Plans to grow innovative new learning spaces and lunch-time programs are well afoot and causing much excitement at St Christopher’s Catholic Primary School Panania.

In 2018 the school will have designed and built 15 new contemporary classrooms and a new, modern library to go with its six bright and modern Kindergarten and Year 1 classrooms, which were refurbished in late 2015.

Principal Jamie Wahab said the direction fit perfectly with this year’s Catholic Schools Week theme for Sydney Catholic schools, ‘Inspiring spirits and minds’, and was supported by quality teaching and a range of learning and spiritual development opportunities for students.

As an accredited school for gifted education, St Christopher’s also has a diverse program to cater for the needs of students who may be gifted in the academic, sporting or creative fields.

“The Newman program for English and Mathematics has been a huge success, providing challenge classes for students who have demonstrated a flair for these subjects,” Mr Wahab said.

“We have also designed a different kind of Covered Outdoor Learning Area, where children will be able to play and mums and dads will be able to sit down, have a chat and learn more about how children learn in today’s information age.

“The school wants every child to reach their potential, and to develop a love of learning and a love of their faith.  Our dynamic, talented teaching staff are committed to helping every student want to improve in everything that they do, to be the best that they can be.

“Parents are very much encouraged to participate in all aspects of school life, which has helped to develop a strong, welcoming community where everyone is encouraged to use their gifts to help others and make lots of new friends in the process.”

Among the new initiatives at St Christopher’s are lunch-time clubs for origami, LEGO, yoga and jewellery making. Students can also learn how to play an instrument or attend after school dance clubs. Hip-hop is extremely popular.

Mr Wahab said faith development lies at the heart of what it is to be a Catholic School and St Christopher’s was very proud of its spiritual development program, which included an annual day retreat for students held at various beautiful locations all over Sydney. The school motto, Caritas, means love and service and this is lived out by encouraging the students to live their lives using Jesus as a role model, always remembering to try to help those who are in need.

“Inspiring hearts and minds is exactly what we are about at St Christopher’s,” Mr Wahab said.

“We very much look forward to meeting prospective parents to show them our wonderful school. Our students will run tours around the school on our open day because, of course, they are our greatest advertisements and we are incredibly proud of each one of them.”

Catholic Schools Week is on March 5 to 11. Sydney Catholic schools are celebrating with the theme ‘Inspiring spirits and minds’.

The article was published on About Catholic Schools.