Catholic education turns 200 and it all started at Parramatta

THIS year is the bicentenary of Catholic education in Australia – and it all began in Parramatta, in a humble school in Hunter St.

And, in the Parramatta diocese, that stretches across Western Sydney and the Blue Mountains, Catholic schools continue to flourish.

“An innovative and forward-thinking organisation, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta continues to live out its commitment to faith, learning, equity and leadership through education,” Executive Director Greg Whitby said.

“CEDP is focused on transforming the learning of his 43 000 students and the working lives of around 5000 staff.

“As we look to the future, we’re all about creating great opportunities for children and young people in western Sydney.”

With 80 schools across the diocese, one in four local children and young people are educated in a Catholic school.

This includes opening new schools in Sydney’s thriving North West, and a planned STEM-focused school as part of the Sydney Science Park to be located in the new aerotropolis.

At the beginning of 2020, CEDP also opened CathWest Innovation College.

This distinctly different approach to senior secondary education includes innovative pathways for students alongside trades training pathways.

With the emphasis on developing skills for success, students have access to professional mentoring, exciting industry partnerships, work placements and recognised qualifications to support this learning.

One exciting program that demonstrates CEDP’s future focus is School of Now, which connects students in Western Sydney with new learning opportunities using digital learning tools.

Established to increase students’ subject choices, the program connects classmates and experienced Stage 6 Expert Teachers at different schools.

The Western Sydney Catholic community is also working together to update the way schools share the Catholic faith with children and young people.

The Draft New Curriculum for Religious Education remains faithful to Sacred Scripture and Tradition while ensuring that the way that the learning and teaching happens is kept up-to-date.

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