College History

Patrician Brothers’ College was founded in 1952 by the Patrician Brothers to serve the mainly rural families of Blacktown and surrounding districts. The College is set on seven hectares in the heart of the rapidly expanding Blacktown City. Located just ten minutes walk from the Blacktown interchange, the College is easily accessible by public transport. Like our City we have continued to grow and respond to the needs of our stakeholders but our culture has remained unashamedly Catholic and focused on boy’s education.

The College motto “Christus Regnat” translates to “Christ reigns.” We strive to build a community where “Christ Reigns,” in the hearts of all. Where students are encouraged to grow and develop in a community that reflects the gospel values of faith, forgiveness, honesty, hope, justice, respect, tolerance and trust. The students are actively encouraged to develop a personal spirituality based on the Patrician ideals of; prayer, Eucharist, community life and care for the poor. We strive for excellence and foster the love of learning.

 

Reflection on 60 Years 1952-2012

The Patrician Brothers’ order struck its first roots into the rich Blacktown soil in 1952. Since then the Brothers and a steadily increasing number of committed lay-teachers have built up a vibrant school community which is proud of its history, particularly the devotion to Mary and the pastoral concern for each and every one of its members.

For fifty years this community has developed young men of incredible generosity, resilience and faith by guiding them through their late boyhood, through adolescence, towards manhood. Many achievements have been celebrated over these past five decades, not the least being the outstanding successes of our graduates in professional, academic, cultural and sporting pursuits.

The College has always sought to create a happy and caring environment where students and staff are keen to arrive each morning. Staff strive to provide a solid comprehensive educational foundation enabling each student to explore his own particular gifts in spiritual, academic, technical, cultural, social and creative fields. In the extra-curricula dimension we have built up a program of Outdoor Education which genuinely challenges our students to work with tough Australian environment and with each other, allowing real growth towards maturity. The Duke of Edinburgh Scheme encourages a deeper commitment and skill level from those volunteers seeking more complex challenges. For many years now each Year 9 student must obtain a minimum of the Resuscitation Award but most train for, and achieve the Bronze Medallion.

Academic, Cultural and Creative talents are nurtured at our College. Students are encouraged to push themselves to engage in courses which get them to stretch academically. There has never been a policy of excelling at the mediocre, rather students are challenged to take on the difficult courses such as Extension Maths 1 and 2, Chemistry, Computer Software and Design, English Extension 1 and 2, if our students believe this is within their capabilities. Our HSC students have consistently scored above state average in these courses over the last three years allowing them to enter university courses of their own choosing. Our Art department has recorded remarkable results well beyond the best schools in the state for each of the last three years. These HSC results are fittingly recognised each year but the genuine measure of our success appears late December on the faces of the many students who strive valiantly and achieve beyond their dreams.

At Patrician Brothers’ College, Blacktown we have the experienced and motivated staff to provide a wide range of opportunities which appeal to boys through to young men. For some years now our Special Services department has conducted a program for Gifted and Talented students which includes Tournament of Minds. Here our lateral thinkers are put to the test against the best in the state. Recently Chess has undergone a massive resurgence with lunchtime, regular Term and inter-school competitions bringing out the best. We continue a long tradition of success in Debating and Public Speaking where vital skills of logic, analysis and spirited argument have led our teams to State Championships over recent years. All who participate are enhanced.

Even before the educational catchcry to tailor education towards the real needs of boys was echoing about NSW, there was an understanding at the heart of our policies which recognised the role of sport in the development of male adolescents. Over the years there have been numerous and varied avenues created for young men to grow through their sport. Students may try out for teams in the MCS competitions in sports as diverse as Athletics, Basketball, Cricket, Golf, Rugby League, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Touch, and even AFL.

Our discipline, skill and spirit of fair play are trademarks demonstrated by each passing generation of competitiors representing our College. We are proud of them and revel in their achievements. Often we need to polish the many trophies which adorn our cabinets, testimony to the spirit which is alive at our College.

Our Diamond Jubilee in 2012 was an appropriate time for our community to look back over our history and appreciate the efforts of so many hands which have moulded this College. The selfless dedication of all the Brothers from Br Gerard Histon, Benedict Olsen, De Sales Gilbert, Bernard Bulfin and Br Patrick Lovegrove has enriched the College with Patrician charism. For our ovals, our buildings, our equipment, our students, our parents and our staff, all that we are today … we salute all those individuals and organisations who have contributed to a great 60 years.

May staff, students, parents and clergy continue to work and pray together and continue to build a community where “Christ Reigns”

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Located close to Blacktown’s CBD, the College serves the Catholic parishes of Blacktown, South Blacktown, Lalor Park, Doonside, Seven Hills and Marayong and draws on students seeking an education from a wide area of Sydney’s Greater West. With more than 1150 students enrolled at Patrician Brothers’ College over half have a language background other than English.

The College provides diverse learning opportunities which challenge students at every academic level. Highly qualified staff and diligent students consistently gain outstanding results in the School Certificate and Higher Naplan examinations. Our curriculum and our teaching recognise the particular learning needs of boys. Year seven students study the traditional academic subjects, Religion, English, Mathematics, Science, Personal development, Health and Physical Education, History, Geography and Design and Technology. Students choose a LOTE subject (either Italian or French) in Year Eight. In years nine and ten students are given a wide choice of electives.

All students are given opportunities to excel. The Learning Support Department works closely with teaching staff to ensure that programs of study for each subject are adapted to meet individual needs.

The College offers a broad curriculum including Vocational Education courses in years 11 and 12. Courses such as Construction, Business Administration and Retail provide students with the opportunity to complete part of their TAFE course while at school.

Our students enjoy a myriad of opportunities to get involved in school life. The College has long held a reputation for producing sporting teams known for their discipline, skill and sportsmanship, Additionally we are recognised for our continued successes at State level in debating, public speaking, chess and dance. Our student’s major works are often chosen for display from works across the state for the Art Express exhibition.

Our results are consistently high in all the Colleges’ endeavours and we are immensely proud of our students continued success in the Higher School Certificate.

Religious Education is a vital component of any young man’s education. The College offers the core units of Sharing Our Story for Stages 4 to 6, following the scope and sequence provided by the diocese. In addition, the school has developed the enrichment units – Catholic Beliefs and Practices, and Poverty and Hunger Year 7; Homelessness in Year 8; and Religion and Ethics in Year 10. In Stage 6, the boys are offered the New South Wales Board of Studies courses – Studies of Religion 1 and Studies of Religion 2.

Parents are invited to all major school liturgies and graduation masses are well attended. Each year parents are invited to parent forums to workshop a variety of educational, pastoral and spiritual issues. For boys’ education that is focused on physical, spiritual, academic and personal growth and that takes place in a supportive and caring Catholic community, Patrician Brothers’ Blacktown is the obvious choice for each talented boy or young man seeking opportunity.

Bishop Daniel Delany 1747-1814 and the Patrician Brothers

A young Irish Priest, Fr Daniel Delany, was appointed to the parish of Tullow in Ireland, towards the end of the 18th century, shortly after his ordination in France.

As a youth growing up in Ireland, Daniel Delany was fortunate in that he had members of his family with sufficient wealth to send him to France for his education. This would have been most unusual in the Ireland of those times where the vast majority of Catholic children had no access to any formal education. For centuries, Ireland had been ruled from England and was occupied by the British army. By the Penal Laws, public worship and public education were denied to Catholics until the Act of Catholic Emancipation in 1829. In his time of study and preparation for the priesthood on the continent, Daniel Delany was removed from the atmosphere of discrimination and suppression that was the lot of Catholics generally in 18th century Ireland.

Even though public worship was legally prohibited, most local authorities in the country had given up efforts to prevent Catholics from coming together for Mass on Sundays by the time Fr Delany took up his first Irish appointment. Tullow was a rural parish about 70km south-east from Dublin, in the country of Carlow.

Like most rural parishes of the time, the majority of parishioners of Tullow were uneducated and lived in poverty and hardship. Fr Delany was appalled at the ignorance, the poverty, the helplessness and general condition of the people.

He was especially disturbed at the lack of hope there was for young people and he set about doing something to improve their circumstances. He established two confraternities, one for women and one of men, from parishioners who had some ability and willingness to help the young. The initial purpose was to run after-Mass, Sunday school for children to give them basic understanding of their faith and to prepare them for the sacraments.

Later, some members of the Confraternities offered to teach the children and teenagers simple skills in handiwork and sewing. The hope was to gainfully occupy some of their time, to give them an interest and self-confidence, as well as the skills to improve their human condition.

Fr Delany, soon to become Bishop Delany, was a support and mentor to the two Confraternities, from whom he invited some to become the foundation members of two new religious orders.

Given the economic and social circumstances at the time of foundation, education and formation programs for the pioneer members were very basic, with mere survival as a priority.

However, each new Congregation went it separate way, endeavouring to honour the wishes of the Founder, Bishop Delany. As for the Confraternities from which they grew, the religious instruction and general education of the young remained the main focus of their work.