Looking at the challenges of this year, I am reminded of what Jesus says at the end of Chapter 13 of Matthew’s Gospel. He speaks there of a householder taking out of his storehouse, “things both old and new,” (Mat. 13:52). This year we have been faced with the challenge and privilege of being part of dramatic new beginnings. Change however, also presupposes an element of permanence. It is usually unwise to simply take a big broom and sweep everything clean, as though there was nothing good about what was built before. The trick is to recognise that which is of lasting value from the past and to balance it with the desperate need for change in the present. One should guard against being overly nostalgic about the past, whilst at the same time avoiding unrealistic idolization of the fresh beginnings.
CBC Mount Edmund has indeed been blessed with an incredible opportunity to start over again on many fronts. The sense of excitement tingled with an unmistakable touch of dread, has been palpable. I think that most of us have welcomed the particular way in which each of us has been empowered, encouraged and challenged to start re-inventing ourselves. Inevitably, of course, that means that we have to be dragged out of our comfort zones, and shake off the complacency.
I find it quite remarkable and intriguing how this drive for change has, at the same time, had the effect of inviting us to look at our roots anew. So, whilst we find ourselves thinking “out of the box” at every turn, we also find ourselves asking who we really are as CBC and where exactly is that we come from. At one moment we are doing more than we thought we could do and being more than we thought we could be, like the new team of daily “traffic wardens”. In the next breath we are rediscovering hidden treasures on our campus that have always been there, like the stone murals on many of the buildings.
For me the most endearing element of this journey is the sense of empowerment! I need to congratulate Mr.Langton, for the unique way he has ultimately challenged and empowered each and every one of us to dig deeper and stretch further. Even the “Fattis and Monis Granny” has been released from bondage, and dragged kicking and screaming out of the cupboard.
CBC Mt Edmund is a caring community inspired by Catholic traditions and values where all may feel valued, confident and secure. We believe that any person in our community is gifted, unique and loved by God with an immense capacity to achieve great things with Christ as inspiration.
This College seeks to educate the whole person; respecting and nurturing individual talents and gifts while challenging each to aspire to personal excellence. The College endeavours to develop in each person a sense of their own dignity and worth and a respect for others. Staff and students are challenged to contribute to the creation of a just society.”
Originally most Catholic schools were established to respond to the needs of the socially and economically disadvantaged, and seen as agents of transformation. Faced with the pressures of our consumerist, competitive and materialistic society, and bombarded by messages about what counts as success, we affect and inspire learners to go through life empowered by Gospel values of sharing, simplicity, service and solidarity with a sense of purpose, to open the way for the Kingdom of God. We strive to be an outward-looking community permeated by the Gospel spirit of love and freedom.
CBC acknowledges parents as the primary educators for the faith formation of their children and seeks to support them in this role. Special attention will be devoted to the development of personal qualities, values and attitudes in accordance with the school mission statement:
CBC aims to give your child an excellent all-round education which promotes knowledge, understanding, skills and values in the context of spiritual, moral, intellectual, physical and social development. The message of Christ inspires the curriculum and all aspects of school life. CBC seeks to develop a working partnership with parents, learners, and the local community we serve. It is through these partnerships that students use their gifts and talents and develop as capable and well-adjusted people of faith and values who come closer to knowing their God.
While all learning within the College contributes to the religious development of our students, central to the religious life of the College is the Religious Education program. Religious Education is at the heart of the College curriculum, and seeks to lead students to a sense of self-worth, a spirit of care for others (especially the poor and marginalised), and to an awareness of God in their lives. Daily prayers, and weekly assemblies and liturgy helps to nurture their spiritual growth and well-being.
The curriculum taught during RE lessons is based on guidelines given to schools by the CIE (Catholic Institute of Education) and supported by the CSO (Catholic Schools Office). Instruction for the Sacraments of First Holy Communion, Reconciliation and Confirmation are offered as part of the Religious Education programme for those learners practicing the Catholic faith. Learners must be affiliated to a Parish and the priest has to give written permission.
The education which we offer at CBC Mount Edmund is person-centred. It promotes the dignity, self-esteem and full development of each person who is made in God’s image and uniquely loved by God. We support our learners in leading fulfilling and purposeful lives where they can contribute to the common good. The ethos of the college promotes the spiritual, moral, intellectual, social and personal development of all and is rooted in the uniqueness of learners and of their need for individual support and guidance. The pastoral care dimension is the ethos of the college in tangible register. What determines the effectiveness of pastoral care at CBC Mount Edmund is the quality of relationships at all levels in the college.
The college has a long-standing tradition of excellent behaviour and outstanding pastoral care. We firmly believe that high standards of behaviour lead to increased levels of achievement, enjoyment and participation, from which we all benefit. We look to cultivate a community which promotes tolerance, respect and sensitivity to the needs of others so that learners realise their duties and responsibilities to their neighbour as well as their personal rights and freedoms.
At CBC Mount Edmund, every child matters to us. We adopt a multi-agency approach in supporting all of our learners to enable them to achieve and be a success. The college sets very high standards for all learners. We expect them to respect the needs of others, to anticipate consequences and to justify their actions. We encourage learners to develop self-discipline with regard both to learning and behaviour, within and outside the college community.
At CBC Mount Edmund we see pastoral care as being central to the success of all learners in the college. The pastoral care policy of the college aims to:
- Create and nurture a positive learning environment, where all learners feel safe, respected and are happy.
- Create a caring environment where all learners are valued for who they are, not just for what they can do.
- Implement the code of discipline in an atmosphere of trust and care.
- Develop relationships between learners and staff based on fairness, honesty and consistency.
- Promote a sense of achievement and self-worth within the academic and non-academic experience of each student.
- Support high standards of teaching and learning so that all learners may achieve their full potential.
- Respond in an effective way to learners’ concerns, fears and anxieties.
- Strengthen the partnership between college and home and foster a sense of shared responsibility.
- Enable and encourage all learners to take full advantage of the educational opportunities on offer at CBC Mount Edmund.
It cannot be over-stressed that the pastoral care of our learners is the responsibility of the whole community. The way we treat, talk to, interact with and indeed teach learners will all contribute to the quality of our pastoral care. The college is firmly committed to developing and maintaining strong home- college partnerships and we welcome and encourage parents to be closely involved in all aspects of their child’s life at the college. We also recognise parents as the primary educators of their children and, with their support, we endeavour to educate the “whole person” and in so doing, help that person realise her/his innate potential and grow to become a caring and good citizen who will play a worthwhile and rewarding role in society.
EDMUND RICE EDUCATION BEYOND BORDERS (EREBB)
Since 1802, when the first school began in Waterford, Ireland, Edmund Rice education has grown in over 20 countries. Across the world, over 170,000 students are educated in Edmund Rice schools. Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders (EREBB) is an International network of Catholic schools educating young people from many different faiths and cultures. In over 20 countries they endeavour to promote global solidarity and offer a transformational education for justice and liberation.
EREBB was inaugurated in May 2014 when leaders representing Edmund Rice Education gathered in Nairobi Kenya to establish an inclusive international network of Edmund Rice educational communities.
EREBB espouses a Shared Commitment, expressed as follows:
In this spirit of global solidarity, they are committed to:
- Supporting each other in developing an Identity that reflects our shared ethos and Catholic Character while recognising our diversity
- Working in partnership throughout the world to support quality and transformational education.
- Being educational communities that are immersed in each other’s realities, striving to make justice, peace and human rights a global reality.
- Using available technologies to connect, gather and journey together.
- Providing opportunities for formation that nurtures a Gospel spirituality and challenges us to embrace a church of, with and for the poor.
- Forming leaders capable of inspiring communities to undertake this global vision.
EREBB is a great opportunity for CBC Mount Edmund students and staff to look beyond the school gates and realise that they are part of a huge global network of Edmund Rice schools. More information about Edmund Rice Education Beyond Borders and current initiatives being undertaken can be found on the EREBB website www.erebb.org.
Many learners belong to the Edmund Rice Society. Justice and advocacy issues are raised and discussed. Awareness campaigns are run to create awareness of human rights injustices. Working together with the Justice Desk, based in Cape Town we support various campaigns and provide opportunities for learners to be ‘doers for justice’, and agents of change. Participation raises awareness of systemic injustice and provides opportunities for practical involvement, immersion, and active citizenship. This charism promotes the principles of justice, democracy, peace, community engagement, non-violence and empowerment.
The need to serve a cause greater than oneself and the importance of caring for others finds tangible expression within the Edmund Rice Society (ERS). We acknowledge that God has given us many talents and resources for our own benefit as well as the benefit of others. In seeking to bring social justice to the world, we must learn to recognise our own giftedness and generously share those gifts for the service of others. There are many opportunities to do this at Mt Edmund. The College is developing a program of experiences and opportunities to support students to engage with the wider community in order to develop a more just world for all.
We seek to support the Edmund Rice ethos of ‘presence, compassion and liberation’ to contribute to the Catholic aims of justice, peace and stewardship for the integrity of creation. Each person in our school community is challenged to ‘make a difference’ to the circles of community to which they belong.