Religious Education

Good Shepherd endeavours to give a Catholic Christian interpretation of our world through the teaching in Religious Education. Students at Good Shepherd participate in Religious Education lessons each day. In these lessons, they learn about prayer and how to pray; about Jesus, his life and his teachings; various Bible stories and their authors; and the history of the Catholic Church tradition and its place in our modern world. Through the teaching of Religious Education at Good Shepherd, the teachers propose the Catholic tradition to students rather than impose it. We acknowledge the faith and religious backgrounds of many Good Shepherd students are not Catholic or Christian and we value them as creations of God. 

Religious Education is taught through an inquiry approach where students are encouraged to ask questions about the concepts they are learning. Engaging and relevant resources are provided to help engage students in ‘finding out’ rather than being ‘told’ what to learn. In this way, teachers at Good Shepherd endeavour to promote wonder and curiosity in the students

2021 Whole School Focus: A Quiet Place


This year's school theme is 'A Quiet Place'. Good Shepherd will be focusing on finding 'A Quiet Place' through prayer and Christian meditation. This theme is based on Mark's Gospel (Mark 1:35-39) where Jesus retreats from his ministry to find a quiet place to pray before going out to heal people. 

This year students will have the opportunity to explore different ways of praying to God and to find a quiet place in this modern world which is full of distractions and noise. Christian meditation will be a focus in classrooms across the school.


Scripture is an integral part of learning in Religious Education, however, learning about the Bible and its stories can sometimes be tricky for students. Good Shepherd teachers and students use the 'Worlds of the Text' strategy as a way to break open and understand Scripture.

Questions around the Three Worlds of the Text - Religious ...

This strategy consists of:

- the world Behind the Text, where students learn about the historical and cultural context of the author, their audience and purpose of the text;

- the world Of the Text, where students look at language features of the text and begin to decipher what message the author wants to portray through the type of text written and the words used and;

- the world In Front of the Text, where students apply the message to their own lives and the situation of the modern world.


Christian meditation

Christian meditation is a very simple and ancient tradition of prayer.

According to John Main, the greatest challenge of meditation for modern people is simplicity. We are trained to respect complexity. Yet simplicity is not easy to learn and, therefore, it requires discipline. Although he was insistent on the need to practise meditation as an interior and daily discipline, not just as a technique of self-enhancement, he also stressed the need for patience and gentleness in learning the discipline.

From Coming Home: Christian meditation for children.

Christian meditation at home

Leader: Let us prepare to meditate…..

Sit on your chair.  Sit with your back against the chair.  Feel your feet on the floor.  Gently close your eyes and come to stillness.  Become aware of your breathing. Notice the pattern as you breathe in and out.  Slow your breathing and listen to your breathing.

Breathe in...  Breathe out …


Let us begin to meditate. (Sound a chime 3 times)

Let us say MA RA NA THA together 5 times.

Now slowly and carefully say the word MA RA NA THA in your mind.  Listen to the word. 

Breathe in on the MA RA breathe out on the NA THA. 

When you think about other things come back to this word and say it again and again.


(Decide on a time that you believe you are ready to meditate for. Begin with one minute and gradually increase the number of minutes. Sound the chime to signal the end of meditation).


Open eyes and spend time reflecting, listening to a short quote or passage from scripture or saying a prayer together. e.g

Loving God, you know all our needs and you listen to our prayers.  Help us to be people of love and peace in our school community. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Celebrations of Learning and Masses

In 2021, Good Shepherd moved to Celebrations of Learning. These celebrations showcase the learning that happens in the classroom in all subjects. Please refer to the Good Shepherd School calendar for dates and year group presenting.

The Eucharist is the summit and source of a Catholic Christian's life. Each term, students participate and pray in Mass with the parish and for holy feasts. Please refer to the Good Shepherd School calendar for dates and times.

As a Catholic school in the Holy Spirit, Gungahlin parish, Good Shepherd school works collaboratively with Holy Spirit Catholic Parish for the growth of our students in faith and understanding of the Catholic Faith.

Mini Vinnies


Mini Vinnies is a thriving social justice group at Good Shepherd that follows the motto ‘See, Think, Do’. It is a primary school program connected with the St Vincent de Paul society. For many years Good Shepherd Mini Vinnies has held the record for the biggest Mini Vinnies in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn and possibly in Australia. Our annual Mini Vinnies whole-school events continue to raise awareness and donations for those in Canberra doing it tough.

Winter Woollies (Term 2)                                                                                  

Students donate clothing and money to donate to the Night Patrol van. These donations go to those in Canberra sleeping rough to help them stay warm during those cold nights. Students come to school in their own Winter Woollies.

Mini Vinnies Sleep out (TBA Due to Covid-19)

During Term 3, students in Year 4, 5 & 6 are given the opportunity to sleep in the hall overnight to gain an experience of sleeping rough. Students look for sponsors to help them raise money that is donated to the St Vincent de Paul Society Night Patrol.

Christmas hampers (Term 4)

Each class creates a Christmas hamper to be donated to a family in the Gungahlin area at Christmas time. Each student is allocated an item to buy and bring in to add to the hamper. These are offered at our end of year Thanksgiving Mass.

Vinnies Food collection - Back in Term 2!
Starting in Term 2, Vinnies will again be accepting donations for the Food Pantry to be given to those in the Gungahlin community who need extra help. Collections will be made fortnightly by the wonderful Year 3 students and brought to the Church. 
Each time you head to the shops, pick up an item from the list below and make a weekly donation. One of the best lessons we can teach our children is to give generously.

School of Hope

Global School Partners

Good Shepherd’s partnership with the School of Hope began in 2011. Ms Penny Vanzwol’s Year 5 class was completing an RE unit on social justice and service to others. To make it a ‘real’ experience for the children Penny joined forces with Jann and Simon Carroll from Global School Partners. Year 5 Vanzwol raised money to supply the School of Hope with a small water tank for drinking water. Jann gave each of the children a box of Smarties. They were allowed to eat the smarties but were challenged to bring back the Smartie box full of money. They were asked, 'What can you do to get the money?' The children planned to do a variety of jobs where they could earn money and then bring it in to school which is what they did.

Good Shepherd was one of the first schools in Canberra to join Global School Partners and so our association with The School of Hope in Kenya began.

Jann and Simon from Global School Partners are committed to building children’s knowledge and understanding of a lifelong commitment to social justice. From this initial donation by Year 5 our whole school became involved. It has been through the enthusiasm and generosity of our school community that we have been able to raise money for the following: a container of school and sport supplies, flushing toilets, a classroom, electricity, mobile library and library books, and bricks to build more classrooms.

In 2020, due to the effect COVID had in Kenya, all schools had to be shut down. As a result, the School of Hope closed down and was sold to another GSP school, Surgeon Academy. Jann and Simon Carroll were able to find another school for Good Shepherd to support, St Pius Preparatory School. The journey continues into 2021 as we get to know St Pius Preparatory School and begin fundraising for their school's needs.

Having been a partner with The School of Hope, and now St Pius Preparatory School, are real opportunities for the students of Good Shepherd to live out our school prayer by being 'the hands, eyes, voice and feet of Jesus'.

Sacramental Program

Good Shepherd Primary School is one of three primary schools that is connected to Holy Spirit Parish in Gungahlin. Holy Spirit Parish, together with the primary schools, run a sacramental preparation program for the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and Eucharist (Year 3 in Term 3) and Confirmation (Year 6 in Terms 1 & 2).

The parish, together with the schools, aim to help the parents in their role as primary teachers of the Catholic Christian faith to their children by teaching lessons to help prepare students to receive the sacraments. A home program also helps the parents in their role as transmitters of faith to their children.

If you would like more information regarding the parish Sacramental program please contact the (Sacramental Coordinator) at or Anthony O’Connell (REC) at


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