Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: 16/08/2017 (Please note these entries are to be updated against what is visible in the Philosophy Carousel on most pages, most specifically to do with our employment, enrolment, policies: 21Feb18)

  1. What is an Independent Catholic School?
    1. An Independent Catholic School is one run by the families of the school community via a legal entity.
      1. We adhere to the magisterium of the Church and are based on traditional Catholic teaching that has stood the test of time. There are no new doctrines at our school.
    2. It does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Education Office, however a spirit of co-operation does exist between our proposed school, Bishop Bird and the Ballarat CEO, for which we are very grateful.
  2. Why are we starting an Independent Catholic School
    1. Our school has sprung from a desire to return to the historical and traditional roots of the Catholic faith expressed in education with nuances not easily achievable in larger institutions. Our background with home schooling places us in a unique sphere, which requires a new approach to ensuring sustainability. We will be small and afford parents the reinforcement of their position as first and best educators of their children in the matters of Faith and Morals, without compromising on our duty to provide excellent academic opportunity. It is central to our balance of Faith and Reason that if we get the Faith right, the Reason will be necessarily enhanced.
  3. Why is the school starting in Smythesdale?
    1. After many sites were considered, the group decided on Smythesdale because
      1. The council have been quite supportive of our approach to the use of their land adjacent the Recreation Reserve, and there is no secondary offering in the north of the shire.
      2. There is existing adjacent infrastructure a school would need. eg Football oval, tennis courts, netball courts, indoor basketball stadium and function room.
      3. There is also a Government primary school adjacent that would afford shared education opportunities for both schools.
  4. What year levels will the school be running?
    1. We will open in Term 1, 2019, with Prep – Grade 4 class, and a Grade 5 – Year 10 class.
    2. We will then aim for VCE in our third-fifth years of operation. This will depend heavily on initial numbers/registration success of the year levels/and some exemptions for our rural nature to be approved.
  5. Who can enroll?
    1. Everyone is welcome to enrol. However, parents are expected to be trying to live a visibly Catholic life so that the students are given a harmonious message:
      1. There is no benefit to students, parents or school if one message is taught at school and another at home.
    2. Initial interviews for enrolment will be conducted by the principal at the home of prospective families, followed by a tour at the school if so desired.
  6. Who can be employed?
    1. Only people who are qualified in their discipline and are seen to be trying to live an exemplary Catholic life.
    2. We will employ a  Full time equivalent (FTE) principal who teachers .5 and administers .5
      1. We will also have a FTE leading/expert teacher who will be assisted on some afternoons by parent helpers for combined activities such as PE, ICT, Music and other specialist subjects.
      2. It is anticipated this model will suffice until we reach around thirty students.
  7. How many students will be starting at the school in 2019?
    1. Our initial research shows between 15 – 30 across the eleven levels (P-10), however this number will be confirmed later this year with parent commitments being sort to become part of our submission for registration in January, 2018 for a 2019 start.
    2. If we are successful in our proposal, formal enrolments will be taken in May/June of 2018. It is possible however that the VRQA will require we modify our proposal, which we will communicate to all stakeholders directly and via this website as we become aware of changing requirements.