All schools including Sydney Catholic Schools follow the same Kindergarten to Year 12 curriculum, with our Catholic values underpinning everything that we do.

With a focus on the development of the whole person, courses offered at the school cover the NESA syllabus requirements – developing the core skills of literacy and numeracy – and our Archdiocesan Religious Education curriculum.

Our teachers extend and challenge students to be the best they can be, while recognising that every student is unique and learns differently.

St Mary’s Cathedral College offers a comprehensive range of courses for students of all academic abilities. In their first years at the College, students are required to follow a pattern of study as determined by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). As students move into Stages Five and Six they are given more choice in the subjects they study.

We conduct an exhaustive subject selection process where we endeavour to match each student with an individual pattern of study, which best suits his needs. As a systemic Catholic school, all students are required to complete the board endorsed Religious Education program from Years 5 to 10 and to complete one of the Religious Education Courses in Stage 6.

Primary: Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4) and Stage 3 (Years 5 & 6)

St Mary’s Cathedral College’s Primary School Sydney provides a quality Catholic and music/choral education for boys from Years 3-6. There are two classes, one Stage 2 class (Years 3 & 4) and one Stage 3 class (Years 5 & 6).

The Primary classes follow the NESA syllabus in their learning in the seven Key Learning Areas (KLAs): English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, History, Geography, Creative Arts and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE). Religious Education is the Sydney Catholic Schools Syllabus.

Boys may apply for enrolment as choir scholars – Year 3 only, or as a music scholar for Years 3-5. Prospective choir scholars need to contact the St Mary’s Cathedral Song School for an audition prior to applying to the College. Enrolment is conditional upon continuing their instrumental and choral education.

Students follow a pattern of study in both Year 7 and Year 8, which covers all the mandatory hours as prescribed by NESA.

In Year 7 students study Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, History (HSIE), Technology, Music and PDHPE. In Year 8 the students complete their required hours in Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Geography (HSIE), Technology, PDHPE, Languages other than English (Italian), and Visual Arts.

As well as completing Religious Education and their mandatory NESA hours of study in English, Mathematics, Science, HSIE and PDHPE, students in Year 9 are given the opportunity to select two (2) electives courses that they study for two years. Students may choose from the following electives:

  • CAPA: Drama, Music, and Visual Arts
  • HSIE: Commerce, Elective Geography, and Elective History
  • Languages: Italian
  • PDHPE: Sports Studies
  • Technology: Industrial Technology, Information Software Technology, and Graphics Technology.

Subject Selection Handbook Year 9-10

Students accepted into St Mary’s Cathedral College for their Preliminary and HSC years are required to complete at least one Religious Education course (Studies of Religion 1, Studies of Religion 2, or Studies in Catholic Thought). They are also required to complete a pattern of study that fulfils the NESA requirements. This includes a compulsory English Course (English Studies, English Standard, or English Advanced). Students are then required to choose at least 10 more units of study from the following courses:

  • CAPA: Drama, Music 1, Music 2, Visual Arts, Visual Design
  • English: Extension 1, Extension 2
  • HSIE: Ancient History, Business Studies, Economics, Geography, History Extension, Legal Studies, Modern History, Society and Culture
  • Languages: Italian Beginners, Italian Continuers
  • Mathematics: Mathematics Standard, Mathematics Advanced, Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2
  • PDHPE: PHDPE, SLR/Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation (Board Endorsed Course)
  • Science: Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Physics, Investigating Science
  • Technology: Construction (VET), Engineering Studies, Graphics Technology, Industrial Technology, Information Processes and Technology, Software
  • Design and Development.

Subject Selection Handbook Senior Studies

Curriculum Subjects:

Religious Education is at the heart of Catholic education. It informs all aspects of school life and supports the evangelising and catechising mission of the Catholic Church. Through Religious Education, young people come to know and love the person of Jesus Christ.

All students are expected to participate in the religious life of the school. This includes their participation in Religious Education classes, their study of the Archdiocesan curriculum and their use of the To Know, Worship and Love textbooks and resources.

While recognising that parents are the first educators of their children in faith, the secondary Religious Education curriculum enables our students to see and respond to God in their lives.

Through a variety of experiences the Religious Education curriculum nurtures the natural capacity that young students have for curiosity, imagination and wonder. The students are invited to reflect on sacred Scripture, talk with God through prayer, discover the beauty of God’s creation and explore the meaning of symbols and rituals.

Through the study of English students learn about the power, value and art of the English language for communication, learning and enjoyment. Developing proficiency in English enables students to become confident communicators, critical and imaginative thinkers and lifelong learners. Students develop their language skills through activities involving speaking and listening, reading and writing, and viewing and representing. They learn about language and literature through working with a wide range of print, spoken, visual, media, multimedia and digital texts.

The Sydney Catholic Schools Statement on Literacy provides further elaboration on the principles of literacy and various roles within and across our schools.

NSW Education Standards Authority

The Mathematics syllabus provides students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills in mathematics and working mathematically. Students have the opportunity to develop increasingly sophisticated and refined mathematical understanding, fluency, communication, reasoning, analytical thought and problem-solving skills. These capabilities enable students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations by employing strategies to make informed decisions and solve problems relevant to their present and future needs.

The Sydney Catholic Schools Statement on Numeracy provides further elaboration on the principles of numeracy and various roles within and across our schools.

NSW Education Standards Authority

Through the study of Science students learn about our biological, chemical, geological, physical and technological world. They actively develop skills in planning and conducting investigations, recording and analysing data, and problem solving. Students explore real world phenomena and develop solutions to authentic problems.

Students develop knowledge of scientific concepts and ideas about the living and non-living world. They gain increased understanding about the unique nature and development of scientific knowledge, the use of science and its influence on society, and the relationship between science and technology.

Students actively engage individually and in teams in scientific inquiry. They use the processes of Working Scientifically to plan and conduct investigations. By identifying questions and making predictions based on scientific knowledge and drawing evidence-based conclusions from their investigations, students develop their understanding of scientific ideas and concepts, and their skills in critical thinking and problem-solving. They gain experience in making evidence-based decisions and in communicating their understanding and viewpoints.

NSW Education Standards Authority

Human Society and its Environment is the study of how humans interact with the world, how society operates and how it is changing. Through the study of HSIE, students develop the skills to prepare them to actively and responsibly participate as informed citizens in the contemporary world.

NSW Education Standards Authority

Study in the Creative Arts provides students with strong discipline based knowledge and the fundamental skills, creative expertise, learning mindset and critical capabilities for the future world of work. Creative Arts students experience and develop the complex skills required to create and test ideas, generate creative works with confidence, shape inquiry and critically evaluate and reflect on what they do. Study in the Creative Arts prepares students to be significant producers and informed consumers of culture.

NSW Education Standards Authority

Through the study of Personal Development, Health and Physical Education courses, students develop the knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes needed to take action to protect and enhance their own and others’ health, safety and wellbeing in varied and changing contexts. Physical education is fundamental to the acquisition of movement skills and concepts to enable students to participate in a range of physical activities – confidently, competently and creatively.

NSW Education Standards Authority

To cater for the variety of interests and abilities of our students, we offer a range of VET courses that enable students to achieve nationally-recognised VET qualifications at certificate levels I, II and III.

VET courses provide students with practical learning that gives them a head start with their career, and many may be counted towards the ATAR and are suitable for students on both academic and vocational pathways.

All courses have dual accreditation with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA).

For students who are committed to a vocational pathway, they can access one of Sydney Catholic Schools’ four industry-standard trade training/skills centres where they have the opportunity to gain their HSC with a focus on vocational programs and School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBATs).

Where circumstances necessitate, students can complete their HSC over several years. Students and parents should contact the Leader of Learning, Curriculum to discuss their individual situation.