1. What models and structures for the schools have been considered and why has this decision been made?
Sydney Catholic Schools has approved St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Marist College North Shore, becoming an educational precinct offering co-education for Year 7, from 2021. The primary will be called St Mary’s and the secondary will be called La Valla. Staff have begun to work collaboratively in the areas such as Catholic Identity, Learning and Well-being.
The model provides for the enrolment of girls into Marist Catholic College at Year 7, as well as support for the effective transition of all students between Year 6 and Year 7. The integration of co-education through the secondary school also reflects the modern workplace for which we are preparing our young people.
2. What is an educational and pastoral precinct and network?
The educational and pastoral precinct is defined by the geography of the North Sydney site. This includes the parish, church, pre-school, primary school, secondary school and any other services, such as OOSH.
The educational network embraces the broader collaboration of three nearby schools (St Michael’s Catholic Primary School, Lane Cove, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Primary School, Clifton Gardens and Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, Mosman) working closely with the schools of the North Sydney educational precinct to ensure the effective transition of students to Marist Catholic College at Year 7.
3. What model of co-education might exist and how would transition through a middle school be managed?
Co-education into Marist Catholic College will commence with Year 7 in 2021 and will gradually build to become fully co-educational in 2026. Care will be taken to ensure a balance of male and female in each cohort of students.
A dedicated senior leader has been appointed in 2019 to focus on the transition process for boys and girls as they journey from Year 6 to Year 7 and beyond and to establish a curriculum, that will be inclusive of female students.
The wellbeing of students will be paramount.
Curriculum offerings and class structures will reflect the current international best practice and meet the NSW Educational Standards (NESA) requirements.
4. What are the anticipated enrolment numbers, process and pre-school size?
The schools will grow in a sustainable manner with sensitivity to the learning needs of students as well as the emerging demographic changes.
Enrolment to the schools will be according to the Sydney Catholic Schools Enrolment Policy guidelines, which give priority to practising Catholics, from any of the parishes.
The feeder pathway from the network schools will be strengthened through greater alignment of curriculum, wellbeing and spirituality across the network to provide a seamless transition for boys and girls into Marist Catholic College North Shore.
With regards to growth over time, the following list provides an indicative vision of numbers by 2026:
- Primary school – 450 (two-stream)
- Secondary school – approximately 1,200
5. How will transition arrangements be managed with relation to construction?
Capital works will provide contemporary learning and recreational spaces. Building will be phased over time to minimise the impact of construction on academic and wellbeing outcomes for students. In the initial phases, existing facilities will be refurbished to support the introduction of co-education at Marist Catholic College North Shore.
6. Will there be a lack of space especially during construction?
The expansion of both schools will not only maintain the existing space, but will provide more functional facilities for all students.
Sydney Catholic Schools and the School Leadership Team have continued to develop relationships with North Sydney Council who recognise the need for young people to enjoy green open areas. The schools will continue to access the large open parklands on our doorstep for regular classes and sporting options.
Parking and traffic management will continue to be a prime consideration when it comes to the safety of our young people. A significant consideration during the master planning process will be the needs of parents/carers for drop-off and pick-up and access to the excellent public transport options available.
7. How is the development being funded?
The capital works program will be paid for over a number of years through Government, system and local contributions.
Families at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School and Marist College North Shore will not see school fee increases as a direct result of these building works. Sydney Catholic Schools looks to provide the highest quality Catholic education at an affordable price
8. What facilities and design features will there be?
Sydney Catholic Schools is now moving to a master planning phase where specific facilities will be designed. It is too early to preempt the designs, however it will be driven by an educational brief, which will draw on expertise across the system of schools. A committee has been scanning national and internal research to inform the brief.
Any new facilities will be light, flexible and tailored to support the learning needs of our young people, similar to those of the newly completed St Mary’s Catholic Primary School.