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Extraordinary Lives Start With a Great Catholic Education

Catholic Graduate Expectations




 Catalog-Item Reuse ‭[1]‬


​Continuing the Journey​

Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations

Adapted Version for Elementary Students

Catholicism's Core Understanding of the Human Condition

Distinctive expectations for graduates of Catholic schools are determined and shaped by the vision and destiny of the human person emerging from our faith tradition. This Christian anthropology or world view, reveals the dignity and value of the person. Our tradition tells us God creatively and lovingly calls each of us into the wonder of life, sustaining us by the power of the Holy Spirit, throughout the human journey, into life eternal. We acknowledge that the journey includes moments of brokenness and sin.

We recognize in the person of Jesus, the risen Christ, the human face of God sharing our life in order to heal us of our brokenness and liberate us from sin. This Christian vision of the human journey is best understood within the context of relationship. It is accomplished in community, in solidarity with brothers and sisters in the Church and beyond.

Catholic education views human life as an integration of body, mind, and spirit. Rooted in this vision, Catholic education fosters the search for knowledge as a lifelong spiritual and academic quest. The expectations of Catholic graduates, therefore, are described not only in terms of knowledge and skills, but in terms of values, attitudes and actions.

Vision of the Learner

The Graduate is expected to be:

  • A discerning believer formed in the Catholic Faith community who celebrates the signs and sacred mystery of God's presence through word, sacrament, prayer, forgiveness, reflection and moral living.
  • An effective communicator who speaks, writes and listens honestly and sensitively, responding critically in light of gospel values.
  • A reflective, creative and holistic thinker who solves problems and makes responsible decisions with an informed moral conscience for the common good.
  • A self-directed, responsible, lifelong learner who develops and demonstrates their God-given potential.
  • A collaborative contributor who finds meaning, dignity and vocation in work which respects the rights of all and contributes to the common good.
  • A caring family member who attends to family, school, parish, and the wider community.
  • A responsible citizen who gives witness to Catholic social teaching by promoting peace, justice and the sacredness of human life.


    • Illustrates a basic understanding of the saving story of our Christian faith.
    • Participates in the sacramental life of the church and demonstrates an understanding of the centrality of the Eucharist to our Catholic story.
    • Actively reflects on God's Word as communicated through the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.
    • Develops attitudes and values founded on Catholic social teaching and acts to promote social responsibility, human solidarity and the common good.
    • Speaks the language of life…"recognizing that life is an unearned gift and that a person entrusted with life does not own it but that one is called to protect and cherish it." (Witnesses to Faith)
    • Seeks intimacy with God and celebrates communion with God, others and creation through prayer and worship.
    • Understands that one's purpose or call in life comes from God and strives to discern and live out this call throughout life's journey.
    • Respects the faith traditions, world religions and the life-journeys of all people of good will.
    • Integrates faith with life.
    • Recognizes that "sin, human weakness, conflict and forgiveness are part of the human journey" and that the cross, the ultimate sign of forgiveness is at the heart of redemption. (Witnesses to Faith)



    • Presents information and ideas clearly and honestly and with sensitivity to others.
    • Writes and speaks fluently one or both of Canada's official languages.
    • Uses and integrates the Catholic faith tradition, in the critical analysis of the arts, media, technology and information systems to enhance the quality of life.


    • Recognizes there is more grace in our world than sin and that hope is essential in facing all challenges.
    • Creates, adapts, evaluates new ideas in light of the common good.
    • Thinks reflectively and creatively to evaluate situations and solve problems.
    • Makes decisions in light of gospel values with an inform-ed moral conscience.
    • Adopts a holistic approach to life by integrating learning from various subject areas and experience.
    • Examines, evaluates and applies knowledge of interdependent systems (physical, political, ethical, socio-economic and ecological) for the development of a just and compassionate society.


    • Demonstrates a confident and positive sense of self and respect for the dignity and welfare of others.
    • Demonstrates flexibility and adaptability.
    • Takes initiative and demonstrates Christian leadership.
    • Responds to, manages and constructively influences change in a discerning manner.
    • Sets appropriate goals and priorities in school, work and personal life.
    • Applies effective communication, decision-making, problem-solving, time and resource management skills.
    • Examines and reflects on one's personal values, abilities and aspirations influencing life's choices and opportunities.
    • Participates in leisure and fitness activities for a balanced and healthy lifestyle.


    • Works effectively as an interdependent team member.
    • Thinks critically about the meaning and purpose of work.
    • Develops one's God-given potential and makes a meaningful contribution to society.
    • Finds meaning, dignity, fulfillment and vocation in work which contributes to the common good.
    • Respects the rights, responsibilities and contributions of self and others.
    • Exercises Christian leadership in the achievement of individual and group goals.
    • Achieves excellence, originality, and integrity in one's own work and supports these qualities in the work of others.
    • Applies skills for employability, self-employment and entrepreneurship relative to Christian vocation.


    • Relates to family members in a loving, compassionate and respectful manner.
    • Recognizes human intimacy and sexuality as God given gifts, to be used as the creator intended.
    • Values and honours the important role of the family in society.
    • Values and nurtures opportunities for family prayer.
    • Ministers to the family, school, parish, and wider community through service.


    • Acts morally and legally as a person formed in Catholic traditions.
    • Accepts accountability for one's own actions.
    • Seeks and grants forgiveness.
    • Promotes the sacredness of life.
    • Witnesses Catholic social teaching by promoting equality, democracy, and solidarity for a just, peaceful and compassionate society.
    • Respects and affirms the diversity and interdependence of the world's peoples and cultures.
    • Respects and understands the history, cultural heritage and pluralism of today's contemporary society.
    • Exercises the rights and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship.
    • Respects the environment and uses resources wisely.
    • Contributes to the common good.

    This image of the learner was developed by the Institute for Catholic Education in consultation with representatives of the Catholic community across Ontario. The life roles, knowledge, skills and attitudes outlined in this document describe the distinctive expectations that the Catholic community has for graduates of Catholic secondary schools. These expectations are based on research which identified current and future educational goals and priorities across the province and enhance the expectations of the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training as outlined in provincial curriculum documents.

    For more information, visit the Institute for Catholic Education website.

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