation experiences for students 7-12 such that they are sequential and developmental experiences where students deepen their encounter with the person of Jesus and the tenets of the Gospel.

2. Provision of a new co-educational, Years 7-12 secondary school at Chisholm

To build a co-educational Years 7-12 secondary school at Chisholm, to open in 2018. A primary school, St Aloysius, was just opened in 2015. The provision of a secondary school in this area responds to significant enrolment demand currently unable to be met in the All Saints Region at other Catholic secondary schools. St Aloysius Catholic Primary School, which opened in 2015, will be co‑located with this new secondary school, thereby providing a continuum of education in the area from Kindergarten to Year 12.

3. Provision of a new co-educational, Years 7-12 secondary school at Medowie

To build a co-educational, Years 7-12 secondary school at Medowie. The provision of a school in this area responds to a number of factors: there is no Catholic secondary school presence on the northern peninsula; in addition, there is enrolment pressure on the inner-city Newcastle Catholic schools which will be alleviated by the provision of this new school; furthermore, there is demographic growth in both the North Raymond Terrace and Medowie areas.

4. Development of a longer term strategy for educational provision at Cessnock

The demographic growth predicted will be required to be validated and, should the need be evident, a feasibility study will be conducted to address this area of provision.

5. Investigation of alternative school settings

The Catholic Schools Office, in collaboration with secondary school leaders and other educational providers, explores options for the provision of alternative settings for students at risk of non‑completion of secondary schooling.

6. Extension of St Mary’s, Gateshead to Years 7-12 in 2018

St Mary’s, Gateshead serves the communities of the Eastern Lake Macquarie corridor. The expansion of St Mary’s to incorporate Years 11 and 12 will enhance the local provision of Catholic education Kindergarten to Year 12, with ease of access to the full spectrum of Catholic education guaranteed for this discrete region.

This also develops the capacity to improve the enrolments in Catholic primary schools in the region, given the assurance of accessing senior education in local Catholic schooling.

7. Strengthened relationship between the Newcastle cluster of schools

The relationship between St Francis Xavier’s, Hamilton, St Pius X, Adamstown and San Clemente, Mayfield be strengthened to provide a quality alignment of educational experience across Years 7-12. While the three schools retain their relative autonomy, their capacity to provide for a continuum of excellence across the stages is required. This renewed relationship of the three schools will be evident in leadership collaboration, curriculum cohesion, professional learning opportunities for staff, linkage of learning across the stages, staff curriculum knowledge, the interrelationship of middle leaders and faculties, student well-being initiatives, renewed avenues for transition, student leadership opportunities and the realisation of faith formation between the schools.

8. Extension of St Joseph’s, Lochinvar to Years 7-12 in 2018

St Joseph’s, Lochinvar be redeveloped to allow for the reintroduction of senior education on the site. This expansion will provide the ability to meet both strong enrolment demand and demographic growth. The expansion of St Joseph’s to incorporate Years 11 and 12 will enhance the local provision of Catholic education, Kindergarten to Year 12, with ease of access to the full spectrum of Catholic education guaranteed for this discrete region.

9. Strengthened relationship between St Peter’s, Maitland and St Mary’s, Maitland

The relationship between St Peter’s, Maitland and St Mary’s, Maitland be strengthened to provide a quality alignment of educational experience across Years 7-12. While the two schools remain autonomous, their capacity to provide for a continuum of excellence across the stages is required.
This renewed relationship of the two schools will be evident in leadership collaboration, curriculum cohesion, professional learning opportunities, linkage of learning across the stages, staff curriculum knowledge, the interrelationship of middle managers and faculties, student well-being initiatives, renewed avenues for transition, student leadership opportunities and the realisation of faith formation across the schools.

10. Future review of the provision of secondary education

The recommendations developed into the current study (2013-2014) are seen as considered responses to the demographic and educational needs at this time. It is further recommended that the study be revisited. In particular, the schools in the Newcastle region in Adamstown, Mayfield and Hamilton as well as the two Maitland schools are examined for their efficacy and degree of parent satisfaction with respect to the quality of continuity of education and transition. It is recommended that a formal review is instituted in the Maitland schools FOUR years after the commencement of the first Year 11 cohort at St Joseph’s, Lochinvar and in the Newcastle schools FIVE years after the commencement of the first Year 11 cohort at St Mary’s, Gateshead.

11. Equitable access to curriculum delivery

Develop greater equity of access to curriculum through the utilisation of contemporary technologies and learning options so that all students, regardless of geographical location, have the opportunity to engage in courses that provide breadth and depth.

12. Exploration of options for specialisation

The exploration of specialisation is undertaken as schools engage in redeveloped structures and/or relationships. Areas identified as having the capacity for specialisation include academic enrichment/extension, the creative and performing arts, sports, language and certain VET frameworks.

Graphical Recommendations

Download a printable PDF copy of these 12 recommendations.