From a series of newsletters: Head teacher John Boyce explores his vision of Catholic education.
All schools educate and Catholic schools do that well, but we are about much more than simply academic education.
I have tried to show what is distinctive about education in a Catholic environment – and really it comes down to the philosophies and beliefs behind Catholicism.
Because we believe God created each one of us, we try to respect each person, and to teach them about the rights and responsibilities that each of us has.
Because we are not created one-dimensional creatures, we educate the whole person: academic, physical, spiritual, emotional, and creative. We find ways to develop leadership, confidence, and community spirit.
We see ourselves as part of a larger creation, and responsible for working towards leaving our world a better place. We try to help students experience the support, responsibility, and sense of achievement that can come through working in teams or in communities.
We try to help each person work out what is right and wrong – and then to act on that. We expect each person to think for themselves and to take responsibility for themselves: for their actions, for their development and for their own happiness.
Happiness is a key goal for a Catholic school.
We want our students to have the very best chance of a happy life. We want them to have the qualifications they need, the healthy bodies they need, and the ability to form faithful, loving relationships.
We help them develop the community-building skills and attitudes they and the world need, and the determination to build a better world.
We try to foster the sensitivities, appreciations, and sense of responsibility they will need to lead worthwhile and fulfilling lives, and an attitude that refuses to accept second best. And we look for ways to help them develop a relationship with their Creator that they will need if they are to remain people of hope throughout their lives.
I am proud to work in a Catholic school, and I am excited about working to develop this special character at Garin College, because our schools present a vision of hope for our students, and for our community in New Zealand.
At Garin teachers sign up to a set of clearly stated values and expectations. Click here to see Teaching at Garin.