Our Lady of Sacred Heart International School
Curriculum at OLSH International
Our School Context:
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart International School is located in Kavieng, in the Province of New Ireland. OLSH was opened in 1958, by the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSCs) as the first Catholic School in town. Since the time of its opening, it has been recognized as an “integrated school” – as all races have always been accepted. Initially operating as a P-6 school for close to 50 years, 2004 saw the first Year 8 class graduated from OLSH. In 2008, the first class of Year 9 was introduced, and subsequently, 2009, the first group of Year 10 students will receive their international education at OLSH. Every year since Year 8 began at OLSH, the school has topped New Ireland province in the year 8 National Examinations. OLSH International is widely known for providing quality and affordable private education to the people of New Ireland for 50 years. OLSH International celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2008.
Since opening in 1958, OLSH has prided itself on the extensive implementation of an international curriculum, predominantly following the N.S.W syllabus. Besides the formal education which takes place in the classroom setting, students are presented with ample opportunities for sports, entertainments and other extra-curricular activities.
In 1986, OLSH was registered as a ‘permitted school’ under section 100 of the 1983 Education Act, with the special condition of ‘International School’. After this move, the government stopped funding of International Schools. This being the case, the Catholic Mission was unable to fund the operation of the school and pay the teaching staff. During this time, OLSH was faced with closure. Along with this, the MSC sisters had decided to relocate their sisters elsewhere leaving no more sisters at OLSH. During this difficult time, the Board of Management negotiated with the Catholic Mission personnel to take full control of the school, increase school fees and manage the school’s finances. The bishop agreed to this and this is the current arrangement at the school. By the 1990s the Board of Management had negotiated with various volunteer groups to continue to staff the school with both expatriates and national teachers.
As the enrollments have increased over the years, more teachers have been employed, with a number of these being expatriates. Over more recent times, with the support of the school’s Board of Management, the school has moved forward in leaps and bounds, with an enrollment of close to 350 students in 2010. Currently, students in the Prep-4 years have full-time teacher aides, and another teacher is given release time to serve to the students with special needs.
The school takes its name ‘Our Lady of the Sacred Heart’ in the light of Our Lady’s special relationship she shared with her son, Jesus. In all images of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Mary is pointing to the heart of Jesus. The chrism of the MSCs (as founded by Fr Jules Chavelier) encourages the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the intercession of Mary. Some of the core values which underpin our school ethos include:
- There is no learning without the learners’ activity
- No action without motivation
- Mastery is attained by using, applying, even teaching what has been learned and understood.
- Strenuous Effort: If you really want something, you will use the means to get it, so there is no growth possible either in religious or secular learning without strenuous effort. Education based on MSC spirituality, encourages individuals continually strive to be and achieve their very best.
- The development of critical analysis; the skills of analyzing, evaluating and communicating, rather than knowledge for its own sake.
- An apostolic focus. Fr Chavelier sought to assist those in need, and do so with an attitude of charity and kindness. For this, members of the OLSH learning community need to be generous and charitable.
Our community features an ongoing connection with the MSCs. These connections have been recognized in the inclusion of our school’s house system, and our school motto, “Growth through Learning”, an ideal at the core of the MSC chrism. We anticipate that this relationship with the MSCs will continue to be fostered and strengthened as we grow together.