What We Offer

St John Paul II Catholic College places the student at the centre of learning. It is our strong desire that our students are able to develop spiritually, emotionally, physically and intellectually to their own personal best.

The College is proud of the excellent academic results of our students as we continue to promote personal bests in their endeavours. We also celebrate our students’ willingness to embrace our values and ideals, based on the teachings of Jesus.

The College offers a variety of teaching and learning opportunities, extra-curricular activities, spiritual development, advice and support to all of our students, a unique and dynamic learning experience delivered by a dedicated staff working in partnership with the students and their families.

The dual campus nature of the College supports all the educational opportunities available on a single campus school while extending the pathways to TAFE and University. The College occupies a unique position in Australian education in that our links with the University of Western Sydney afford students the possibilities of streamlined entry into university.

In the end our students, parents/caregivers and staff are the people who are best placed to welcome you and explain why enrolment at St John Paul II Catholic College promises to be a rewarding and fulfilling journey.

Our Story

“Look, dear people of Australia, and behold this vast continent of yours! It is your home! 
The place of your joys and pains, your endeavours and your hopes! And for all of you, Australians, the way to the Father’s house passes through this land. Jesus Christ is the Way!” 
Pope John Paul II

 

St John Paul II Catholic College is a learning community which journeys together in the Catholic tradition. It values its past as it anticipates its future as a strong faith community based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. St John Paul II Catholic College is open to new ideas, forward thinking and promotes active partnerships with its parishes, parents, caregivers, students and the wider community.

The College embraces a student-centred learning culture where staff and students strive for excellence in all aspects of quality teaching and learning. It believes that positive relationships are the cornerstone of a rich educational community. The values of respect, inclusiveness, personal responsibility and social justice are integral to the life of the College.

St John Paul II Catholic College was originally established as Terra Sancta College in 1996. It was founded as a result of the need identified by the local parish communities to establish a Catholic secondary school to serve the local parish communities as well as established Catholic primary schools of Mary Immaculate Quakers Hill, St Joseph’s Schofields and St John’s Riverstone. Initially the college was called Quakers Hill Catholic High School while a more suitable name was sought.

The naming of the college was a difficult decision. A number of choices that were debated and voted upon included:

  • Julian Woods
  • Dadirri - (deep spring-Spirit of God)
  • Mackillop
  • Southern Cross

As the search for a name continued the committee laid down essential criteria for selection of a name:

  • it would be linked with the Catholic tradition
  • was distinctively Australian

Finally the name Terra Sancta College was adopted and much of the credit for this goes to the parish priest at the time, Fr. Eugene Stockton. “Terra Sancta” meaning latin for “sacred land”.

At the heart of the Schofields Campus is the gathering area and Cross of Christ from which flows the path through the campus and to the oval, signifying the journey passing through this land. The gathering area and cross have continued to be the focus of student life where assemblies, Transition Day functions, award ceremonies and Year 12 farewells continue as a part of the fabric of life at Terra Sancta.

In 1998 the first senior classes commenced at Nirimba Campus, lifting the total enrolment at the time to 680. The Nirimba Campus was designed to continue the education of the students in years 7-10 through to a senior environment with close educational ties and pathways with the University of Western Sydney and TAFE WSI. The environment of Nirimba closely resembles the physical environment with the Cross placed at the entrance of the campus in the path which through the site, also signifying the Way passing through this land.

Over the years building has continued as the college has grown with dedicated Year 7 buildings completed in 2006. In 2014 further works have seen the construction of a Stage Four Collaborative Learning Complex, the refurbishment of the Year 8 classroom block allowing collaborative and cooperative, as well as class learning. This allows the college to offer a very broad education that reflect the academic, social, physical and spiritual needs and interests of students.

In 2015, the College was renamed St John Paul II Catholic College to honour the canonisation of Pope John Paul II in 2014. Although the College now proudly presents themselves as St John Paul II Catholic College, the history and traditions of Terra Sancta College remain. The Schofields Campus Prayer Room was also renamed the Terra Sancta Prayer Room as a way to keep the history of the College present.

Currently two campuses are the home of more than 1100 students. Since inception over 5000 students have passed through this land.

What We Offer

The College has a commitment to the faith development of our students. 

St John Paul II Catholic College is a learning community which journeys together in the Catholic tradition and values its past as it anticipates its future as a strong faith community based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. St John Paul II Catholic College is open to new ideas, forward thinking and promotes active partnerships with its parishes, parents, caregivers, students and the wider community.

Religious Education is an integral part of the curriculum at St John Paul II Catholic College.

St John Paul II Catholic College provides Catholic secondary education for students in the Quakers Hill, Schofields and Riverstone parish communities.

We are committed to being authentically Catholic; inviting, inclusive and just with a focus on innovative and personalised learning and teaching; strong leadership and professional development of staff. The college has a strong tradition of academic and sporting excellence as well as a commitment to social justice.

The College strives to:

  • Promote the spiritual, intellectual, physical, emotional and social development of each student

  • Develop an innovative curriculum that meets the needs of all students and is relevant for the 21st Century

  • Achieve our goals through participation, consultation and collaboration across all levels of the school community

We have a core team of Religious Education specialists (many of whom have a Masters Degree in RE) whose focus is on the learning and teaching agenda. The College has been developing innovative curriculum initiatives that better prepares students for the Higher School Certificate and individual faith development.

We have an active liturgical life and students are encouraged to participate in prayer, liturgical celebrations, retreat days, pastoral care camps as well as College and class masses and reconciliation.

St John Paul II offers a great variety of representative sports to cater to the strong sporting culture we have at the College. All students have the opportunity to represent the College in the Metropolitan Catholic Schools and Metropolitan Combined Catholic Schools Competitions throughout the year. 

Representative Sports include

  • AFL
  • Athletics
  • Baseball 
  • Basketball
  • Cricket
  • Cross Country
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Oztag
  • Rugby League
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Touch Football
  • Volleyball
  • Water Polo

A newly emerging tradition that the whole community is embracing is the Musical that is staged every two years. The musical is written completely by St John Paul II staff and performed by the students. The talents of all involved are a showcase of commitment, hard work and cooperation between staff, students and parents/caregivers. The first performance sets the tone for community development and engagement as it is always performed for our feeder primary schools of Mary Immaculate, St. Jospehs, St. John’s and Our Lady of the Angels.

UWS College

Wonderful opportunities exist for our students to undertake first year units of higher education at UWSCollege, Nirimba.

Subjects include offerings in Business, Science, Arts, Psychology, Law and Health. Students who successfully complete a unit are made an offer of guaranteed enrolment to attend UWS when they finish Year 12. For some this offer can also include a generous scholarship to support their study at UWS. Yet another example of the tremendous study opportunities available at the Nirimba Education Precinct!

 

Western Sydney Institute of TAFE Opportunities

The Western Sydney Institute of TAFE, located in the same education precinct as the Nirimba Campus, offers a range of courses to our students to begin during their studies from Year 10 through to Year 12.

Many students in Year 10 have begun studying the Certificate in Childhood Studies which is a 2 year course leading to a completion of the Certificate 4 level. On completion of this stage students  can continue this  study  pathway  by pursuing the Diploma and/or Degree in Early Childhood through the TAFE system.

Yes, you can now graduate with a degree from the TAFE system! Our interested and motivated students have taken this opportunity to get an early start on their career path.

As well as the above, students access other the TVET  courses in Building and Construction, Accounting, Automotive and Music Studies.

 

Careers and Life After School

Career education plays a significant role in College life. Careers assistance and education begins from Year 10, where students undertake a Vocational Assessment which can assist in their career decision making process.

Our College Careers Advisor, Mr Evens, provides counselling/advice and assistance in career/study decisions, enrolling and applying for tertiary study, applying for work experience as well as mentoring our Year 10-12 students through courses and programs with the University of Western Sydney and TAFE during their studies on campus.

Increasing our students’ employability skills, raising their awareness of the many career /study paths available to them  and encouraging their aspirations form an integral part of  a holistic approach to  career education preparing them for a life post -school.

Survey patterns indicates 65% of our  graduating Year 12 students enter higher education at University, with another 25% attending Tafe or a Private Provider to undertake diploma or certificate level courses. The remaining 10% enter the workforce gaining employment in the trades as apprentices and/or taking up non-trade traineeships.

The College career program has assisted many students in attaining positive outcomes in their lives after STJPII.

The Learning Support Team supports the diverse learning needs of students at St John Paul II Catholic College. The team comprises of two specialist teachers, Mrs Catherine Redwood and Mrs Debbie Watts, and a learning support aide Mrs Danielle Woollam, who work with teachers and students to support learning.

The Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta is committed to meeting the needs of all students within an inclusive framework. Rather than separating students from their teachers and peers, learning takes place, as much as possible, within the student’s learning space and school.

The guiding principles of diversity are that all students can learn,all teachers can meet the diverse learning needs of students, given the right assistance,all within the school community (including parents) work together to ensure the learning of all students.

The Learning Support Team works with students, classroom teachers and parents to devise personalised learning plans to support student learning.

Personalised plans provide adjustments for students so that, they can access meaningful learning.  These adjustments include:

  • scaffolded assessments
  • adjusted language in assessments
  • access to adjusted materials
  • explicit and systematic teaching of skills and content
  • access to limited outcomes
  • life skills courses
  • disability provisions

The desirable approach is not to establish special programs for students with diverse learning needs, but to expand mainstream thinking, structures and practices so that all students are accommodated. (Students with disabilities in mainstream classrooms: A resource for teachers by Anthony Shaddock, Loretta Giorcelli, Sue Smith p.12)


Technology

At St John Paul II Catholic College we value your child’s education and  believe that the use of technology will assist your child to develop confidence, creativity and productivity in the classroom. It will prepare them for the impacts of technologies in society both while they are at school and once they enter the workforce. We believe that students at St John Paul II should be equipped to deal with the digital world in which they live.

St John Paul II Catholic College is a technology rich school that integrates technology into all aspects of learning and teaching. The adoption of a number of 1 to 1 Parent/Caregiver Purchase Programs at St John Paul II Catholic College (iPads for Stage 4 students & Laptops for Stage 5 & 6 students) have allowed the learning environment to be extended beyond the physical constraints of the learning and teaching spaces to give our students the capability to collaborate, share information and experiences, work across disciplines and take control of their learning.

Students and teachers have access to a range of tools that assist making learning stimulating, purposeful and more engaging.

The use of wireless TVs in the classrooms has enabled students to share their work with whole classes instantly, promoting discussion and allowing higher order learning to take place in a dynamic environment.

Technology

We are proud of the level of parental involvement in our school community. Parents/caregivers are invited to participate in the decision-making process by discussing issues with the college leadership.

We also encourage parents/caregivers to attend various events:

  • Information Evenings
  • Liturgical Celebrations and Fundraisers
  • Working Bees and Welcome BBQ's
  • Parent Chat Group
  • The College Council is another avenue in which parents/caregivers are involved in the bigger picture of College development.

Parish priests, parent/caregiver representatives, executive staff and appointed parishioners are members of the College Council - an advisory body to the leadership and growth of the college.