By connecting to the real world of students’ lives, authentic learning enables students to become lifelong learners who contribute to society and the wider world as active and discerning citizens. Authentic learning is central to our work as Catholic educators because it promotes the continual growth and wellbeing of the whole person — spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, socially and physically.

St Mary’s Cathedral College Sydney offers a holistic curriculum based on the teachings of the Gospel, which aims at creating 21st century learners who will become critical thinkers. The curriculum at the college is designed to empower the individual to become an autonomous, life-long learner and an active global citizen.

Learning at our Catholic community is purposeful, authentic and challenging. The staff at St Mary’s are committed to academic excellence, achieved through quality pedagogy, which is attuned to the demands of a rapidly changing educational context and which recognises and supports the diverse learning of students.

St Mary’s Cathedral College Learning Principles

Learning experiences are designed to be purposeful and authentic for students, ensuring that they gain the critical thinking and creative skills needed to succeed in the future. A variety of teaching and learning approaches are used to provide real-life experiences which include a focus on developing students’ literacy and numeracy skills, fundamental to life-long success.

Creative teaching and learning programs that incorporate academic, pastoral and spiritual aspects are essential to fostering student engagement. We strive to differentiate the curriculum to cater for individual learning styles. Technology is used in a relevant and meaningful manner to facilitate the learning requirements of the students.

Boys learn best when they are appropriately challenged, and respond to teachers who have high expectations of their abilities in all areas of school life. Academic excellence is encouraged and celebrated.

Gospel values provide the foundation for learning, which encourages students to be both self-reflective and agents for social change. Respect and integrity are crucial to the formation of the students in guiding them to reach their fullest moral potential and exercise ethical judgement and social responsibility.

Quality learning and teaching is based on timely and regular feedback and evaluation. Teachers offer detailed and constructive feedback to students on their learning; students provide evaluation to assist teachers in developing the best possible learning environment.

Knowing students as individuals and understanding what motivates them to learn is vital. We recognise that students are unique and the staff are committed to providing a holistic learning experience. Teachers use a variety of data to cater for the individual learning needs of students.

Acknowledging students’ diverse needs – spiritual, academic, social, physical – is imperative to ensure all students feel safe and cared for at the school. By providing an inclusive, welcoming environment, we foster the development of the individual and equip students with the strength to build resilience.

Positive, mutually respectful relationships create a genuine sense of community and are the foundations of the Catholic tradition. Such relationships provide a base for developing students of character who are both self-confident and aware of the needs of others.

Respect and trust between teachers and students in the college community provides a foundation for an authentic teaching and learning environment. Each student’s uniqueness is recognised and fostered to establish positive individualised learning experiences.