At Downlands, you are part of a family built on strong traditions. Strong values and Senior
role models encourage students to make wise choices.
At Downlands we want our students to do well at school, and also in life, by being good people - strong in mind, spirit and faith. With a history reaching back to the mid 19th century in France, the MSC Ethos at Downlands distinctively focuses on the “Spirituality of the Heart” which offers a listening and compassionate heart through relationships in community rather than fixed answers and dogmatic solutions.
Our MSC Ethos
Staff and students experience the Ethos as true friendship, kindness, compassion, humility, forgiveness, gentleness, understanding, hospitality, simplicity and a sense of humour.
Spirituality of the Heart underpins our heart-centred approach.
Every term a school-wide Mission Lesson is presented and all year levels participate in days that reinforce the Charism of the MSC. This allows students to reflect on what makes being at an MSC school so special.
In 2019, Downlands introduced a Sacramental Program for students in the Junior School. The program has involved preparation for Reconciliation, Confirmation and First Eucharist.
A program such as this fulfils and reflects our call to live as family and as community. As a community of believers, we aim to build on our faith formation through the Sacraments. The Sacraments are the platform for our conviction that God is ever-present; we experience God all the time through the people around us, in nature and through the ‘ordinary’ in life – in everyday things, events and places.
Our Sacramental Program began with Reconciliation in Term 1. This was followed by sessions in preparation for Confirmation; nine students celebrated this sacrament on the evening of Wednesday, 22 May, with Bishop Robert McGuckin presiding. Finally, students will receive First Eucharist in the Downlands Chapel on 23 June, with Fr Vince Carroll presiding.
Our Junior School Sacramental Program has been a very exciting initiative for Downlands and has provided us with another opportunity to build on the faith journey of our young students, as well as bring community together.
Quality Pastoral Care
Our Pastoral Care program is based on the teachings of Jules Chevalier and every member of staff is considered part of the Pastoral Care team.
Using clear, direct and open communication, staff model and teach the skills needed to be part of a vibrant community.
We are guided by MSC Constitution #32:
Ours is a spirit of family and true friendship formed by kindness and understanding, by compassion and mutual forgiveness, by gentleness, humility and simplicity, by hospitality and a sense of humour.
Downlands students are involved in fundraising and serving the community through the Jules Social Justice Group and by volunteering at Rosies, the Toowoomba Refugee and Migrant Service and providing breakfast at a local state primary school..
Monthly liturgical celebrations are celebrated at the College. Boarders attend a weekly Sunday mass and early morning mass on a Friday is offered to staff and students.
Downlands Student Level System
As members of the Downlands College Community, we work towards enhancement of the life of each individual physically, psychologically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually in all facets of our College. We want all students to come to know the value of their own lives and so make a contribution for the betterment of the world in which we live.
This framework provides equity in the management of student behaviour. Student behaviour is categorised into levels. All students start on Level 3 and may subsequently move to a level that most accurately reflects their behaviour. In addition to the Level System, Pastoral Care Teachers will encourage students to record their achievements and participation in College activities with a view to encourage all students at the College to strive towards improvement.
Students on Levels 1-3 demonstrate continued positive growth. Students on Levels 4 – 7 are demonstrating inability to meet the College classroom and Community rules and expectations.
To support decisions regarding students who display inability or unwillingness to co-operate with the College policies and Community spirit, a Support Group including Team Leader, Year Leader, the student’s Pastoral Care Teacher, with supervision from the Deputy Principal - Pastoral Care, will assist through devising an intervention program to assist the student’s growth and development. Parents and carers of the student are informed of the College’s concerns and encouraged to contact the Year Leader. The demonstrated response of the student to the intervention program will determine any changes made to the student’s allocated level.
Student Formation Pilgrimage
Each year our Student Leaders make a pilgrimage to places of MSC and Catholic significance in Sydney, and most importantly, to MSC heartland at St Mary’s Towers in Douglas Park south of Sydney.