Below are some frequently asked questions about enroling your child in a BCE school.
Who can enrol in a BCE Catholic school?
Helping families nurture their Catholic faith is a primary goal of Catholic schools and preference is given to families who have children baptised in the Catholic faith, and who regularly worship at their local Catholic parish. Brisbane Catholic schools have Archdiocesan parish areas, not catchment areas like QLD state schools. If your parish does not have a school, you can apply for enrolment at any bordering parish that has a school. Regardless of your location, you can enrol your child at a BCE Catholic school.
This said, we welcome enrolment enquiries from all families and assess them according to our enrolment criteria. BCE schools generally give enrolment priority to families with existing student siblings first. It is important that an application for enrolment is made at the school and that you contact the school directly to confirm its approach to sibling enrolment.
If you have questions about enrolment at any time of the year, your local school's principal would be happy to answer them.
When should I enrol my child?
Generally, students in QLD start school around the age of five.
By law, students must commence school and undergo a full year of Prep before they can progress to Year 1. To be eligible to enrol for Prep, students must turn 5 by 30 June in the year of attending Prep. You may delay your child's entry to Prep (and subsequently Year 1) if you feel your child is not ready to start school.
Secondary schools enrol prospective students two years prior to commencing. For example, students in Year 5 can enrol to start high school in Year 7.
The QLD government maintains that the minimum school leaving age from school is 16 or until you finish year 10. As such, students no longer need to be re-enrolled for Year 11.
How do I enrol my child?
If you are interested in enrolling your child in a BCE Catholic school, you will need to contact the principal or enrolment secretary at that school. Each BCE school has its own procedure for enrolment.
Formal enrolment periods commence in March and continue until vacancies are filled. If there are vacancies still available, enrolments can occur year-round.
Before an enrolment is finalised, parents/carers are usually interviewed by the principal or a delegated staff member. Documents required at this interview include the completed enrolment form, parish reference, birth certificate, Baptism certificate, immunisation records, and passport if you are newly arrived in Australia.
Secondary schools may also require academic results or reports from the student's previous school, a reference from a parish priest or another prominent citizen, and medical records, if required.
Once your enrolment is finalised, your child will likely be invited to an orientation day in Term 4 for children starting school the following year. Parents are often invited to attend an information evening around this time, or just after their child has begun school.
Do I need to be Catholic to enrol in a Catholic school?
Our Catholic schools are open to all who want to share our educational goals, inspired by Christian principles. In accordance with each school's enrolment vacancies, preference is given to students who are baptised Catholic and who live in the local parish and then to children of Catholic families from other parishes who wish to enrol. However, schools are open to all who wish to be guided in their education by the principles and teachings of Christ.
All families and their children, Catholic or non-Catholic, are invited to have a Catholic education, but must be willing to participate in the religious life and culture of the school. It is a requirement of students attending BCE Catholic schools that they participate in the learning of the BCE P-12 Religious Education program.
What curriculum do BCE Catholic Schools teach?
Teachers in BCE Catholic schools follow the same Australian curriculum as teachers in state and independent schools, but with a Catholic values perspective. This means all primary and secondary schools plan, teach, assess and report using the QLD Curriculum and Assessment Authority requirements.
In primary schools, the P–10 Australian Curriculum is divided into eight learning areas or subject areas – Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Social Sciences, The Arts, Technologies, Health and Physical Education and Languages.
Senior secondary years in our BCE Catholic colleges offer a full range of courses across different key learning areas or subjects to achieve the Queensland Certificate of Education (QCE) or Queensland Certificate of Individual Achievement (QCIA).
Secondary colleges also offer a range of sporting and co-curricular activities and a range of leadership formation and Vocational Education and Training (VET) opportunities as well as the chance to undertake school-based training and apprenticeships for commencing tertiary studies and VET pathways.
BCE schools are proud of the excellent educational outcomes and frequently perform above national average results in standardised tests.
What part does Religious Education play in the curriculum?
Religious Education is at the heart of Catholic education. It contributes to the mission of the Catholic Church in announcing the good news of Jesus Christ, and informs all aspects of school life.
All students are expected to participate in the religious life of the school, and this includes being part of formal religious education classes. BCE schools explicitly teach Religious Education in all years.
Students are also encouraged to participate in the Sacraments, reflection days and retreats, liturgy, prayer, community service activities and social justice programs.
How do Catholic schools maintain positive student behaviour and discipline?
Catholic schools expect high standards of student behaviour. The Australian Student Wellbeing Framework underpins student wellbeing, safety, learning and pastoral care policies in BCE Catholic schools. Other support programs exist to ensure Catholic schools remain safe and highly productive learning environments.
Social and emotional competency skills are taught throughout the curriculum and the focus is on self-discipline, well-developed interpersonal skills and resilience. Each school also has a Student Behaviour Support policy that outlines codes of behaviour, rights and responsibilities of students.
Catholic schools work in partnership with parents in developing a sense of social responsibility in young people and fostering strong and sustainable characteristics that enable students to achieve their full potential and live out positive behaviour.
What provisions are made for students with diverse learning needs?
BCE Catholic schools have a long tradition of supporting students with diverse needs and have programs in place to assist students with a disability, gifted and talented learners, and children whose first language is not English.
Additionally, all schools have staff dedicated to support students with diverse learning needs and can draw on the specialist services of personnel across the Brisbane Catholic Education network of schools.
How do parents get involved in their BCE Catholic school?
We recognise that parents are the primary educators of their children, and that the home and the school are bound together in common purpose.
Parents are actively encouraged to be involved in their child's education via participation in school planning and advisory boards, classroom and outside-school activities, review processes, parent groups, sports participation and with the school's Parents and Friends Association. School parent representatives build and nurture meaningful relationships between school, parents and parishes, to enhance the faith life and wellbeing of families, and support family engagement with the school and parish.
Parent engagement is an ongoing strategic goal of BCE Catholic Schools.