The Sandhurst approach is that

Christianity in the Catholic tradition is a way of life to be lived in the community for the common good.

In the preface of Source of Life it is expressed thus:

‘Understanding and defining the role of religious education within the context of the Catholic School, is to understand that the whole of education is a work of holiness. It is sacred and rooted sacredly in what we believe about the doctrine of the Incarnation, as taught by the Council of Chalcedon in 451…

Catholic education unites the mission of the Church with service to the total development of the human person. It is centred on Christ who reveals both the face of God and the truth of the human condition. The inexhaustible message that permeates every aspect of Source of Life is that love is greater than any human alienation, every human frailty or sin because ‘God is love’ (1John 4:8) …

Religious education in its fullest sense belongs not only to the catechetical or religious education program but it encompasses everything in the curriculum. It is about human flourishing in a deeply Christian understanding – whatever makes a student more wise, more loving, more fully human is making the student reflect more fully the image of God.’

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Key questions

In Sandhurst then, CEO staff, school Board/Councils, school leadership teams, school staff and communities ask and answer the following key questions:

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Catholic identity policy

Each school is to develop a Catholic Identity Policy which includes:

  • aspirations for relationships throughout the school community – how does your school deal with diversity – religious and otherwise?
  • summary of School Rituals and Celebrations such as:
    • school and class liturgies, including Masses and prayers – liturgical calendar, description of culture of prayer in your school
    • reception of Sacraments
    • retreats, reflection days and special events
    • displays and symbols associated with Catholic tradition and heritage
  • the school’s commitment to Reconciliation and Indigenous Education see Appendix 3
  • role descriptions for Principal, Leadership Team, REC/FDC explicit in connection with Catholic Identity and Religious Education
  • descriptions of programs that reach out in service to the wider community
  • a framework for moral and ethical ICT use.

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Vision and Catholic identity

In addition schools make links between their Vision and Catholic Identity. They ensure that all school policies and practices across the CoSSI Dimensions reflect Catholic Identity and values.

All schools are expected to:

  • comply with the SSEB enrolment policy
  • comply with the CECV Accreditation Policies and maintain staff accreditation records
  • use Enhancing Catholic School Identity Project (ECSIP) survey data when planning for school improvement see Appendix 4
  • induct new staff with a focus on Catholic Identity
  • facilitate parent and community education in Catholic Identity
  • plan for staff professional learning, inclusive of opportunities for gaining Accreditation
  • include Catholic Identity, Faith Formation and Spirituality in Individual Professional Learning Plans
  • ensure that Catholic Identity is discussed with staff members as part of Annual Review Meetings.

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