When establishing a Catholic secondary college the cultural and religious context of the Catholic setting for education is of particular significance to the community. St Teresa's Catholic College provides a nurturing of the spiritual life of those who gather there and a respect for those who have held sacred the land upon which it is now established. The college is an outreach of the Noosa District Catholic Parish.
Consideration has been given to the physical, the environmental and aesthetic surrounds so that the spiritual development of staff, students and families within the Catholic traditions is enhanced.
While government building guidelines may not support the establishment of places for worship or sacred space, every effort needs to be made to ensure that the environment, the physical layout and artefacts reflect the religious heritage of the school’s Christian character and provide for gathering spaces for prayer and worship.
Images and symbols of the Christian tradition are incorporated into the school design.
From the nature of the Catholic school also stems one of the most significant elements of its educational project: the synthesis between culture and faith. Indeed knowledge set in the context of faith becomes wisdom and life vision. The endeavour to interweave reason and faith, which has become the heart of individual subjects, makes for unity, articulation and coordination, bringing forth within what is learnt in school a Christian vision of the world, of life, of culture and of history. In the Catholic school’s educational project there is no separation between time for learning and time for formation, between acquiring notions and growing in wisdom. The various school subjects do not present only knowledge to be attained, but also values to be acquired and truths to be discovered. All of which demands an atmosphere characterized by the search for truth, in which competent, convinced and coherent educators, teachers of learning and of life, may be a reflection, albeit imperfect but still vivid, of the one Teacher. In this perspective, in the Christian educational project all subjects collaborate, each with its own specific content, to the formation of mature personalities. (The Catholic School on the Threshold of the Third Millennium, Congregation for Catholic Education (1998) p17)
All learning within the Catholic secondary school can contribute to the religious development of the students. Central to the religious life of the school, however, will be the provision of Religious Education in the classroom. Religious Education is recognized as a key learning area within the school curriculum. Appropriate allocation of time, resources and qualified staff acknowledges the value of religion as an educational activity.
Religious Education within St Teresa's has Jesus Christ at its heart and provides the students with a solid grounding in the Catholic Christian faith, its history and its practice. It gives special attention to the understanding and appreciation of spirituality, social justice, environmental issues and ecumenism.
The school’s religious life and its Religious Education program is respectful not only of the traditions of the Catholic church, but also of any other faith traditions of students or staff who are welcomed into the college community.
The Principal and staff facilitate the development of the educational and philosophical frameworks for the classroom teaching of religion with assistance from the Religious Education Team of Brisbane Catholic Education. The Guidelines for Religious Education in the Catholic Archdiocese provide the framework for developing the school’s orientation and approach to Religious Education.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me.”
The religious and spiritual dimensions of the school are supported by an attention to the pastoral care of all who form the community. It is respectful of the dignity of every person.
In planning for St Teresa's Catholic College, which expresses a priority for pastoral care in its ethos, are the following principles:
St Teresa's College expresses in its school climate, structures, student management practices, pastoral concern for all especially the disadvantaged, and a respect for the harmony within creation that the spirituality of pastoral care is especially valued within its community.