A whole new concept of Catholic education: College is set to go

New approaches to Catholic education are springing up around Australia. Hartford College is the latest

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Hartford College: Michael Mendieta, left, and Frank Monagle look to the commencement of the first academic year starting in February 2023. Mr Mendieta believes Hartford offers an ideal approach to learning to produce “the great men our society needs”. Photo: Giovanni Portelli

Sydney’s newest independent Catholic school for boys aims to raise men of character who have the faith, virtue and technical proficiency to make a difference in the world by “not only pursuing truth but also embodying it,” says Michael Mendieta.

The general manager of Hartford College in Daceyville in Sydney’s eastern suburbs is inviting potential parents and students to an upcoming information session on Tuesday 5 April, which will be an opportunity for a group tour of the newly-renovated classrooms and hear about the school’s wholistic approach to education.

Its three-fold approach encompassing the intellectual, spiritual and human, includes an innovative liberal arts and an individual mentoring program run in collaboration with each child’s parents.

The school will open next year with grades 5, 6 and 7 at the site of the former Sydney Catholic School eastern region offices on Banks Avenue under the leadership of principal Frank Monagle.

Mr Mendieta believes Hartford offers an ideal approach to learning which will produce “the great men our society needs”.

Technology married with Liberal Arts

He appreciates tech entrepreneur Steve Jobs’ explanation that technological excellence alone is not enough, “that it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our hearts sing”.

“But more than that,” Mr Mendieta explained, “we don’t want to just produce people who can produce great and innovative products, we certainly want to form young men who are filled with virtue and want to do good in the world, but who can also pioneer and innovate in any field they pursue.

“Here at Hartford we want to commence answering the question we find in Scripture of ‘What is truth?’. We want to equip our graduates to be young men who not only pursue but embody truth,  via both our liberal arts curriculum which draws upon the great thinkers of the Western tradition, but more importantly, by instilling truth in them. “And that ultimately goes to Christ who described himself is the way, the truth and the life.”

The college will feature small class numbers and individual mentoring of students in partnership with parents, along with a focus on fostering academic excellence with the development of the student’s character and faith.

It is expected to appeal to families throughout Sydney including the eastern, south eastern and southern suburbs, the inner west and lower north shore, and is essentially the initiative of a group of parents.

When they launched expressions of interest last year, Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP said he was impressed by their initiative and enthusiasm for “a vision for broadening the diversity of educational choice for Catholics in Sydney”.

The information evening, Tuesday 5 April at 7pm (33 Banks Ave Daceyville) will provide parents an opportunity to tour the newly renovated site, meet the team and learn more about the unique approach to learning via the mentoring program and liberal arts curriculum.

Enrolments for students in Years 5, 6 and 7 (commencing in 2023) are now open.

The information evening, Tuesday 5 April at 7pm (33 Banks Ave, Daceyville) will provide parents an opportunity to tour the newly renovated site, meet the team and learn more about the unique approach to learning via the mentoring program and liberal arts curriculum. Email [email protected] to register.