Catholic Identity


The Vision for Religious Education as stated in the Religious Education Curriculum of Brisbane Catholic Education  gives voice to what St Mary’s  hopes for its students in terms of their religious literacy and faith formation.

 “The schools and colleges of the Archdiocese of Brisbane aspire to educate and form students who are challenged to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and who are literate in the Catholic and broader Christian tradition so that they might participate critically and authentically in faith contexts and wider society”
The following model identifies two distinct, but complementary, dimensions of Religious Education in a Catholic school context.  The fullness of the Vision for Religious Education is realised through the intersection of both dimensions.
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 Whilst elements of both aspects take place within the context of a Catholic school, this model presupposes a broader context, namely a whole lifetime. At St Mary’s we acknowledge that parents are the prime educators of their children and we aim to work with parents in the religious education of their children.
This  broad Vision for Religious Education emphasizes the complementarity of the two dimensions and articulates our school’s aspirations for students in terms of their religious literacy and faith formation.  St Mary’s acknowledges and embraces the symbiotic relationship between these two aspects of Religious Education in a Catholic school and takes every opportunity to allow students to develop both their religious knowledge and religious experience. 
Through engagement with both dimensions of Religious Education, students at St Mary’s are challenged to be cultural agents of change in light of the Gospel message by participating in a plethora of religious experiences including ways of talking, acting, creating, communicating, critiquing, evaluating, learning, participating, ritualising, theologising, worshipping, reading, reflecting, and writing with others in a variety of religious and secular contexts.  Central to all of these experiences is the person of Jesus Christ.
Whilst knowledge and understanding of religious concepts is important, the truths and beliefs to which a student adheres must have some consequence in  everyday life.  The Vision for Religious Education challenges our students to be a religious voice in the world and to live the gospel of Jesus Christ in everyday in every way.

At SRE wheel diagram.jpgt Mary’s our classroom religion program for each year level is based on the Religious Education Curriculum developed by Brisbane Catholic Education.  The final draft of this curriculum was released in October, 2013.  It describes the knowledge and skills that should be addressed by students in each year level of their schooling in a Catholic school in our Archdiocese.  This curriculum is the starting point for planning, teaching and assessing in Religion. 

The curriculum is organized under four strands:  Sacred Texts, Beliefs, Church and Christian Life which are further subdivided into three areas.  The content and skills are interrelated across the strands and are taught in an integrated fashion.    


The Religious Life of the School syllabus is organized under four strands:  Religious Identity and Culture, Prayer and Worship, Evangelisation and Faith Formation and Social Action and Justice which are further subdivided into three areas.  

Each of these four components has a distinctive focus but all are interrelated and mutually reinforce each other and the classroom teaching of religion.


 Please click here for a full outline of our Religion program.

Our school is part of St Mary’s Parish, Ipswich, established in the 1850s.   Throughout its rich history the story of our school has been closely intertwined with the story of St Mary's Parish and that relationship remains strong today.  Our students are privileged to have the opportunity to worship in the heritage-listed Church of St Mary’s, built in 1904.  During the school year our students and teachers participate in the Parish Saturday Night Mass once a month.   On a rostered basis classes join with the Parish community to celebrate Mass on a Thursday morning and our students visit St Mary’s Hostel to celebrate Mass with the aged residents.

Preparation for the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation is parish based and coordinated by the PaSacraments of Initiation.gifrish Sacramental Team.  Students are supported in their preparation for the reception of the Sacraments of Initiation through the religious education program in the school. 

Entry into the sacramental program is not compulsory.  The choice involves a parental commitment to ensure that the child receives ongoing family support.   Please ring the Parish office (3281 2133) and arrange to speak with the Parish Pastoral Associate who will guide you through the process. 

Further information is available at  Ipswich Catholic Community​