Brand new school for Maitland region to be officially opened next Monday

The Hunter's newest school, St Aloysius Primary School in Chisholm, will be blessed by the Bishop of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Bill Wright and officially opened by the Hon. Bob Baldwin MP, on Monday 9 March, the start of the annual Catholic Schools Week.

St Aloysius is the first newly established, purpose-built school in the diocese in 30 years. The first stage of building (at an approximate cost of $8 million) was funded by the Diocesan Schools Building Fund and a Commonwealth Government Grant.

Director of Catholic Schools in the Diocese, Mr Ray Collins, is delighted with the new school, which opened in early February 2015 to 227 students.

"It is fitting that the official opening of our brand new school should happen in Catholic Schools Week, a time of celebrating the strength and distinctiveness of Catholic schools," Mr Collins said.

"The theme for this year is Educating for Today and Tomorrow and is entirely appropriate given St Aloysius' commitment to 21st century learning environments and teaching methods. The diocese is thrilled to be able to meet the demand for more places in Catholic schools in the Maitland region and has delivered a wonderful new learning environment for the growing community of this area," he said.

Foundation Principal of St Aloysius, Mrs Suzanne Fern, is proud of the facilities on offer to students and teachers.

"The school has been designed to complement the contemporary learning that will be the hallmark of our school. There are learning commons, curved lounges, movable walls between classrooms and tables with whiteboard surfaces. Students will not be confined to a traditional desk and will be encouraged to learn across multiple environments, including outdoors," Mrs Fern said.

The school is named after the patron saint of young students and youth generally, St Aloysius Gonzaga. The school's motto is We are called and reflects the desire of staff to impart strong values based and social justice teaching to students. The school's crest pays tribute to the Sisters of Mercy, the Jesuits (of which St Aloysius was one) and the Hunter River.

Federal Member for Paterson, The Hon Bob Baldwin, will officially open the new school and is looking forward to the celebration.

"It is fantastic to see our electorate supported by the Commonwealth Government in such an important way. St Aloysius is significant for our ever-expanding local community and I am impressed with the school's ecological sustainability and use of technology," Mr Baldwin said.

The entire school will be present at the opening, along with parents, teachers, parishioners, members of the local community, Bob Baldwin, Bishop Bill, Ray Collins, Suzanne Fern and members of the Catholic Schools Office.

Media opportunity
What: Official opening and blessing of St Aloysius Primary School.
Who: Bishop Bill Wright, Member for Paterson Bob Baldwin, Director of Schools Ray Collins, St Aloysius Foundation Principal Suzanne Fern, Diocesan Vice Chancellor Sean Scanlon, students and family members of the St Aloysius school community, Catholic Schools Office and Diocesan staff, candidates for the State seat of Maitland.
When: Monday 9 March 9.30am for a 10.00am start.
Where: 24 Heritage Drive, Chisholm.


To confirm your attendance at the event and for all media enquiries please contact Kate Bennett, Communications Manager - Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, on 0419 263 901.