A Christchurch Catholic Community of Learning has been approved by the Ministry of Education, and those schools involved are hard at work to finalise their achievement plan, which will form the basis of their work together over the next 2 years.
Communities of Learning are developing around the country and are based on the Ministry of Education initiative “Investing in Educational Success”. This Government initiative aims to raise the learning and achievement of children and young people, particularly those who are most at risk of not achieving.
The schools involved in the Christchurch Catholic Community of Learning are:
St Mary’s School, Our Lady of Victories School, St Albans Catholic School, St Anne’s School, St Teresa’s School, St James School, St Joseph’s School, Rangiora, St Peter’s School
Catholic Cathedral College, Villa Maria College, Marian College, St Thomas’ of Canterbury College, St Bede’s College
What sets this Community of Learning apart is its unique identity; there are strong educational pathways between primary and secondary schools, and together the schools are fulfilling the mission of the Church:
"Catholic education is above all a question of communicating Christ, of helping to form Christ in the lives of others. First and foremost every Catholic educational institution is a place to encounter the living God who in Jesus Christ reveals his transforming love and truth" The Catholic Education of School-Age Children, para 11, 12.
The focus of the Community of Learning is student achievement and Faith development through a strong educational pathway.
The principle of the ‘common good’ is the driving force behind these schools engaging in the Community of Learning initiative; schools collaborating to create conditions which allow every student to reach fulfillment – academically, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. The schools involved believe they can achive greater success by working collectively as a Catholic community to share the opportunities of an equitable learning network, rather than working as individual schools.
The Community of Learning aims to raise achievement levels in some core areas, provide more effective transition processes to support students as they move from primary into secondary schools, ensure schools are culturally responsive to their bi-cultural heritage and the ethnic diversity of school communities, and to increase engagement with whanau. Student well-being has been identified as being a crucial component of students’ ability to learn, and will also be a focus for the Community.
A benefit of this initiative is its focus on tools and resources that will help build teaching capability within the Community of Learning - opportunities to engage in professional development, to strengthen best practice, to develop leadership skills, and to best prepare our future leaders in Catholic education.
Underpinning the work of the Community is faith development, and the commitment of the schools to work collaboratively to strengthen the faith journey of all students.
The formation of the Christchurch Catholic Community of Learning is an exciting opportunity for our Catholic schools. For more information on the Christchurch Community of Learning – please visit www.catholiccol.org.nz