Enhancing Catholic School Identity Project

In 2014, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Primary School participated in the Enhancing Catholic School Identity Project. Today, Catholic schools in Australia often find themselves challenged to express their distinctiveness, identity and vision as schools in a society where the Christian faith is increasingly marginalised. To assist schools in facing these present realities, Brisbane Catholic Education has entered partnership with other Dioceses and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. The Year 5 and 6 students, school staff and parents completed surveys and questionnaires which explored how Catholic identity is lived and shaped at OLSH, how the school would like to see its Catholic identity expressed and what potential is present to realise our preferred Catholic identity.

Our survey and questionnaire results presented the following recommendations from KU Leuven:

  • Encourage a post-critical belief amongst students rather than a literal belief. A Post-Critical belief centres around faith in God which is represented symbolically (eg rituals, sacraments, music). This type of belief is open to continuously searching for religious meaning and significance while maintaining a strong belief in God. According to the research, this is the most fruitful type of belief for the development of Catholic identity within a school.
  • Adopt a recontextualised approach. Recontextualisation tries to understand the Christian faith re-interpreted in a contemporary cultural context to ensure that the faith remains recognisable, credible and meaningful for contemporary people. This can be achieved through Biblical interpretation, artwork, music and liturgy.
  • Maintain maximum Christian identity through Catholic inspiration and maximum solidarity with others through dialogue within a multicultural society.

Continue to develop the school as a place to grow closer to God through enriching prayer experiences.