What We Offer

McCarthy Catholic College Learning Framework

What Do We Offer

McCarthy Catholic College is a Catholic co-educational school for students from Year 7 to Year 12 which incorporates a traditional pathway for Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12) as well as a Trade Training Centre pathway for students wishing to get a head start in a vocational field whilst they complete their senior studies. The learning environment is built on providing students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills for them to become passionate and resilient lifelong learners who are creative, innovative and productive citizens.


McCarthy Catholic College embraces the belief that learning is a life skill which needs to be nurtured in each student. We strive to provide learning experiences that challenge students to explore the world they live in and ask questions which prompt curiosity and creativity.

In our classrooms, students are made aware of the purpose of their lessons as their teachers make explicit the learning intentions for each lesson. The teachers also develop success Criteria with their students which allows the students to know what they need to do to successfully demonstrate what they have been learning. The co-constructing of the success criteria allows the students to take ownership of what they are learning and further engages them in their classrooms.


This is at the heart of McCarthy Catholic College’s Model of Learning.


The Learning Framework is grounded on the 6 Pillars of learning: 3 of these are our charism pillars. These are Integrity, justice and peace. The other 3 are our learning focus: Engagement, Empowerment and Enterprise Skills.

The Model of Learning is the foundation of our learning at McCarthy. In Stage 4 the focus of learning will be Engagement, In Stage 5 it will be Empowerment and in Stage 6 the focus will be Enterprise Skills. We have commenced work as a learning community to design our teaching and learning based on the stage learning focus.

Learning within the college is centred on our three core values articulated in our college motto of Integrity, Justice and Peace which are imbued within our learning focus of engagement, empowerment and enterprise skills.

The focus in Stage 4 for our Year 7 and 8 students is on engagement in learning. Students are provided with a multitude of challenging learning experiences whilst catering for individual learning needs. The focus is on encouraging students to recognise the importance of learning in their lives and to actively engage in the learning experiences.

The focus in Stage 5 for our Year 9 and 10 students is to build on the learning focus of engagement developed through Stage 4 in order for the students to feel empowered to own their learning. Students are encouraged to reflect on their progress to determine their own learning needs through self-regulation and then set goals to further improve their learning.

The focus in Stage 6 for our Year 11 and 12 students incorporates the learning focuses of engagement and empowerment in order for students to develop their employability skills so when they leave McCarthy Catholic College they are ready to enter into the workplace or further study equipped with the confidence, determination and enthusiasm to take on any enterprise.

The learning focus dovetails into our learning framework which is at the core of our educational practices.

The pedagogical design of the learning framework across Years 7 to 12 is evidence based on leading educational theory which identifies key strategies for student learning. Direct instruction, Project Based Learning (PBL), flipped learning and enquiry/problem based learning are strategies which have been proven to have significant impact upon student learning outcomes.

The guiding principles which drive the learning framework are 21st century skills of critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity and digital literacy. The skills form an integral component of the educational experiences offered to our students so that they have the skills to control their own learning.

McCarthy Catholic College is privileged to be designated by the Federal Government, to be a Pathways in Technology (P-Tech) college . McCarthy is the only catholic school in NSW to be designated as a P-Tech college. P-Tech enables students to be involved in developing enterprise skills in conjunction with our industry mentors, Telstra and PwC. Students have access to and acquire very specific skills in order to be successful in diverse career pathways. Therefore we encourage all students to consider the advantages of P-Tech in the design of their senior courses. In conjunction with P-Tech, we offer the iSTEM course. iSTEM and P-Tech involve real world problem solving and the development of critical thinking, collaboration, team-work, communication, adaptability and creativity.

At McCarthy Catholic College, the desire is to ensure each student is an active participant in learning. It is important that every student is able to achieve personal success, therefore all learning caters for the diverse range of ability levels.