Our Faith Journey
Connecting faith, learning and life.
Bede Polding is a great place for students to grow in faith and learning.
Led by caring staff committed to sharing the Catholic faith with students in partnership with families, our welcoming community supports students and staff to thrive. We value each student as an individual and share the values of the Gospel to help them discover the hope that is within and to experience a meaningful and flourishing life.
Students in our school come from a variety of religious backgrounds and beliefs - a student will not feel out of place if they do not share the Catholic faith.
All schools in the Diocese of Parramatta:
Every aspect of the curriculum is presented from a distinctly Catholic worldview, instilling Godly values and attitudes that will benefit our students for a lifetime.
For formal Religious Education the college follows the newly updated Parramatta Diocesan Religious Education syllabus which is based on students’ real life experiences and questions they have about their Catholic faith.
It provides opportunities for students to grow in faith and understanding, to deepen their knowledge of Jesus Christ, to experience a sense of awe and wonder in God and to act in a just and morally responsible manner in everyday life.
The understanding of Religious Education identifies six interdependent elements of Religious Education in the Catholic Secondary school:
- the classroom Religious Education program
- integration of Catholic values across the curriculum
- the liturgical and prayer life of the school
- opportunities for retreats and reflection days
- community service programs and voluntary groups
- interaction of home, parish and school.
Religious Life at Bede Polding
At Bede Polding College growth in faith is fostered by:
Staff and student prayer
Each Monday morning the Staff meets before school for prayer. All assembly and Year group meetings begin with a community prayer often prepared/led by the students.
Each RE class and GEM class begins with prayer to recognise God's loving and guiding presence around us and to help us develop our relationship with God and love others.
At approximately 12:25 pm each day a chime is played over the PA system. At this chime all activity ceases and the Angelus prayer is prayed staff and students as an opportunity to reflect on our faith in God.
Each school year begins with an Opening College Mass at which all students and staff are present. College Masses and liturgies are set around key dates of the liturgical calendar. Students also have a number of opportunities during the year for class and year Mass. Masses and Liturgies are also held to celebrate feast days and special occasions or to commemorate solemn remembrances. Eucharistic Celebrations are celebrated as part of Year 12 Graduations.
Catholic Youth Parramatta
Bede Polding College has created a positive relationship with the Diocesan youth team, Catholic Youth Parramatta. CYP provides opportunities for our students to attend Diocesan events such as the Annual Good Friday Walk, LIFTED Live events and HSC masses. CYP shares resources for us to utilise in our RE lessons and offer College the option of organising various guest speakers to share their faith experience with our students.
SRE Religious Education
Year 10 students have the opportunity to share our Catholic faith with the students in local public schools once a week. This is also called ‘Scripture Teaching’ and our Year 10 students organise activities and lessons, engage in conversation about our faith and pass it on to future generations. The feedback received from our students and the local public schools is always positive and it is a wonderful opportunity for us to develop positive relationships in our local Hawkesbury community.
The Sacraments of Reconciliation is offered once a term. This is an opportunity for students to reflect on their actions, seek forgiveness and experience our loving and forgiving, creator God.
Staff Reflection Day
All staff participate in an annual reflection day providing time to reflect on their relationship with self, others and God. It is an opportunity for staff to gather together and engage in activities, discussion, reflection, celebrate Mass and deepen their understanding of the Catholic faith.
SWAG (Students Walking Alongside God) is a senior student-led youth group that meets twice a term during sport. It includes games, activities, discussion, and reflection all focused on the weekly Gospel or key liturgical year events. It is an opportunity for all students to engage in their faith in a welcoming, creative, engaging and loving atmosphere.
Annual Reflection Days
Years 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11 participate in an annual reflection day. The aim of these are to:
- provide time-out for students from the normal pressures of school life so that each student may be allowed and assisted to reflect on her/his own life
- develop each student's understanding of her/himself and to enhance their self-esteem
- enable each student to examine her/his relationship with others, especially the important people in her/his life
- assist each student to reflect on and deepen her/his understanding of God
- integrate faith in God with the realities of everyday life, such as relationships, study and leisure
- reflect on their role in addressing social justice issues
- celebrate the Eucharistic Celebration as a cohort.
Year 12 Retreat
Our Year 12 students receive the opportunity to experience a Year 12 retreat. The retreat provides them with time and space to reflect on their relationship, self, others and God. It enables the Year 12 students to connect with their peers and staff on a deeper and more meaningful level as they spend two nights away at a retreat venue.
The retreat includes activities, discussions, games, conversations, shared meals, the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation and concludes with the celebration of the Mass. Year 12 students who have attended past retreats report the retreat as 'one of the most memorable and meaningful experiences of school life', others speak of 'the unity brought to their cohort' and 'how the retreat helped them to better appreciate family and key life issues'.
Social justice initiatives
Our students are offered a wide variety of local community activities to help develop a sense of pride, respect and responsibility for themselves and others. This positive participation and actions can be seen in how we interact and learn with one another, work collaboratively and take ownership of our behaviour as well as active involvement in faith-based experiences.
Our reconciliation strategy
Schools in the Diocese of Parramatta are at the beginning of an important journey, endeavouring to make significant contributions to reconciliation within the community, locally and nationally.
Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese (CSPD) recently launched its first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). We will be guided by the CSDP RAP as we work to embed practices that further support members of our learning community who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander, engage meaningfully and respectfully with members of the local Aboriginal community, and make contributions to the national journey towards reconciliation.
Come Visit Bede Polding
Call us today to arrange a tour and find out how to enrol.