Clontarf Aboriginal College

Christian Service Learning at Clontarf Aboriginal College


“Service is the work of the humble, today we have heard it in the Gospel. Jesus came to serve, not to be served….I tell you with sincerity: nothing else comes to my mind to say. Humility and service: these two things guard the little hope, the most humble virtue, but the one that life gives you” (Pope Francis, 2015).

It is a belief of the College and the extended College community that all individuals take a responsibility for the wellbeing and spiritual life of all those around them. Through the Christian Service Learning Program all students now expect that they will participate in Service intrinsically believing, “it’s what we do!”  This tradition and commitment to the Christian Service exemplifies the Spirit of Blessed Edmund Rice.

Program Philosophy

The philosophy of the Christian Service Learning Program is inspired by Blessed Edmund Rice. Blessed Edmund Rice was the founder of the Christian Brothers. The students at Clontarf Aboriginal College are encouraged to live out their call to service as he did and to make service a core aspect of College life. Christian Service is a fundamental responsibility of each Christian person. As reflected in the motto of the Christian Brothers- ‘To do and To teach’ as well as the College motto of ‘Learning for Life’. So therefore it is our responsibility as Christians and as a Catholic College to actively live the Gospel values and ‘To do’ Christian service whilst learning valuable lessons for life.

What is Christian Service Learning?

The concept of Christian means that the Gospel informs the service learning. Jesus said ‘The Spirit of the LORD is upon me, for he has appointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free.’ (LUKE 4:18) The term Service means students undertake actions for the benefit of individuals and/or community groups for no financial reward. Service at Clontarf Aboriginal College has been divided into three key areas; School, Home/Boarding and Community. The Learning occurs through participation – as students experience different service activities they are exposed to new experiences and ways of thinking. These lessons and reflecting on them make up the learning component of Christian Service Learning program.

Christian Service Learning: 1) Provides students with opportunities to meet people with needs; 2) Challenges students in developmentally appropriate ways to think and act in ways that reflect values that are consistent with the Gospel. Catholic schools support and challenge students to explore Catholic teaching on social justice including the common good and reflect on why they serve as part of an integrated and articulated school plan which actively seeks to promote justice; 3) Provides students with the experience of ‘service’ as a way of learning and living that permeates all aspects of life rather than an activity that is isolated from the rest of their lives. (CEOWA, Christian Service Learning in Catholic Schools, Policy No: 2-A2)

One of the key roles of Catholic schools is to form young people committed to the love, compassion and justice of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Catholic schools foster a Christian attitude in society and encourage the development of the kind of world envisaged by Christ (Mandate para 6 and 22). Christian Service Learning in Catholic schools enables students to grow from a Catholic faith perspective as people of service and justice. The Catholic school challenges students to grow in their understanding that faith is not just a personal response to God’s love but a communal response to love one another as Jesus taught in order ‘to make the world a better place for all’, (Mandate, para 24). (CEOWA, Christian Service Learning in Catholic Schools, Policy No: 2-A2)

Christian Service Model

The Christian Service motto is: “Opportunity, Work, All” inspired by the bible text in Galatians (6:10): “So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all”

All students from Years 7 to 10 (in future years this will extend into Year 11 and 12)  are part of this important and exciting tradition at Clontarf Aboriginal College that, amongst many things:

  • Provides students with opportunities to meet people with needs;
  • Challenges students to think and act in ways that reflect values that are consistent with the Gospel;
  • Provides students with the experience of ‘service’ as a way of learning and living that is part of all aspects of life rather than an activity that is isolated from the rest of their lives.

Each year group is briefed about what Christian Service Learning is and why they are participating in this learning. The program runs for Term 2 and Term 3. The Year 7 students complete a minimum of 7 activities; the Year 8 students complete a minimum of 8 activities; the Year 9 students complete a minimum of 9 activities; and the Year 10 students complete a minimum of 10 activities. The activities will come from the three key areas of; School, Home/Boarding and Community.

Each student will have a Christian Service Learning booklet which stays in their homeroom. Once students complete a task, they are to ask the supervising teacher for an activity slip which the student completes and gets the teacher to sign. The student will then keep this slip and when they have an opportunity in homeroom will glue their slip into their Christian Service booklet. Upon completion of activities and the filling out of slips, students will glue their slip into their booklet. They will also then complete a short reflection, involving questions and a survey component.

Examples Of Service

***The activities need to be of service in nature. Personal development activities such as reading at a Mass/assembly/event, work experience or playing in a sports team are excellent opportunities for students personally, but are not considered as Christian Service Learning. Any task that is given when on Yard Duty/Detention/Internal Suspension does not count to Christian Service Learning. Students may complete the same activity a maximum of 2 times and activities must come from at least 2 of the key areas.***

Home/Boarding Service

  • Students are encouraged to be inventive with their chosen activities and seek a variety of people within their family as well as people within their neighbourhood.
  • Home/Boarding service is not chores, babysitting, jobs for which a student may be paid
  • Some examples could be: Helping a family member mow the lawn; Helping a family member with gardening; Cook a meal for family; Arrange and run a family/boarding board games night; Help brother/sister/boarder with their homework or reading; Wash the family or neighbours’ pet (dog, cat, clean fish tank etc.); Help with the dishes (at home or at boarding); Help in the kitchen (at home or at boarding);Show parents/grandparents computer or internet skills; Doing some gardening or weeding in the back/front yard or at school.
  • Students must not participate in service outside the home/boarding without adult supervision.

 School Service

  • This type of service can include: Teaching Staff, Admin, ATAs, Academy, and Community Centre.
  • Some examples include Caritas Fundraising; Assisting in set-up of Chapel for Mass; Volunteering to help with College Mass and other Campus Ministry activities; Assisting House Co-Ordinators; Assisting Heads of Learning Area; Assisting staff with coaching of teams; Assisting in the Academy activities/events; Assisting Academy staff; Tutoring of younger students; Helping staff with different activities; Cleaning out buses; Volunteering and being involved in activities; Ask teacher if they need any help with small tasks (e.g. stapling, folding) at lunchtime; Assist a staff member on duty by picking up rubbish in an area of the College; Raise and lower the College flag daily for one week; Help out in the Community Centre; Help out in Administration block; Help out in the College library for one lunchtime (see Teacher in library); Volunteer to clean a classroom of choice at lunchtime; Volunteer to help at a College event (e.g. Mass, Assembly, Music concert- setting up, Altar serving, AV).

 Community Service

  • These activities can include the wider community such as Red Cross ‘Door Knock Appeal’ and the ‘Keep Australia Beautiful campaign’.
  • Some other examples include Project Compassion, Harmony Day, Edmund Rice Day, Sorry Day, National Reconciliation Day, RE Week, NAIDOC Week, and the Vinnie’s Christmas Hampers.
  • Students are encouraged to participate in activities out in the community with strict parental supervision


Mr Salvatore De Luca, Head of Religious Education and Campus Ministry

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