Religious Education Statement

At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Concord we follow the curriculum for Religious Education as approved by the Archdiocese of Sydney and the Catholic Education Office, Sydney.

We believe:

  • Our faith should permeate our whole school environment 
  • Through word and example we are all witnesses to Jesus and the Gospel Values 
  • Teaching and learning should enrich, develop and embrace the example of Jesus and the teaching of the Gospels
  • In the importance of working in partnership with parents, parish and the parish Priest in the faith education of students


We aim to lay the foundations for learning about and engaging with the mystery of God and the faith of the Church. Through the seasons of the Liturgical Year, we aim to assist students to reflect upon, make sense of, celebrate and live more deeply the mystery of Christ revealed in each person and in relationship with others, the Church and creation.

Teaching and Learning of Religious Education 

We assist students to know and understand their Catholic faith through the implementation of the Religious Education Curriculum of the Archdiocese which includes:

  • Units of Work developed and available through the CEO Website: RE Online
  • Pre and post testing of student knowledge and understanding of the content covered in each unit
  • Reporting on progress in midyear and end of year academic reports, as well as the school’s annual report

Time allocation

The time allocation for Religious Education is 2.5 hours K-2 and 3 hours 3-6.

Key Learning Areas

Catholic primary schools in Sydney, like all Australian schools, are accountable to governments and their local communities for meeting the teaching and learning requirements of the State. Sydney Catholic primary schools are required to have an educational program based on, and taught in accordance with, the Board of Studies Syllabuses for the six Key Learning Areas (KLAs) of primary education.

The six Key Learning Areas are:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science & Technology
  • History and Geography
  • Creative Arts
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE)

As well as the Board of Studies syllabuses the Primary Religious Education Curriculum is used for planning for teaching and learning in Catholic primary schools in the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Extra Curricular Offered

  • Chess
  • Art Club
  • School Band
  • Eisteddfod - Speech and Drama
  • St Mary's Speaks (public speaking program)
  • Dance Club
  • Creative and Practical Arts Workshops and Opportunities (experience with industry experts) 

Student Assessment


Students in Years 3 and 5 sit the National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) in May. NAPLAN assessment results provide valuable information about student achievements in literacy and numeracy. An analysis of these results assists school planning and is used to support teaching and learning programs.

Year 6 Religion Test

In June, Year 6 Students sat for the Archdiocesan Religious Education Test comprised of fifty multiple- choice questions. Results of this test are analysed by staff and are used to inform teaching and learning.

Teacher Formative and Summative Assessments

Teachers use a range of assessment tools to monitor student progress and achievement. These tools provide teachers with feedback to plan and direct teaching and learning programs to meet students' needs.

Pastoral Care - Rationale

Related Documents

At St Mary's Catholic Primary School, Concord our vision "Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Hands" guides all learning and calls us to direct our minds and hearts to God by reaching out to others in friendship and in faith. In our community all are encouraged to live the message of Jesus to love God and one another.

We are committed to developing an innovative learning community that listens, nurtures, communicates, embraces and responds to change and is generous in spirit.

We aim to foster the well-being of all through positive working relationships, building friendships and respecting individual needs, interests and talents in a warm and caring environment.

Our school wide pedagogy reflects our vision for learning and underpins our practices.


Pastoral Care is concerned with the well-being of the whole school community and reflects the values of justice and peace, modelled for us by Jesus Christ and evidenced in the care, thoughtfulness and compassion we show to each other. As a school community we value the uniqueness of each person and aim to nurture all spiritually, emotionally, physically, socially and academically. Pastoral Care is the responsibility of each person in the school community. 

Pastoral care informs our policies and procedures, our teaching and learning, our interactions and relationships. Through pastoral care we endeavour to uphold and sustain mutual respect, responsibility and service within the community which, when applied to people with a disability, are in keeping with the Disability Act (1992). Pastoral care is part of and fundamental to every aspect of our school's life and activities. The essence of this Policy therefore is evident in all other Policies developed and implemented.

A range of programs assists us in ensuring that students' needs at specific times or in specific circumstances are met.

It is our belief that staff members, parents and children all work together to respect and value one another. The values of forgiveness, justice and tolerance guide our interactions with each other.

We seek to:

  • Promote positive self-esteem, self-image and self-worth
  • Encompass and accept individual needs and differences
  • Build strong relationships within the school community
  • Provide a safe and nurturing environment; one that challenges the individual to be the best person they can be
  • Employ a positive management policy which fosters self-discipline, has clear expectations and organised procedures.

Rights and Responsibilities

We believe that all members of our community have rights and responsibilities.

Students have the right to:

  • Feel safe at all times
  • Feel happy in our school environment
  • Be treated with respect
  • Have their property respected
  • Learn, work and play in a clean and tidy environment
  • Students have the responsibility for:
  • Playing and working safely
  • Listening, learning and helping others
  • Following class and playground rules
  • Accepting the consequences of behaviour
  • Respecting their own and others' property
  • Being well mannered
  • Being fair and just and not to physically or verbally hurt others
  • Helping keep our school clean and tidy

School Rules

Kind Hands, Kind Words and Kind Hearts. 

School History

St Mary’s School began in the first church at Concord somewhere between 1850 and 1853. The school was approved by thegovernment Denominational Schools Board, and so received some government funding. Its schoolmaster from 1853 to 1858 was Mr John Clancy, and the Catholic Directory of 1855 gives an enrolment of 41 boys and 27 girls. Three other lay schoolmasters followed. The last of these, John Lyons, was in charge for 22 years, and left the school in 1882 after the Public Instruction Act of 880 ended government funding for private schools as of December 1882.

The Sisters of Charity then agreed to staff St Mary’s School and in 1883 Sr Monica, Sr Camillus and Mother Gertrude travelled each day by train from their convent in Ashfield to teach the 130 pupils. Through a generous bequest of the parish priest, Dean Callaghan McCarthy, who died in 1894, a new school was built in 1894 and a convent in 1898. Parishioners also gave part of the funding for these buildings. Right through to the 1960s the people of Concord generously provided the funding for various new school buildings. In 1972, when some government funding was returning to the schools, the parishioners had the trying experience of seeing a number of classrooms destroyed by fire. These were rebuilt, and in 1980 four more classrooms were built above the Kindergarten block.

The composition of St Mary’s has changed several times. It began as an elementary school, but by 1919 the Sisters of Charity were also preparing girls for the Intermediate Certificate in Third Year secondary; and during the 1950’s they were offering ‘Commercial’ classes in the high school.

In the early 1960s the pressure of heavy enrolments and the need to implement the new Wyndham system caused Archdiocesan authorities to reorganise and rationalise schooling in Sydney. In 1963 St Mary’s ended its high school section and returned to being a primary school for girls to Sixth Class and for boys to Third Class. It was still a large primary school of 498 pupils in 1969. The older primary boys had for some decades attended nearby Christian Brothers’ schools. 

In 1989, however, when Christian Brothers’ Junior School at Concord closed, St Mary’s became a full primary school, catering for 609 boys and girls from Kindergarten to Year 6. Lay teachers, on minimal salaries, assisted the Sisters from early times. 

Notable among many was Kathleen Callaghan, who taught at St Mary’s from 1931 to 1972. Since the 1960s St Mary’s has been part of the Archdiocesan system of schools supervised by the CEO, Sydney.

As government funding increased, more lay teachers were employed, and in 1994 the Sisters of Charity ended more than a century of leadership of the school. Mrs Margaret Sargisson was appointed by the CEO as the first lay Principal.

In 2001 there was a major refurbishment of existing classes and a new library and classrooms were built and in 2007 a new Stage 3 building was completed. Today the school is a modern, well-equipped school catering for both boys and girls from Kindergarten to Year 6.

Taken from St Mary’s to St Catherine’s Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Sydney 1836-2006 (2nd Edition), John Luttrell & Marie Lourey