Catholic Education in Tasmania continues the proud tradition of providing an education that is mandated by the Catholic Church and centred on the Person of Jesus Christ. Catholic education continues to build on the great tradition of the religious who staffed our schools for over one hundred and fifty years, devoting their lives to the education of children and young people, especially those who were poor or in need. It is this legacy of commitment and generosity that continues to inspire our educational communities.
Many Tasmanian families continue to entrust their children’s education to Catholic schools with the expectation that the Catholic school community will work with them in fostering their children’s spiritual, religious and moral development, integrated within their overall development as human persons. The Catholic school recognises parents as the primary educators of their children and it aims to work in partnership with families and the parish community for the Christian faith formation of young people.
Essentially, parents are aware that the growing spiritual and religious self-understanding of their children will be given priority in the Catholic school. This occurs through their children’s immersion in the religious life of the school, its formal classroom Religious Education curriculum and its wider curriculum imbued with a Catholic worldview. In addition, parents are aware that their children are invited to participate in the Christian faith formation opportunities of the local Catholic parish community that are provided through its sacramental and liturgical life and Christian service activities. It is through these activities and the witness of the living faith of its members that the Catholic school participates with families and the parish community in the Catholic Church’s evangelising mission that continues to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ now and forever.
Religious Education in Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Hobart
Promulgated in 2021, the Religious Education Standards for Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Hobart apply to all people involved in Catholic Education Tasmania (CET) activities including Tasmanian Catholic Education Office (TCEO) staff, Catholic Schools principals and staff, contractors, volunteers, religious personnel, and students. The Standards also apply to all CET operational environments and workplaces including online endeavours, school and college premises and grounds, camps, tours, cultural immersions, sports events, and coaching/tutoring activities.
The Archbishop is responsible for the religious instruction and education provided by Catholic schools, and for those that are delegated to teach Religious Education in the Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Hobart in his name. In accord with his Canonical obligations the Archbishop exercises apostolic oversight of the Catholic schools of the Archdiocese of Hobart, and all who teach in Catholic schools. He invites them to share in his responsibility to teach and hand on the Catholic faith, and he requests that, with him, they will respond faithfully to the call to evangelise and assist him to fulfil his sacred role Religious (Religious Education Standards for Catholic Schools of the Archdiocese of Hobart, p. 1).
Good News for Living (GNFL) is the Religious Education curriculum mandated by the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Hobart for its Catholic schools. GNFL recognises as the reference point for its content the knowledge of Christian revelation through the sources of Scripture and Tradition and expressed in the faith of the Church (GNFL, p. 9). A significant reference point for the content of GNFL is the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC).
It is expected that each week students in Catholic schools in the archdiocese will engage in an average of two and a half (2.5) hours of formal classroom learning and teaching time of Religious Education. This learning and teaching time complements the other cultural activities that reflect the Catholic school's commitment to liturgy and community action (GNFL, p. 77).
In addition to the doctrinal, curriculum and pedagogical dimensions of GNFL, there is also a catechetical dimension. Catechesis is a profoundly personal experience between God and the individual person. God initiates these moments of faith, whilst the religious educator plays an important role in creating an environment for learning that can be conducive to these moments. General Directory for Catechesis (GDC) identifies three essential characteristics in catechesis: knowledge, conversion and response:
- knowledge – of the teachings and practices of the Catholic faith, showing interest in the Gospel, wondering, inquiring, seeking, moving towards faith
- conversion – meeting Jesus, desiring to know him more and to follow him
- response – in prayer, in life, in relationship with God, leading to profession and expression of faith (GDC, nn. 56–7, 66).
On Monday 20th September, 2021, experienced educators, teachers of Religious Education and Directors of Ministry met for the annual Colloquium. His Grace, Archbishop Julian Porteous, delivered the Keynote Presentation breaking open the Colloquium theme ‘Jesus Christ - the light on the lamp stand’ in Religious Education.
The Good News for Living Digital Hub
The Good News for Living Digital Hub is a web-based tool that supports the learning and teaching of GNFL. It presents the mandated curriculum, and provides resources for the ongoing professional learning and formation of teachers, and learning sequences for the learning and teaching of GNFL.
Through the Hub teachers may access the endorsed student resource, To Know, Worship & Love (KWL) (James Goold House Publication, 2018), that accompanies the learning and teaching of GNFL at each Year Level (Standard 3 - Religious Education Standards, p. 4).
Also, through the Hub teachers can access the latest version of the Australian Curriculum.
They can also access the digital student resource, To Know, Worship and Love - KWL Primary, that accompanies the teaching and learning of GNFL.
Further, the Fr John Wall Community Library provides an extensive collection of print and digital resources for the learning and teaching of Religious Education and for the formation and professional learning of teachers of Religious Education.
Catholic Education Tasmania acknowledges and pays respect to the original and ongoing custodians of the land. We acknowledge the continuing connection to land, seas, air and waterways and commit ourselves to the ongoing journey of reconciliation. We honour Elders, past, present and emerging.