SYDNEY CATHOLIC SCHOOLS’ CATHOLIC INTENSIVE ENGLISH CENTRES
Sydney Catholic Schools has three Catholic Intensive English Centres:
- Holy Spirit Catholic College Lakemba;
- Patrician Brothers’ College Fairfield; and
- Mary MacKillop Catholic College Wakeley.
The Catholic Intensive English Centres provide:
- intensive English instruction based on the learners’ English language proficiency;
- extended support for refugee and new arrival students, as needed;
- a blended model of learning based on current research;
- differentiated English language learning programs (preliteracy, beginner, post beginner
, lower intermediate, upper intermediate, advanced);
- regular evaluation of the program;
- a transition program to assist students to transition from their Catholic Intensive English Centre to the onsite mainstream college;
- regular reporting of student progress to the mainstream college;
- opportunities for students to access and participate in extracurricular activities;
- access to a range of internal and external services to support student wellbeing;
- support with settlement into society and into the Australian education system; and
- where possible, bilingual support in the day-to-day running of the Catholic Intensive English Centre.
Research has found that our Catholic Intensive English Centres program can make a significant difference in academic achievement for English language learners at the secondary level. These include:
- second language taught through academic content;
- conscious focus on teaching learning strategies needed to develop thinking skills and problem-solving abilities; and
- continuous support for staff development emphasising activation of students’ prior knowledge, respect for students’ home language and culture, collaborative learning, interactive and discovery learning, intense and meaningful cognitive/academic development, and ongoing assessment using multiple measures (Thomas & Collier 1995, 2017).
For students with very limited English at their time of arrival in Australia, an intensive course is necessary to provide a strong foundation for continued English language learning.
The Sydney Catholic Schools’ program draws upon the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney’s Charter for Catholic Schools and responds, in particular, to the following elements:
- nurturing students’ love of learning through a Catholic pedagogy that fosters the development of the intellect, moral knowledge, understanding and reasoning in a relational, social and cultural context;
- care for students through an inclusive curriculum, pastoral care and student wellbeing policies and practices that are consistent with the mission of the Catholic school; and
- work in partnership with and support parents as the primary educators of children.
For more information, please contact our schools: