Our Catholic Identity

Jesus Christ and His teachings are at the centre of the Catholic School. The Archdiocesan Vision Statement for Catholic Schools articulates unambiguously three basic convictions, related commitments, values and beliefs which define the overall context which Sydney Catholic Schools operate.

In committing to this vision, schools in the Sydney Archdiocese explicitly engage with the Archdiocesan Mission Statement and its basic propositions:

  • Celebrating being Catholic in Australia
  • Ensuring quality teaching and learning
  • Making a difference in our world.

Religious Education and the religious dimension is at the heart of Catholic Education and is evident in all aspects of school life  at St Raphael's, including our pastoral care and discipline, communication and interaction. It informs and influences all learning in the school and is integrated throughout the curriculum. Sending a child to a Catholic school involves supporting this religious dimension.

At St Raphael's the Gospel is central to our lives, and we regularly celebrate and demonstrate our faith. Working together with parents and our parish priest, we aim to give children a sound understanding of our Catholic doctrine, tradition and Gospel values and emphasise the importance of living out these values in our daily life.

Each class participates daily in the Religious Education curriculum program. This program is supported by the use of Religious Education text books, To Know, Worship and Love. The Religious Education curriculum brings together the essential components of knowledge, understanding, appreciation and celebration of our rich tradition. It provides the opportunities and the skills for young people to meet the challenges of living in the Catholic faith in today's world. The curriculum is intended to complement the work of the parents and the parish in assisting with the life-long process of the religious education of the individual.

Prayer is also a vital and most significant part of classroom and school life. Parents are invited to remain for morning prayer, which is led by a different year group each week. The celebration of the sacraments is an integral part of our Catholic identity. First Communion and Confirmation are part of the Year 4 and Year 6 programs; and Reconciliation forms part of the Year 3 program. The children participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and each class attends the Parish Mass on Thursday throughout the term. On special feast days and celebrations the children attend Mass as a whole school. Parents are encouraged to attend these Masses, and to join in our prayer at assemblies and liturgies. We also support parents in their role as the primary educators in faith and regularly offer opportunities to reflect on this important area. Our Family Educator assists in this area.

The school is involved in a number of outreach programs supporting those in need in our local as well as global community. The work of the "Mini Vinnies" group enhances the school response to educating our students about those less privileged as well as emphasising our responsibility as stewards of the earth.