Founding Parent's Message

Mr Tim Mitchell and Mrs Penny Wright


Mr Tim Mitchell


Mrs Penny Wright

All parents have a heartfelt desire to want the best for our children.

A significant component of this goal is the quality of education that our children receive. We want to build on, or improve on, our own experience at school. In adult life, we come to appreciate the richness that deep learning provides the individual as he or she traverses the highways and byways of life.

Our experience is that school education is best when parents collaborate closely with the school in the development of their child. Critically, this involves academic results, but more broadly focuses on the whole person. Overall, better outcomes are achieved for the child, the family, the school environment and the future society that our children play a part in. This is both a new and an old idea. It is a Christian ideal founded in a reverence for the human dignity of each person. The school has developed a mentoring program that means each student has the benefit of a guide throughout his school life.

Highly trained mentors work with parents so that each boy has the best opportunities to know himself, hone his skills, and participate fully in College and family life. As adults we appreciate and value our mentors in occupational, sporting and social spheres. Hartford formalises this philosophy by offering it from years 5 to 12. It is a tried and tested model that works.

Sitting around the kitchen table at home, we encourage our children to respectfully discuss and debate the issues of the day. To not accept the first reporting as the entire story. To not believe everything you read or watch. To weigh up and balance the myriad ideas that swirl around and influence them. The capacity to have insight and foster critical thinking is a central skill required of adults seeking to forge a path in modern life.

Hartford’s unique Liberal Arts curriculum draws on the educational riches of the past to encourage open minded and critical thinking in its students. It steers away from an education that is too vocationally oriented. Rather, it encourages the student to apply discipline to his learning and enthusiastically embrace the great things that our society, culture, science and faith tradition have to offer.

In tune with the whole person approach to each student, the curriculum is an integrated body of learning. The whole is greater than the sum of all its parts. It seeks to reveal the connections between areas of learning – science, religion, history, great literature, and personal development. Accordingly, and optimistically, to reinforce a love of learning and to see unity and beauty in the world.

We are grateful for the support of His Grace Anthony Fisher OP, Archbishop of Sydney, for the Hartford project. We wanted Hartford to aim for academic excellence without being exclusive or elitist. We firmly believe that when a student works hard, tries his best and has tangible encouragement all around him at school and at home – he will flourish personally and academically.  Further, the rich intellectual Catholic tradition goes hand in hand with all the educational goals of the school in STEM subjects, the Liberal Arts and for each boy to grow with the help of those who love him most – his parents.

We are excited to see the impact of Hartford College, and we invite you to join us in this journey!