Located on 600 hectares in bushland surroundings at the base of the Blue Mountains, St Columba’s Catholic College has an interesting history. It first operated as a seminary for candidates of the priesthood. In 1978 the Archbishop of Sydney approved the establishment of a Catholic regional high school in the seminary buildings.
After some modifications, the school opened in 1979. The school’s philosophy is equity and excellence with emphasis on Catholic principles and Christian values. St Columba’s Catholic College’s heritage buildings and more recently constructed facilities are situated in a unique and extensive bushland setting. Facilities and resources have been developed to support a full range of subjects within all Key Learning Areas.
Years 7 and 8: The academic program in Years 7 and 8 at St Columba’s Catholic College is determined by the Board of Studies. Subjects include: Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Australian History, Australian Geography, Design & Technology (this includes components of Computer Studies, Agriculture, Food Technology, Woodwork, Metalwork), Music, Visual Arts, Japanese (Yr 8 only), Personal Development, Health, Physical Education
Elective Subjects at St Columba’s Catholic College:
Years 9 and 10: Agricultural Technology, Commerce, Drama, Food Technology, Geography, History, Information and Software Technology, Industrial Technology – Metal or Wood, Japanese, Music, Physical and Sports Studies, Textiles and Design, Visual Arts, Visual Design.
Years 11 and 12: Board Developed Courses at St Columba’s Catholic College include:
Agriculture, Ancient History, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Dance, Drama, Earth and Environmental Science, Economics, Engineering Studies, English Extension, Food Technology, Geography, Information Processes & Technology, Industrial Technology, Japanese Continuers, Japanese Beginners, Legal Studies, Different Mathematics and English levels, Modern History, Music 1 & 2, PDHPE, Physics, Senior Science, Society & Culture, Software Design & Development, Visual Arts, Studies of Religion
Board Endorsed Courses include: Exploring Early Childhood, Photography, Religion: Catholic Studies, Visual Design.
Vocational Education and Training Courses (VET) include: Construction, Hospitality Operations, Entertainment, Primary Industries.
Students in systemic Catholic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta pay three different fees: an annual tuition fee (which is set by the Parramatta Diocesan Schools Board and varies according to the year the student is in and siblings attending Catholic schools); an annual building levy (also set by the Board); and individual school service charges. Details on diocesan tuition fees are available at: http://www.parra.catholic.edu.au/school-fees
As a Catholic school, St Columba’s Catholic College continues to articulate and to live the values of the Gospel and to take the life of Jesus Christ as a model. In educating young people, St Columba’s Catholic College continues to challenge students to be people of peace and to help create a school community that is characterised by relationships of care, trust, respect and forgiveness.
Paul Ryan has been working with the St Columba College community for nearly two years. “We would like our students to take pride in their personal presentation, to respect others and to demonstrate their commitment to their learning and to achieve their personal best in all that they do. St Columba’s will continue to offer a high quality Catholic education in the Blue Mountains, built on the understanding that everything we do is all about learning and having high expectations of ourselves and others."
The strong academic focus of the school is reflected in the results achieved in both external examinations and engaging learning programmes offered at the school. Students are offered a rich co-curricular programme: sport, cultural pursuits, debating, public speaking, social justice activities, Duke Of Edinburgh, drama and musical performances.
The outstanding performances of the students at the school have been recognised at regional, State, National and International levels. From sporting teams winning state competitions to student selection for HSC exhibitions, St Columba’s Catholic College offers opportunities for all gifts and talents to be recognized. The school has established a concert band, a school choir and offers music tuition during the school day. St Columba’s enjoys a Sister School relationship with Hokusetsu Senior High in Sanda, Japan. Students also have the opportunity to visit Japan on a cultural tour or through application for a six- month exchange.