St Bede's Catholic College, Chisholm has this morning been announced as the official name of the Hunter's newest secondary school, which aims to cater for the increased demand for Catholic education in the Maitland region, and will open in 2018.
Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle, Bill Wright, made the announcement this morning on the land where the planned school will be built, next to St Aloysius Catholic Primary School. As part of the announcement, Bishop Bill unveiled a foundation stone and plaque to reveal the name as well as the first architectural concepts. Present at the unveiling were Director of Catholic Schools, Ray Collins, Maitland Mayor Peter Blackmore, parent representatives and student representatives from two local Catholic primary schools who will form part of the first Year 7 cohort.
Bishop Bill said St Bede's is a wonderful choice as both a name and inspiration for the students who will attend the college.
"St Bede's story is one of faithfulness, academic endeavour and gentleness of heart," Bishop Bill said.
"Students will have much to gain from aspiring to the qualities St Bede modelled. Furthermore, not only is St Bede a most appropriate choice for a place of learning, it also represents an opportunity to embrace and remember the original permanent church in Morpeth, which was built in 1870 and named St Bede's," he said.
Director of Catholic Schools, Ray Collins, said St Bede is regarded as a most learned scholar and was considered a most apt choice for the name of a school where learning − and more particularly, learning characterised by the Catholic tradition, culture and spirit − is the reason for our existence.
"St Bede's, like Bede himself, will be a college that inspires students to excel in their learning across all fields of endeavour, including the sciences and mathematics, but also in creative pursuits such as the arts and humanities," Mr Collins said.
"Bede will be the symbol and example for our students to follow, where hard work and persistence across a range of academic pursuits will be encouraged and nurtured."
The announcement comes as the Catholic Schools Office and a steering committee of representatives from the Diocese and local community plan to announce community information sessions for parents wanting more information regarding the school.
"There is much excitement in the local community about our new College. To keep prospective families and parishioners well-informed about developments regarding St Bede's a number of information sessions will be convened during this term," he said.
"I invite parents to follow our new 'Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Schools' Facebook page, which has been launched today to coincide with this exciting news, for announcements regarding details of the upcoming information sessions, as well as the CSO website.
"From this Friday, the Catholic Schools Office will also advertise the position of St Bede's Foundation Principal on the site, so it's a very exciting week for Catholic education in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle."
The decision to build a new co-educational Years 7-12 secondary school at Chisholm was one of 12 recommendations from the Study into the Provision of Secondary Education, announced last year.
The school will eventually cater for approximately 1,100 students and will have state of the art buildings, facilities and recreation areas.
Initial expressions of interest for enrolment in 2018 can be made by contacting Ms Anne Atkins, P 4979 1331.