The Religion Curriculum and the Religious Life of the School, together, present students at San Sisto with a Dominican Catholic Christian worldview and invite them into the life of a community guided by that worldview.
From the first moment that a student sets foot in a Catholic school, he or she ought to have the impression of entering a new environment, one illumined by the light of faith, and having its own unique characteristics. The inspiration of Jesus must be translated from the ideal into the real. The Gospel spirit should be evident in a Christian way of thought and life which permeates all facets of the educational climate. (Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, 1988, n.25).
San Sisto derives its culture and identity from its Dominican Catholic Christian character. As a school established by the Dominican sisters and now a school ‘in the Dominican tradition’, we place much importance on the Dominican charism, through which lens we interpret the person of Jesus and the call of the gospel.
Learning and Teaching
Religious Education is a key part of learning at San Sisto College.
In each year, as a student journeys through the College, they are enriched through the study of religion. In Year 7-10 they study Religious Education as outlined in the Archdiocese of Brisbane Religious Education Curriculum P-12 edition 2 document. In Year 11-12 students can choose between Religion and Ethics and Study of Religion.
At San Sisto College the Religious Education teacher plays a pivotal role in providing a well-rounded education for each student. Each teacher undertakes the role of witness, moderator and specialist. The following explanation of each of these roles is taken from page 13 of the Brisbane Religious Education Curriculum P-12 edition 2 document.
As witness, the teacher presents the Catholic tradition as a living faith and an attractive option, with a humble and supportive attitude that is open to additional sources of wisdom outside of the Catholic tradition. Teachers authentically, with enthusiasm and vulnerability, offer their constructed, particular and Christian synthesis of faith understood as a work-in-progress. 'In other words, the religious educator is someone who can and must bear witness to the traditions to which s/he has derived her/his own religious/ideological identity' (Pollefeyt, 2008, p.15).
As moderator, the teacher brings into dialogue students' issues, experiences and thinking both within the Catholic tradition and beyond. Teachers respect the freedom that comes with the process of discernment and are able to equip students with the tools to do so. The moderator creates opportunities for young people to voice their questions, and an environment in which they are able to grapple with their questions without feeling judged. The moderator is ready and able to 'steer students along the process of complex and multifaceted correlations that they develop between their own experience and religious and non-religious traditions' (Pollefeyt, 2008, p.15).
As specialist, the teacher offers opportunity to develop deep knowledge of matters concerning Christianity, Catholicism, and other religious, philosophical and secular perspectives. Young people seek rational and critical explanations to complex issues, at the same time developing their critical thinking.' The young have many questions about the faith, but desire answers which are not watered-down, or which utilize pre-fabricated formulation' (Synod of Bishops, 2018, part III, no 11). The specialist draws artfully upon their good levels of knowledge and theological expertise about Christianity and the Catholic faith, as well as solid background to the various life philosophies and religions (Pollefeyt, 2008).
It is also explained in the Curriculum section of this website, under the junior subject, Religion, and the senior subjects, Study of Religion and Religion and Ethics.
The second dimension, outlined in the Archdiocesan document, Religious Life of the School, is explained below.
San Sisto is both an educating and an evangelising community. By ‘evangelising’ we mean that all members of the community are invited into a conversation about meaning and purpose in life, a conversation motivated and inspired by the good news of Jesus Christ. That invitation comes through the culture of the school, including the life witness of staff and students, and curriculum.
What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).
At San Sisto, we recognise the importance of education for just action. As well as learning about Catholic social teaching in the classroom, students are challenged, and given opportunities, to become involved in working for justice, locally and beyond.