Good Shepherd endeavours to give a Catholic Christian interpretation of our world through the teaching in Religious Education. Students at Good Shepherd participate in Religious Education lessons each day. In these lessons, they learn about prayer and how to pray; about Jesus, his life and his teachings; various Bible stories and their authors; and the history of the Catholic Church tradition and its place in our modern world. Through the teaching of Religious Education at Good Shepherd, the teachers propose the Catholic tradition to students rather than impose it. We acknowlegde the faith and religious backgrounds of many Good Shepherd students are not Catholic or Christian and we value them as creations of God.
Religious Education is taught through an inquiry approach where students are encouraged to ask questions about the concepts they are learning. Engaging and relevant resources are provided to help engage students in ‘finding out’ rather than being ‘told’ what to learn. In this way, teachers at Good Shepherd endeavour to promote wonder and curiosity in the students
Scripture is an integral part of learning in Religious Education, however learning about the Bible and its stories can sometimes be tricky for students. Good Shepherd teachers and students use the 'Worlds of the Text' strategy as a way to break open and understand Scripture.
This strategy consists of:
- the world Behind the Text, where students learn about the historical and cultural context of the author, their audience and purpose of the text;
- the world Of the Text, where students look at language features of the text and begin to decipher what message the author wants to portray through the type of text written and the words used and;
- the world In Front of the Text, where students apply the message to their own lives and the situation of the modern world
Celebrations of Learning and Masses
In 2020, Good Shepherd moved from Prayer celebrations to Celebrations of Learning. These celebration showcase the learning that happens in the classroom in all subjects. Please refer to the Good Shepherd School calendar for dates and year presenting.
The Eucharist is the summit and source of a Catholic Christian's life. Each term, students participate and pray in Mass with the parish and for holy feasts. Please refer to the Good Shepherd School calendar for dates and times. All families are welcome to come.
As a Catholic school in the Holy Spirit, Gungahlin parish, Good Shepherd school works collaboratively with Holy Spirit Catholic Parish for the growth of our students in faith and understanding of the Catholic Faith.
Mini Vinnies is a thriving social justice group at Good Shepherd that follows the motto ‘See, Think, Do’. It is a primary school program connected with the St Vincent de Paul society. For many years Good Shepherd Mini Vinnies has held the record for the biggest Mini Vinnies in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and possibly in Australia. Our annual Mini Vinnies whole-school events continue to raise awareness and donations for those in Canberra doing it tough.
Winter Woollies (Term 2)
Students donate clothing and money to donate to the Night Patrol van. These donations go to those in Canberra sleeping rough to help them stay warm during those cold nights. Students come to school in their own Winter Woollies.
Mini Vinnies Sleep out (Term 3)
During Term 3, students in Year 4, 5 & 6 are given the opportunity to sleep in the hall overnight to gain an experience of sleeping rough. Students look for sponsors to help them raise money that is donated to the St Vincent de Paul Society Night Patrol.
Christmas hampers (Term 4)
Each class creates a Christmas hamper to be donated to a family in the Gungahlin area at Christmas time. Each student is allocated an item to buy an bring in to add to the hamper. These are offered at our end of year Thanksgiving Mass.
School of Hope
Good Shepherd’s partnership with the School of Hope began in 2011. Ms Penny vanZwol’s Year 5 class was completing a Religion unit on social justice and service to others. To make it a ‘real’ experience for the children Penny joined forces with Jann and Simon Carroll from Global School Partners. Good Shepherd was one of the first schools in Canberra to join Global School Partners and so our association with The School of Hope in Kenya began.
Year 5 vanZwol raised money to supply the School of Hope with a small water tank for drinking water. Jann gave each of the children a box of Smarties. They were allowed to eat the smarties but were challenged to bring back the Smartie box full of money. They were asked, 'What can you do to get the money?' The children planned to do a variety of jobs where they could earn money and then bring it in to school which is what they did.
Jann and Simon from Global School Partners are committed to building children’s knowledge and understanding of a lifelong commitment to social justice. From this initial donation by Year 5 our whole school became involved. It has been through the enthusiasm and generosity of our school community that we have been able to raise money for the following: a container of school and sport supplies, flushing toilets, a classroom, electricity, mobile library and library books, and bricks to build more classrooms.
Being a partner with the School of Hope is a real opportunity for the children to live out our school prayer by being 'the hands, eyes, voice and feet of Jesus'.
Good Shepherd Primary School is one of three primary schools that is connected to Holy Spirit Parish in Gungahlin. Holy Spirit Parish, together with the primary schools, run a sacramental preparation program for the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and Eucharist (Year 3 in Term 3) and Confirmation (Year 6 in Terms 1 & 2).
The parish, together with the schools, aim to help the parents in their role as primary teachers of the Catholic Christian faith to their children by teaching lessons to help prepare students to receive the sacraments. A home program also helps the parents in their role as transmitters of faith to their children.
If you would like more information regarding the parish Sacramental program please contact Louise Johnson (Sacramental Coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Anthony O’Connell (REC) at email@example.com