The Philosophy of Catholic Schools in New Zealand

Catholic schools are established to carry out the Church's mission. Schools provide a Catholic Faith environment which enables young people to develop the attitudes, knowledge and skills to become active and committed members of the Faith Community and to contribute positively to the world community.

The philosophy of Catholic schools in New Zealand is based on a Catholic understanding of Christianity. Catholic integrated schools live and teach the values of Christ Jesus. These values are as expressed in the Scriptures and in the practices, worship and doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. The New Zealand Catholic Bishops act in unison in determining the essentials of the philosophy and its underpinning values.

The following guiding values are fundamental for Catholic schools:

  1. The development of the spiritual, intellectual, moral, emotional, physical and social dimensions of pupils/students, since authentic human life and openness to God are inseparable.
  2. The search for excellence, an integral part of the Christian message.
  3. Evangelisation, that is, the encouragement to grow towards the vision of human life and well-being that God revealed in Christ, given expression by the Church.
  4. A culture of love, based on God's love for us, which enables individuals to develop the inner autonomy of self love, self discipline and self direction. This enables them to love God and others and to respect the rights, freedom and intrinsic worth of all other people.
  5. Moral principles, based on the teaching of Christ and the dictates of right reason and put into practice in every aspect of life.
  6. Religious Education programmes which challenge each pupil/student and deepen their understanding of Catholic teaching.
  7. Education that is inclusive, with a focus on the development of each individual's unique talents, on students and families with particular needs, on the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, and on multicultural issues.
  8. Service, the will and vision to contribute a Catholic dimension to the development of the values and well being of the wider community.
  9. Co-operation and solidarity, as principles of right relations with all members of the school and wider community.
  10. Parish interaction, which builds up the community of the Church and which supports parents, teachers and pupils/students.
  11. Social justice in the face of discrimination, and commitment to an option for the poor at the local, national and international levels.
  12. Leadership, to enhance the life of the Church and the well-being of the national and international community.

NZCEO - June 2002