The St Columba's Catholic College Parent Handbook covers all the information you and your child will need.

It contains information about the structure of our day, our curriculum and a range of other information about student pastoral care.

You can print a full PDF version by pressing the 'PDF' button above.

If you have any further questions in relation to College times, dates, policies, or other general enquiries, please contact the school by phone on (02) 4754 8900.

General Information

At St Columba’s Catholic College, established to provide Catholic education for families in the Blue Mountains, we strive for the full human development of our students, grounded in the teachings of Jesus Christ. In working to bring faith and culture into harmony, we aim to produce graduates who take a hopeful, critical and constructive role in the service of Jesus within our society.

Inspired by the example of St Columba, scholar, prophet and lover of God’s creation, we seek to form young people in the Catholic faith and tradition whose transmission is our core purpose, so that together we will ‘Act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God’. (Micah: 6-8).

Therefore, as members of this Catholic College:


  • we place Jesus at the centre of all our decisions and actions
  • we strive for equity and excellence in teaching and learning
  • we reach out to the poor and the marginalised
  • we expect honesty and courage in our words and actions
  • we foster respectful relationships particularly through listening and forgiveness


  • we work in partnership with families
  • we respond to the needs of each individual student
  • we encourage and celebrate the contributions of every community member
  • we act out of a spirit of generous service
  • we believe that challenge and expectation are expressions of love


  • we recognise our dependence on God and on each other
  • we celebrate the gift of life and praise God as its source
  • we give expression to our relationship with God through a rich prayer and sacramental life
  • we promote a program of formation in faith which enables active participation in the life of the Church

Our Story

Our history and heritage are unique. St Columba’s was originally built as a seminary for candidates of the priesthood in 1909.

Although our architecture reminds us daily of our links to the past and our connection to St Columba, the staff and students are an active part of the contemporary world in terms of academic studies, vocational education and faith development.

In 1979 St Columba's High School was re-established as a Years 7 to 10 Catholic School by the Catholic Education Office. It was restructured as a Years 7 to 12 school in 1993.

Always a vibrant community, our students are noted for their involvement in all aspects of school. From the fun and enthusiasm of the swimming and athletics carnivals to entertaining the community with drama, music performances and lending a hand to the less well off members of society, the students of St Columba’s are always full of energy ready to involve themselves in extracurricular activities.

Timeline of school history
1839 William Lawson acquired the land
Later Sir Henry Parkes owned the land
1884 S Lees purchased the site
1908 Cardinal Moran bought the property
1909 St Columba's Seminary opened
1910 26 seminarians begin studying
1923 Brauer Hall extensions
1933 Main Porch Extensions
1957 North Building opened
1960 Chapel opened (Doc Joiner Library)
1977 St Columba's Seminary closed
1979 St Columba's High School opened
1982 First Year 10 Class
1992 Cregan Building opened
1994 Dunne and Kelly Buildings opened
First Year 12 Class
1996 Doc Joiner Library opened
1997 Iona Chapel opened
2003 'B' Block Building Demolished
2004 25th year Anniversary – St Columba's
Launch of the School Mission Statement
Launch of the School Song

School Principals
1979 – 1984 Sr Anne Henson
1984 – 1992 Mr Jim McCartan
1992 – 1998 Mr Geoff Hicks
1998 – 2001 Mr Alan Moran
2001 – 2005 Dr Anne Wenham
2005 – 2013
Mrs Delma Horan
2014 - Mr Paul Ryan

Saint Columba, patron saint of the island of Iona and patron saint of St Columba’s Catholic College, Springwood, was born on the 7th of December 521 AD near Lough Gartan in Donegal.

He came from royal Irish blood and could have been king of Ireland had he not turned to the church. His birth was foretold by Saint Patrick and his disciple, Maucta, and an angel came to his mother in a dream on the night of his birth to tell of “one who would be reckoned as one of the prophets of God who should lead innumerable souls to the heavenly country.”

Normal Days

Period Time
Home Room 8:53 
Period 1 9:05 
Period 2 9:55 
Recess 10:45 
Period 3 11:10 
Period 4 12:00 
Lunch 12:50 
Period 5 1:25 
Period 6 2:15 



Period Time
Home Room 8:53
Period 1 9:05
Period 2 9:55
Recess 10:45
Period 3 11:10
Lunch 12:00
Period 4 12:35
Period 5 1:25
Period 6 2:15


Loving God,
You share your goodness with us,
And teach us what is right.
Help us to care for all people
To act justly,
To love tenderly and
To walk humbly with you our God.

St Columba:  
Pray for us.

Columba, Columba, Columba, Columba
Columba, Columba, Columba, Columba

From the Isle of the Dove
sailed a man with God's love in his heart
Columba, Columba, Columba, Columba
and his voice could be heard
on the wings of the word
as he shared the Good News
with the world.

From far off Iona shores
to the mountains of Deep Dharug land
the message of Christ - the Way,
Truth and Life
finds a home in our lives
in our hearts and our minds
sending echoes across the whole land

Act Justly (Act Justly)
and love tenderly
and walk humbly with our God
the God of creation

We give thanks Creator God
for the beauty of mountains and sky
a place to call home - a community sown
to care for each other
and love one another
the peace of the Dove in our hearts.


Columcille - The Saint 

Columba, the latinised version of his name by which he is best known, may well be the archetype of the Celtic saint.

He is a mass of contradictions:

Stained glass depicting Saint Columba
Stained glass depicting Saint Columba
  • spending his life for the Iona mission to Scotland, yet with his heart secure in Derry
  • he was a bringer of reconciling Gospel to the Irish of the Dalriada colony and the Picts, but his pride and arrogance caused a bloody battle in his native Ireland
  • he was gentle to the weak and hospitable to the stranger, but his discipline was hard on himself and his community
  • he forswore his won noble heritage to become a wanderer for Christ, but continually involved himself in the politics of Scotland and Ireland.

From his community of Iona, the Gospel traveled to the pagan Angles of the south and across the disintegrated remains of the Roman Empire. Columba, in an odd fashion, may be the patron saint of countless small churches which flagrantly violate copyright laws in copying music and documents.

The story of Columba's exile (or at least one version of the story) has its roots in a conflict between Columba and Finnian of Clonard, his master.

The conflict centered on one of the most precious items in Ireland at the time - a book. As books were inscribed on animal skins (papyrus not being suitable to the damp Irish climate), and as cattle was the basic form of currency (the value of a person in the social order was not infrequently reckoned in cattle), a book was a symbol of wealth as well as prestige. Further, a book of Holy Scripture had particular value. Finnian owned a Psalter, the Book of Psalms.

Columba snuck into Finnian's study each night to copy Finnian's treasured possession. When Columba was discovered he was brought before the local high king, unfortunately a rival to Columba's own powerful clan. King Diarmit, hearing the case, pronounced the judgment that still echoes in our litigious time: "To every cow its calf, to every book its copy."

Columba was humiliated and when Diarmit violated the law of monastic sanctuary in order to arrest and execute a kinsman of Columba, the saint took the opportunity to rouse his own clan, the Ui Neill, to battle. Columba's clan won the day - and by chance the Psalter as well, but three thousand men lost their lives in the process.

Columba was excommunicated for a time - the normal penance for a monk who takes up arms, and was sent into exile. It wasn't a particularly effective exile as Columba did return to Ireland sometimes, once to defend the bards when the nobles, tired of the bards' political satire, sought to have the order suppressed. However, Columba's exile had enormous repercussions for the Church in England or the result of the exile was the founding of the Iona community.

From that community Celtic monks travelled through the remains of the old empire and beyond, living and sharing the life of the Gospel. From that community, less than forty years after Columba's death, an Irish monk named Aidan was sent to the kingdom of Northumbria to bring the Gospel of the people of King Oswald.




Stained glass depicting the Cathach is the battle standard of the O'Donnells and contained a psaltery said to have been written by the hand of Columba himself

While Columba created a vibrant Christian community, and served as a sort of Patron Saint of the Celtic tradition in England, the year of his death also saw the arrival of one whose values would ultimately triumph over the Celtic style, Augustine of Canterbury. The continental patter of the Church, based more on structure and order than on passion and relationships, found its foothold in the southeast of England. In less than a century after Augustine's landing, the way of Columba and Aidan was rejected by the Anglo-Saxon kings in favor of the way of Augustine and the old imperial church. Yet Augustine's mission needed the vitality and community orientation of Celtic Christianity, the tradition of Columba, to penetrate and convert the Saxon kingdoms.

The institutional breakdown of the current era creates a climate where passion and relationships speak more powerfully to the contemporary soul than order and structure. Columba's foundation at Iona has been restored in this century. God grant his style of discipleship with return to the Church as well.

Columba died on June 9, 597.

Physical Facilities

St Columba’s Catholic College is located on 600 hectares in bushland surroundings at the base of the Blue Mountains. The school’s heritage buildings and more recently constructed facilities are situated in a unique and extensive bushland setting. State-of-the-art learning facilities and resources have been developed to support a full range of subjects within all key learning areas, such as:

  • a Chapel – a sacred space for prayer, reflection and worship
  • a versatile library with open and quiet work spaces including two seminar rooms
  • fully equipped Science laboratories
  • art rooms with digital media facilities and a dark room for photography
  • drama and performing arts space with stage
  • food technology room and commercial kitchen
  • expansive woodwork and metalwork workshops
  • agriculture labs, produce gardens and lush pastures for our animals
  • music rooms
  • large playing fields, plus basketball, volleyball courts and cross country track
  • textiles room with new sewing machines
  • a career Information Centre
  • a healthy School Canteen
  • the Uniform Shop
  • a large flexible learning space for project work
  • comprehensive wireless coverage

Students are encouraged and expected to participate in as many activities as possible so that they may successfully contribute to the College and wider community. By participating, students are able to accumulate points for their house towards the winning of the Columba Cup.

Students are organised into six houses, listed below, which are led by members of the Sport and Recreation ministry.

Bradman: Sir Donald Bradman was the greatest cricketer in history and one of Australia’s most famous sports persons. The colours for Bradman House are black & white.

Chisholm: Mrs Caroline Chisholm was a famous Australian Catholic social reformer. In the 1840’s Caroline Chisholm became interested in helping migrants and set up a shelter for destitute women and girls. The colour for Chisholm House is green.

Gilroy: His Eminence Cardinal Thomas Norman Gilroy was Australia’s first cardinal, as well as a student of St Columba’s Catholic Seminary for the training of priests. The colour for Gilroy House is gold.

Henson: Sister Anne Henson was the founding Principal of St Columba’s. The colour for Henson House is red.

Lawrence: Mr Jimmy Lawrence, a long-serving caretaker of St Columba’s, is said to have been born on the property and to have welcomed the party who came to inspect it before its purchase for a future seminary. The colour for Lawrence House is blue.

Mackillop: Saint Mary Mackillop was significant for her work in establishing Catholic education, particularly education for the poor. She also established the order of the Sisters of St Joseph and is Australia’s first saint. The colour for Mackillop House is purple.

Term Dates
Term 1 Wednesday 30th January - Friday 12th April
Term 2 Tuesday 30th April - Friday 5th July
Term 3 Tuesday 23rd July - Friday 27th September
Term 4 Tuesday 15th October - Tuesday 17th December

Public Holidays
Australia Day
Monday 28th January
Good Friday
Friday 19th April
Easter Saturday
Saturday 20th April
Easter Sunday
Sunday 21nd April
Easter Monday
Monday 22nd April
Anzac Day
Thursday 25th April
Queen's Birthday
Monday 10th June
Labour Day
Monday 7th October
Christmas Day
Wednesday 25th December
Boxing Day
Thursday 26th December     

At St Columba's Catholic College we have an acceptable use of ICT policy that student's must adhere to if they are to use our school network and ICT facilities.

The policy can be found on our "iPads and Information and Communication Technology (ICT)"page.

The last page of the document has a letter of agreement that should be signed by the student and their parent/guardian.

Staff Development Days - Pupil Free 

The first day of each term is allocated to staff development. These days are pupil free days. Staff development days are undertaken for the spiritual and professional development of staff. Focus may be on curriculum development, planning, school policy development, reflection and spirituality.

The first day of each term is allocated to staff development.  These days are pupil free days.

Expectations of all at St Columba’s Catholic College

The Student Management Policy of St Columba’s Catholic College aims to develop self discipline in students and to promote ‘full human development’ (St Columba’s Mission statement).

The school community recognises each person is formed in God’s image and likeness. Therefore, we take Jesus as our model in our relationships with all people, and ‘believe challenge and expectations are expressions of love’ (School Mission Statement).

We believe in a loving God, present among us, whose son, Jesus, offers blessing to us as individuals and as a community when we do two things – love God and love each other as we love ourselves.

Therefore, we promote these value-based aims:

At the individual level:

  • Respect for others
  • Respect of others’ property
  • Respect for authority (justly exercised)
  • Awareness of right and wrong
  • Ownership of behaviour – self-discipline
  • Co-operative behaviour – actively
  • Other-centeredness rather than self-centredness; service
  • Forgiveness and compassion
  • Truthfulness and the search for truth
  • Integrity
  • Willingness to stand up for the good of other people
  • Celebration of the good in individuals
  • Justice

At the level of community:

  • Active development of a sense of community
  • Creation of a safe, encouraging and effective teaching/learning environment
  • The holistic development of all who share that environment
  • An atmosphere of reconciliation and rebuilding
  • Care for the environment of our school as a gift from God
  • Celebration of the good in our community
  • Compassion and action on behalf of the poor (materially and/or spiritually poor)

Rights and Responsibilities of students at St Columba’s Catholic College

Every student has the right to a safe and effective learning environment.  It is the responsibility of all students to ensure that this environment is maintained at all times.

  • The right to feel safe
  • The responsibility to not threaten the physical or emotional comfort of others
  • The right to learn
  • The responsibility to behave in such a manner that promotes good learning and teaching
  • The right to be valued
  • The responsibility to value the qualities of myself and others
  • The right to be heard
  • The responsibility to listen


There are no textbooks for students in Years 7 to 10, except for Mathematics. The iPads are a learning tool, consequently the College requires all students in these years to have an iPad. Many of the learning experiences within the St Columba's teaching programs have been designed with the iPad as the learning tool to promote and showcase their learning.

All faculties within the College have made a concerted effort to develop digital learning materials accessible through the iPad. In addition, there has been significant staff professional development that has focused on the use of the learning applications the students have access to on their iPad. Please read the rationale section in this site for further explanation as to why the College is pursuing thisdevice as an educational tool.

For more information about the use of iPads at the College please see the page "iPads and Information and Communication Technologies".

College Leadership Team
Mr Paul Ryan
Assistant Principals
Mr Ross Gawthorne / Miss Carol Muscat
Religious Education Co-ordinator
Mr Mark Sattler
Head of Learning Ms Chelsea Gawthorne
Head of Mission Mrs Tracy Mulhall 
Learning Support Co-Ordinator Mrs Melissa Moran
Literacy and Numeracy Co-ordinator  Ms Candice Ferey 
Administration Co-ordinator Mrs Colleen Mitchell
Business Manager Mr Chris Carpenter

Leaders of Learning
Creative Arts and Performing Arts Mrs Margaret Rust(2pt) Ms Carmen Noonan (1pt)
Mrs Sarah McCauley (2pt) Mr Michael Milgate (1pt)
HSIE  Mrs Amy Wallis (2pt) Mrs Karlie Hollifield (1pt)
LOTE  Mrs Shizue Sato (1pt)
Mathematics  Mrs Rebecca Zammitt, (2pt)  Ms Robyn King (1pt)
PD/H/PE Sports and Events Miss Lisa Nyburg,  (2pt) Mr Greg Clune (2pt)
Religious Education
Mr Mark Sattler (3pt) Mr Bruno Pahlke (1pt) TBA (1pt)
Mrs Cathryn Phillips (2pt) Mrs Chrisy Lekkas (1pt)
Mr Nick Prineas (2pt) Mrs Christie Carey (1pt)
Leader of Teaching & Learning Ms Susan Hill (1pt)
Learning Support Co-ordinator
Mrs Melissa Moran (2pt) Mrs Jennifer Higgins (1pt)
Literacy and Numeracy Co-ordinator  Ms Candice Ferey (2pt)
Mr Geoff Sullivan (3pt)
Careers Advisor
Dr John Taccori
Teacher Librarian
Mrs Belinda Sefton

Leaders of Mission
Year 7 - Ms Monique Salloum
Year 10 - Ms Belinda Pranjic
Year 8 - Mr Graham Watson
Year 11 - Mrs Tracy Mulhall
Year 9 - Ms Pip Moore Year 12 - Mr Paul Holmes

Student Leadership 2020

College Captains & Liturgy Ministry:
Mollie Bauerhuit & Tom Gawthorne

College Vice Captains & Liturgy Ministry:
Steffani Sroczynski & Corey Hutchings

Culture & Events Ministry:
Cordelia Galderisi, Zane Nassour, Katelyn Jones & Tyler Pockran

Community & Service Ministry:
Joshus Williamson, Grace Sato, Lachlan Lloyd & Ainsley Mann

Student Care Teams
Year 7 
7.1 Liz Moore
7.2 Katy Carlin
7.3 Andrew Steadman
7.4 Jake Evans
7.5 Hayley Prineas
7.6 Robert Badman

Year 8  
8.1 Karlie Hollifield
8.2 Christie Carey
8.3 Suzanne Davies
8.4 Clayton Clunes
8.5 Anne Ellis
8.6 Darin Carr

Year 9  
9.1 Mark Turnbull
9.2 Nadine Sibbald
9.3 Caeslin Ward
9.4 Elias, Abi-Elias
9.5 Jodie Cusack
9.6 Carmen Noonan

Year 10  
10.1 Michael Milgate
10.2 Vivienne McCallum
10.3 Alison Forsyth
10.4 Vince Gleeson
10.5 Christina Templis
10.6 Megan Weaver

Year 11  
11.1 Leonie Morrison/Bogg Ayesha
11.2 Jaden Ellis
11.3 Paul Waddell
11.4 Greg McDonald
11.5 Robyn King

Year 12  
12.1 Susan Hill
12.2 Christopher Howard
12.3 Jenny Higgins
12.4 Chrisy Lekkas
12.5 Randall Noney
12.6 David O'Doherty

Teaching Staff
  • Abi-Elias, Mr Elias 
  • Badman, Mr Robert
  • Bogg, Mrs Ayesha
  • Carey, Mrs Christie
  • Carlin, Mrs Katy
  • Carr, Mr Darin
  • Chamberlain, Ms Kate
  • Clune, Mr Greg
  • Clunes, Mr Clayton
  • Cusack, Mrs Jodie
  • Davies, Mrs Suzanne
  • Ellis, Mrs Anne
  • Ellis, Ms Jaden
  • Evans, Mr Jake
  • Ferey, Ms Candice
  • Forsyth, Mrs Alsion
  • Gawthorne, Miss Chelsea
  • Gawthorne, Mr Ross
  • Gleeson, Mr Vince
  • Griffiths, Mr Michael
  • Harper, Ms Natasha
  • Higgins, Mrs Jennifer
  • Hill, Ms Susan
  • Hollifield, Mrs Karlie
  • Holmes, Mr Paul
  • Howard, Mr Christopher
  • King, Mr Craig
  • King, Ms Robyn
  • Laporte, Taylor
  • Lekkas, Mrs Chrisy
  • McCallum, Mrs Vivienne
  • McCauley, Mrs Sarah
  • McDonald, Mr Gregory
  • Milgate, Mr Michael
  • Mitchell, Mrs Katy
  • Moore, Mrs Elizabeth
  • Moore, Mrs Philippa
  • Moran, Mrs Melissa
  • Morrison, Ms Leonie
  • Mulhall, Mrs Tracy
  • Muscat, Ms Carol
  • Nixon, Mrs Lydia
  • Noney, Mr Randall
  • Noonan, Ms Carmen
  • Norris, Mrs Laura
  • Nyburg, Ms Lisa
  • O'Doherty, Mr David
  • Pahlke, Mr Bruno
  • Phillips, Mrs Cathryn
  • Pranjic, Mrs Belinda
  • Prineas, Mr Nicholas
  • Prineas, Mrs Hayley
  • Rust, Mrs Margaret
  • Ryan, Mr Paul
  • Salloum, Ms Monique
  • Sato, Mrs Shizue
  • Sattler, Mr Mark
  • Sefton, Mrs Belinda
  • Sibbald, Ms Nadine
  • Steadman, Mr Andrew
  • Taccori, Dr John
  • Templis, Christina
  • Turnbull, Mr Mark
  • Waddell, Mr Paul
  • Wallis, Mrs Amy
  • Ward, Ms Caeslin
  • Watson, Mr Graham
  • Watson, Mr Shane
  • Weaver, Mrs Megan
  • Zammit, Rebecca

Support Staff
  • Brosas, Mrs Judy -Teachers Aide
  • Carpenter, Mr Chris - Business Manager
  • Cini, Mr Paul - Groundsman
  • Contini, Mrs Tessa - Teachers Aide
  • Croft, Mrs Tanya - Student Services
  • Lo Cascio, Mrs Jenny - Principal'sSecretary
  • Eisenhuth, Mrs Kerri - Uniform Shop Assistant
  • Hewitt, Mrs Christine - P.T. Finance Secretary
  • Norris, Mrs Laura - Library Assistant
  • Martin, Mr Joshua -Farmhand (weekends)
  • McCreath, Mr David - I.T. Manager
  • Mitchell, Mrs Colleen - Admin Co-ordinator
  • Morris, Mrs Chantal - Uniform Shop/Student Services
  • Morris, Mrs Patricia - Teachers Aide
  • Newton, Mrs Cath -Sickbay/Curriculum Secretary
  • O'Brien, Mrs Sandra - Enrolments Secretary
  • Rowntree, Mrs Gemma - Food Tech / Lab Assistant
  • Shannon, Mr Neil - Groundsman
  • Stopford, Mrs Catherine - Food Tech Assistant
  • Taylor, Mr Frank - Groundsman
  • Vion, Ms Roselee - Senior Finance Secretary
  • Woodward, Ms Bernadette - Receptionist
  • Wright, Mrs Julie - Lab Assistant

ASPECT staff
  • Gough, Mr Ben
  • Maguire, Mr Ben
  • McAnally, Natalie


Support Staff
  • Bragg, Mr Ron - Groundsman
  • Brosa

Skoolbag App

Skoolbag is a digital communication system for families. 


Newsletters are currently emailed to families/carers.

Important Events

In the event of a swimming/athletic carnival or a special event being cancelled an SMS will be sent to all families/carers in the morning advising you of the cancellation.

In the event of a bushfire or other natural occurrence, families/carers will receive an SMS advising of the situation.

Student attendance

If a student is absent from the morning homeroom, an SMS will be sent to the family/carer during the morning to notify you of the absence.

Uniform and Grooming

For our current College Uniform Policy please see the Uniform Policy document on this page under "St Columba's Catholic College Policies".
  • All articles of clothing are to be marked with the student’s name.
  • Articles of uniform are only available from the College Uniform Shop. Some preloved clothing is available.

The College Uniform Shop is open on Tuesdays between 8am and 2pm.


Parent/carer should telephone the College on the day of the students absence. Students should bring a note of explanation to their Homeroom Teacher on the day they return to College.

Expensive jewellery, personal music players and mobile telephones may present security problems. Students are responsible for security of these at College. The College will not be responsible for the loss or damage of such items.

The parent/carer must notify the College in writing as soon as possible. Student should give the note in to Student Services or their Homeroom Teacher.

Student should bring a note from their parent/carer to explain the situation and give it to the Homeroom Teacher who will authorise the note by signing. The student is expected to carry the signed note throughout the day to explain their incorrect uniform.

This money must be placed in a sealed envelope with the amount, purpose, your name and homeroom listed. The envelope should be deposited in the posting box in the Student Services foyer as soon as the student arrives at the College.

Student should report to the Student Services Office and obtain a late note. The late note is to be signed by your homeroom or subject teacher and returned by the student to the Student Services office before the end of the day.

Student should report to the Student Services Office and obtain a late note. The late note is to be signed by your homeroom or subject teacher and returned by the student to the Student Services office before the end of the day.

If students are not signed in by a parent, a note must be brought to College within two days to explain the reason for the lateness.

The parent/carer requests permission for this leave in advance, and in writing, to the College Principal.

In the interest of safety, parents are reminded to use the turning circle or “kiss and drop” zone to pick up and drop off students.

Student bicycles should be secured with a strong lock. Helmets are to be worn when riding.

Student should see their teacher if they are in class, or report to Clinic. Under no circumstance are students to contact parents by phone to sign them out. The clinic staff will assess the situation and make contact with the parents.

Student should take it to the Student Services office immediately.

Student should see the teacher involved as soon as possible. Details of the College assessment procedures can be found in the St Columba’s Catholic College Assessment Handbook.

Student should make an appointment to see their Homeroom Teacher, Leader of Mission or the College Counsellor. Appointments with the College Counsellor can be made directly or through your Leader of Mission, or via the referral icon on your iPad home screen.

Student should talk with your Homeroom Teacher, or their Leader of Mission, or the College Counsellor.

Student should hand it in to Student Services for safekeeping.

Students holding a current drivers licence may apply to drive to and from College. An application form can be obtained from Student Services, and submitted to the Principals Secretary. Road rules must be adhered to and cars parked in the student parking area. Unsafe driving, including, exceeding the speed limit, will result in the withdrawal of driving privileges.

Learning and Teaching

Learning is a lifelong process and children can benefit when families and schools work in partnership. At St Columba’s we value the active support and involvement of parents in the education process. Too frequently, learning preparation is perceived to be something that a child does for their teacher or something they do to avoid trouble. Yet learning preparation’s intrinsic value lies in what it can do to foster the skills and discipline of the individual. In other words, learning preparation should be something you do to improve your learning. We encourage learning preparation from the moment students enter the College. Regular learning preparation for every subject plays an essential role in a student’s learning and personal academic progress. Learning preparation should be tailored to meet the ability level and needs of the student.

Learning preparation assists in the development of skills in:

  • Personal organisation
  • Time management
  • Independent learning

Learning preparation provides students with opportunities to:

  • Reflect on the day’s learning, prepare for the next lesson, familiarise themselves with content to be covered
  • Undertake extension work
  • Practise essential subject specific skills

Learning preparation provides parents with opportunities to:

  • Monitor their child’s progress
  • Share the feedback that has been given in relation to the child’s learning
  • Engage with their child’s learning

Amount of Learning Preparation
As part of our whole College practice, the teacher will set the learning preparation as per the table below.

Parents should ensure that their child does not exceed the allotted time for each subject. If a student is unable to complete the learning preparation in the allotted time, then the parent/carer should write a note in their child’s diary to that effect.

Year 7
10 minutes per period of that day - Max. of 60 minutes of Learning Prep each school day.

Year 8
10 minutes per period of that day - Max. of 60 minutes of Learning Prep each school day.

Year 9
15 minutes per period of that day - Max. of 90 minutes of Learning Prep each school day.

Year 10 
20 minutes per period of that day - Max. of 120 minutes of Learning Prep each school day.

Year 11 
30 minutes per subject. As a suggestion - 4 x 30 = 120 minutes of Learning Prep each day, including weekends.

Year 12
30 minutes per subject. As a suggestion - 4 x 30 = 120 minutes of Learning Prep each day, including weekends.


St Columba's offers parents strong support in their serious parental responsibility to educate their children in the faith. We do not undertake to do this instead of you; we assist you. You are required to take an active interest in your child's Religious Education program and to co-operate with the school's efforts. All students are expected to attend Retreats.

Liturgy and Prayer
At St Columba's, nurturing an atmosphere where prayer is a natural response to an abiding awareness of God's loving presence goes hand in hand with the development of an appreciation of the Eucharist as source and summit of our Catholic Christian life. To this end:

  • the Religious Education curriculum strives to help students to become people of prayer, by introducing them to a range of prayer forms and giving them regular opportunities to engage in prayer
  • the Angelus is prayed daily at 12 noon by all members of the school community
  • staff pray together during weekly briefings, staff meetings, faculty and homeroom meetings
  • whole-school Eucharistic liturgies and prayer services are held at specific times, e.g. Lent, Easter, St Columba's Day and Advent
  • Year groups celebrate liturgies during retreats
  • With the assistance of our pastors, students prepare for and participate in the celebration of class-based Masses and (where possible) Reconciliation services.

The aim of the St Columba's Retreat Program is to provide students with an opportunity to understand further, appreciate and develop their relationships with God, family and friends, and to reflect on what it means to be a young person living a life based on Christian values. Each of the Year level retreats contributes to fostering this broad aim.

Students in Years 7 to 10 attend retreat days which reflect the themes particular to their Year level Religious Education programs. Because of the centrality of faith formation to the mission of St Columba's, students' attendance at year-level Retreats is compulsory. Year 11 students experience a retreat focused on the challenge to be agents of the justice proclaimed in Jesus' vision of the Kingdom of God. The Year 12 retreat flows thematically from the Religion: Catholic Studies program, concentrating on the decisions facing young adults and on how they might develop the prayerful discernment through which they can respond more wholeheartedly to God's action in their lives.

Retreats are directed by members of the College's Religious Education Department, assisted by the Homeroom team for each Year group and, where possible, involve our pastors. Thus, the faith formation of students becomes the shared responsibility of all staff members.

Pivotal to each retreat is the invitation to enter ever more fully into the celebration of faith through Eucharist and/or an extended prayer service.

Pastoral Days are social activity days, distinct from Retreats, but complementing them by facilitating students' greater contribution to (and enjoyment of) their respective year groups.

St Columba's Catholic College offers a broad curriculum that caters for a wide range of student interests and abilities. The curriculum at the School is designed to foster in each student a love of learning and a desire to reach their full academic potential. Ideally, it is well balanced, diverse and flexible, allowing students to proceed at their own pace, accelerate, if judged appropriate, and choose courses that allow them to consolidate their knowledge and skills.

The College strongly values the development of the whole person. As a Catholic College, faith development is of high importance. As part of this development, all students undertake courses in Religious Education in each year of their schooling.

In order to do this, the College has devised a curriculum structure that delivers to students a solid knowledge and skill base in a broad range of subjects during Year 7 and 8.

In Year 7, students will study subjects in the following Key Learning Areas:

  • Religious Education
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Human Society and Its Environment
  • Creative and Performing Arts
  • Technology
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

These Key Learning Areas are continued in Year 8 with the addition of studying 'Languages Other Than English' – Japanese.

During Year 9, each student undertakes a range of mandatory and elective subjects to further develop knowledge and skills in the Key Learning Areas. In Year 10, students continue this pattern of study.

During Years 11 and 12, students are able to select a pathway of study that leads to the awarding of the Higher School Certificate by the NSW Education Standards Authority. In the past, the Higher School Certificate (HSC) was structured to prepare students for University only. Today the HSC has many purposes, and the recent HSC reforms have structured courses to meet changing demands and the different expectations of the wide range of students going on to complete the HSC. Our students are able to select a pathway of study that prepares them for University, TAFE, Private Schools, or the workplace.

St Columba's Catholic College aims to offer a variety of educational experiences to a diverse range of students. The school recognises the importance of offering different pathways of study and a broad range of subjects catering for the academic and vocational needs of our students. There are different types of courses that students can select in Years 11 and 12. These courses are known as:

  • Board Developed Courses
  • Board Endorsed Courses
  • Vocational Education and Training (VET) Courses
  • TVET
  • Distinction Courses.

The Curriculum structure for Years 7 to 10 is outlined in the following pages.  Also outlined are the Year 11 and 12 courses and subjects currently offered by St Columba's Catholic College. In addition to the courses and subjects listed, students are able to study Community Languages through Saturday School from Year 7 to 12 or at the Open High School in Year 11 and 12.

Key Learning Area Year 7 Curriculum Year 8 Curriculum
Religious Education Religious Education Religious Education

English English English

Mathematics Mathematics Mathematics

Science Science Science

Human Society and its Environment Geography / History Geography / History
Technological and Applied Studies Rotation of:  Textiles and Design, Agriculture Woodwork, Metalwork and Food Technology Rotation of:  Textiles and Design, Agriculture Woodwork, Metalwork and Food Technology

Creative and Performing Arts Rotation of: Visual Arts and Music Rotation of: Visual Arts and Music

Languages Other Than English NA Japanese

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education PDHPE PDHPE

Key Learning Area Year 9 Curriculum Mandatory Year 10 Curriculum Mandatory
Religious Education   Religious Education   Religious Education
English English English
Mathematics Mathematics Course 1 Course 2 Course 3 Mathematics Course 1 Course 2 Course 3
Science Science Science
Human Society and Its Environment Australian Geography / History, Civics and Citizenship Australian Geography / History, Civics and Citizenship
Physical Development, Health & Physical Education PDHPE PDHPE Careers
Sport Representative Sport Internal Sport Representative Sport Internal Sport

Human Society and Its Environnent   Commerce   Commerce  
Languages other than English Japanese Japanese

Creative & Performing Arts Visual Arts or
Design or
Music or
Visual Arts or
Design or
Music or

Technological and Applied Studies Industrial Technology -Wood 
Info & Software Technology or
Agricultural Technology or
Food technology or
Textiles and Design
Industrial Technology-Wood 
Info & Software Technology or
Agricultural Technology or
Food technology or
Textiles and Design

PDHPE   Physical Activity & Sports Science   Physical Activity & Sports Science


Table 1 - List of Board Developed Courses on Offer
Key Learning Area Preliminary & HSC Courses 2 Units in Year 11 and 12 Extension Courses 1 Unit course Preliminary and HSC

Religious Education Studies of Religion l or 2

English English
Standard English
English – Preliminary
English – Extension 1
English – Extension 2

Mathematics Mathematics
General Mathematics
Mathematics – Ext. 1
Mathematics – Ext. 2

Science Biology
Senior Science
Earth and Environmental Science

Human Society and its Environment Ancient History
Business Studies
Legal Studies
Modern History

History – Extension.
Technological and Applied Studies Design & Technology
Engineering Studies
Industrial Technology – Cat. B Information Processes & Tech.
Software Design & Development
Primary Industries Agriculture

Creative and Performing Arts Music 1
Music 2
Visual Arts
Visual Design

Languages Other Than English Japanese Continuers
Saturday School Languages

Japanese – Extension.
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education PDHPE  
Total Hours 240 60

At St Columba's Catholic College, all excursions form part of the curriculum and are related to the teaching and learning program offered at the school. A learning experience may encompass sporting activities.

It is recognised that excursions and incursions may interrupt the normal learning routines of students and that they can attract additional costs for parents/caregivers. In all excursion and incursion proposals, the cost to parents is weighed against the anticipated value of the learning experience. All excursions and incursions are organised with the legal and moral responsibilities for the welfare of all students involved in them. Risk assessments are conducted for all school excursions.

Attendance and participation are expected and families are given advance warning of these activities via a letter home. If an excursion letter is misplaced, students may ask for another copy at the Student Services office, or by asking the organising teacher.

The school library is centrally located at the eastern end of the main quadrangle. It is open every day of the school year, from 8:20am to 3:30pm. Students are able to borrow resources throughout the year (including holiday periods). Internet access, laptops, iPads, printing (B/W and colour) and photocopying facilities are available in the library. Students are actively encouraged to make full use of the diverse resources available in the library in their studies and recreational reading. Library staff are welcoming of all student queries and help with assignments and research projects is always available. A friendly, informal, yet studious atmosphere is encouraged in the library.

College Bus Timetable

The College bus timetable is available on the Blue Mountains Transit website at the following address: