Sydney Catholic Schools' Sutherland Shire precinct is set to enter a new phase in 2024 with its three schools welcoming new cohorts for the first time.
Our Lady of Mercy Catholic College Burraneer and De La Salle Catholic College Caringbah will welcome their first Year 11 students this year, and St Aloysius College Cronulla will welcome Year 7 students.
The introduction of the new cohorts is the latest phase in the project, where the three colleges transformed into Year 7-12 single-sex and co-educational learning environments.
The precinct is the only one of its kind in the shire, offering families different models of Catholic education.
Principal of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic College Burraneer, Christine Harding, said staff were looking forward to welcoming the college's first senior students.
"The college has a long history of empowering young women and providing them with a strong, well-rounded education, and we're delighted to extend this to senior students for the first time," she said.
"We have a number of new, dedicated teachers with specialised knowledge and expertise in the Year 11 and 12 curriculum, and we're excited about what our students will be able to achieve under their guidance."
Principal of De La Salle Catholic College Caringbah, Peter Buxton, said the addition of Year 11 students would further establish the college as a leader in boys education in the area.
"The response to the transition from the wider community has been overwhelmingly positive and we are well positioned to provide families with an education pathway that wasn't previously available," he said.
"We have been busy recruiting specialised staff and preparing the college to be able to expertly support our new students, and we're confident that they will be given every opportunity that they need to succeed."
Principal of St Aloysius College Cronulla, Stephen Mahoney said the introduction of the new cohort represented the latest chapter in what was a period of transformation for the college.
"With our new identity and our expansion to a 7-12 college, our entire school community is feeling energised about the possibilities that lie ahead," he said.
"For the first time, we are giving parents in Sutherland Shire the option of a full Catholic Lasallian co-educational experience, and we are committed to extending our long history dating back to 1936 of fostering excellence to more families."
Director of Education and Research at Sydney Catholic Schools, Kevin Carragher, says families in the area have more choice.
"The expansion of the three colleges gives parents the ability to choose the best fit for their child, knowing that they will receive the same commitment to educational excellence at any one of the three colleges," he said.
"Within the precinct model, we're already seeing the colleges collaborating together to share resources, facilities and expertise, and we're excited about what this will continue to bring to students, families and teachers alike."
The NSW Government also completed a review of intake areas in Sydney suburbs where students previously only had a single-sex public high school. Single sex school intake areas which will have a co-educational option by 2025 include Beverly Hills Girls High School and James Cook Boys High School.
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