Catholic Identity



Religious Education at St Ambrose's

 St Ambrose’s shares and promotes the Vision for Religious Education articulated by Brisbane Catholic Education and the wider church. This vision encompasses students’ religious literacy and their personal faith.

Our mission is to develop students as life-long learners through a balanced curriculum enriched by Gospel values, whilst empowering them to make a positive contribution to the community.

In developing Religious Literacy and Personal Faith, St Ambrose’s encourages our students to have a Religious voice in the world. It includes critically and authentically participating in contemporary situations. It focuses on how the students talk, act, create, worship, reflect and participate in different contexts. Jesus Christ is at the centre of this vision and through engagement of these two dimensions, students are challenged to be witnesses to the mission of Jesus Christ in the world today. 


Religious Education Curriculum

 Our Mission at St Ambrose’s is to encourage students to practice compassion, wisdom and justice through a balanced curriculum enriched by the Gospel values.

At St Ambrose’s we ensure that Religious Education is taught with the same academic rigour and rich teaching experiences as all other learning areas. We provide adequate funds for resources in our annual budgeting and strategic planning. We seek to live out our mission by striving for excellence in learning and teaching, empowering and educating our students to live out their lives with integrity, modelled on Christian values, especially in an ever-changing contemporary society. All educational programs developed are based on the model of pedagogy, which has been adopted and implemented through a BCE system initiative.


​​​Religious Life of the School

​​The Religious Life of the school provides a lens through which our school community as St Ambrose’s can develop.

We have developed a three year cycle that provides us with a scaffold to re-contextualise the four interrelated components of the Religious Life of our School over a period of three years.


This Cycle brings together our Habits of the Heart, our School Vision and Mission and the Making Jesus Real approach in a purposeful and systematic school wide focus. It provides and presents the community with ways of enriching regular celebrations and events through the cycle of themes, informing the direction of our Professional Development and enhancing the teaching and learning of Religious Education.

Our three themes are: Remember the Story, The Spirit Within and Take Action Reach out. 


The Circle of Belonging – Capturing the Meaning Behind the Symbols

 The thinking and symbolism behind the Artwork:

• The Circle of Belonging artwork strategically sits at one of the entrance points and creates a visual representation of the united St Ambrose’s Community. Each building replicates a link to create a circular pattern with this artwork as a significant part in the completion of the circle.
• The artwork was established in 2008 with every ceramic tile in the artwork being created by a single student at the school. They hand crafted their oval tile, created a pattern that represented them and their life and rendered it with colours and designs that had special significance for them. Donna Gray and Ben Campbell curated the structure from design to completion.
• A mirror is at the centre of the mural giving the clear message, all who enter are instantly welcomed and placed at the heart of the school.  You belong here, at the centre of our community.
• The use of the spiral formation of the tiles and the circular design is reminiscent of the milky way because St Ambrose’s is our part of the universe, our home – and each and every student is a part of that home.
• The design connects with the representation of ripples which was the Lenten theme for 2008. Reminding students, our words and actions send ripples through our community.


The inspiration for the art work comes from John O’Donohue’s writings from Eternal Echoes.

“The restlessness in the human heart will never be finally stilled by any person, project, or place. The longing is eternal. This is what constantly qualifies and enlarges our circles of belonging. There is a constant and vital tension between longing and belonging. Without the shelter of belonging, our longings would lack direction, focus, and context; they would be aimless and haunted, constantly tugging the heart in a myriad of opposing directions. Without belonging, our longing would be demented. As memory gathers and anchors time, so does belonging shelter longing. Belonging without longing would be empty and dead, a cold frame around emptiness. One often notices this in relationships where the longing has died; they have become arrangements, and there is no longer any shared or vital presence. When longing dies, creativity ceases. The arduous task of being a human is to balance longing and belonging so that they work with and against each other to ensure that all the potential and gifts that sleep in the clay of the heart may be awakened and realized in this one life.”

O’Donohue, J. (2009). Eternal Echoes. Harper Collins.

Circle of Belonging Web.png

Who is St Ambrose?

One of our St Ambrose's School goals for the year 2020, was to strengthen our Catholic Identity by recontextualising our namesake, Saint Ambrose.

At the January Professional Development Days, St Ambrose's staff unpacked the 2020 theme - "Bee the Change", which was inspired by the story of Saint Ambrose.

Through an investigative inquiry approach, staff were able to research how the life of Saint Ambrose is an example for us today and how it supports our three Brisbane Catholic Education Strategic Areas - 1. Learning and Teaching; 2. Sustainability; 3. Catholic Identity.

Saint Ambrose:

1. Is the patron saint of learners (a role model for learning and teaching).

2. Is the patron saint of bee-keepers (a role model for sustainability and environment).

3. Was generous to the poor and is famous for his quote, "If you have two shirts in your closet, one belongs to you and the other belongs to the man with no shirt", (a role model for social justice and our Catholic Identity).

As a culminating activity, staff worked together on 3 distinct art pieces to depict our findings in these 3 strategic areas. The three mosaics, which now stand here at the entrance to our school, display our Catholic Identity and the recontextualisation of the story of Saint Ambrose, which enriches our Christian lives in this current era. 

From the year 2020, St Ambrose's School will commit heads, hearts and hands to - being the change with our learning, being the change for the environment and being the change as Christian disciples.

​Guided by the Spirit of God, we all have the power to make change and live a life of true happiness, following in the example of Saint Ambrose. 

Bee The Change 2020 Logo_Sml.jpg   Mosiacs (Large).jpeg   

Associated Documents:


St Ambrose's Three-Year Cycle


S​t Ambrose's Habits of the Heart​​