Why Choose St Joseph's

Choosing the right school for your child is one of the most important life decisions you will make.

As parents, carers or grandparents you have a choice - and the right - to provide your child with the best education available.

The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle proudly hosts some of the best schools in Newcastle, Maitland, the Hunter and Upper Hunter, Lake Macquarie and Manning Regions. St Joseph’s Gloucester is located in the Manning Region, along with St Joseph’s Bulahdelah, Taree and Wingham and Holy Name Primary School, Forster. St Clare’s High School, Taree is the Catholic high school servicing the Manning Region.

Catholic schools offer a unique educational experience which helps form the child as a person of integrity, compassion, faith and wisdom. Catholic schools also work closely with their local Parish to enhance a student’s capacity to make sense of their world, to make judgements and to recognise the uniqueness of others within a faith community.

Each school has a supportive community of teachers, clergy, parents, carers, parents and friends’ association, parishioners and support staff who work together to focus on students - encouraging success, promoting discipline, supporting creativity and instilling compassion. This means that Catholic schools do not just teach religious studies, they seek to develop the spirit, mind, body and character and cultivate Gospel values that support lives filled with joy, endeavour and hope for the future.

St Joseph’s Gloucester has a commitment to focus on each individual child’s ability, offering a unique array of educational, creative, sporting and formation opportunities for students.

Catholic schools offer peace of mind to parents, knowing they’ve made the right choice and the best investment for their child’s future. It is because of this and the many opportunities available to students that we believe choosing a Catholic education is the right choice to make for your child – both now and into the future.

picture of young students

SOME REASONS WHY FAMILIES CHOOSE ST JOSEPH’S GLOUCESTER

OUR COMMUNITY

As a Catholic school steeped in the heritage of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, we encourage our students to “never see a need without doing something about it”. This mind set is embedded in our daily interactions with each other and our works of social justice, whether we are raising money or collecting goods for the St Vincent de Paul Society, supporting the work of CARITAS and Catholic Mission or one of our other favourite charitable organisations. Stage 3 students have the opportunity to be a part of the Mini Vinnies Group that under the guidance of our Pastoral Care Worker, organise many and varied activities for all students in order to raise awareness and money for those less fortunate than ourselves.

Within our school, there are many activities that build school community. Every Monday, the students and staff enjoy ‘Shared Table’. Shared Table is organised by volunteer parents and carers and involves providing a freshly prepared fruit break, lunch and afternoon tea. Students sit at set tables in the hall each Monday for lunch and enjoy a variety of menu items, freshly prepared and served by our fabulous volunteers. This is very popular and is well received every Monday by all members of our school community.

Other community events throughout the year include Mothers’ Day high tea, Fathers’ Day breakfast, movie nights and the plethora of community activities organised by the P&F throughout the year. Many of our events are made possible due to the commitment of our volunteers and we thank them for their generosity of spirit and time.

FAITH-BASED EDUCATION

St Joseph’s Primary School is a Catholic school with a long, rich history of quality, Catholic education for families in the Gloucester district. Established in 1919, the school still reflects the ethos of the founding Sisters of St Joseph, providing Catholic education for students embedded in an inclusive and nurturing environment.

St Joseph’s is a unique small community that is large at heart. Our culture is characterised by caring relationships solidly based on Gospel teachings and values that are practiced in all aspects of school life. As a school, we embrace the dynamic nature of education, providing quality learning programs in a vibrant learning environment that caters for and respects the unique needs of each child, whilst also providing education that helps develop values that will enable individuals to contribute positively to the wider community.

Education is about the whole person at St Joseph’s, with learning programs created to develop each child academically, intellectually, emotionally, socially and spiritually. All our students are given equal opportunity to experience success across all Key Learning Areas.

At St Joseph’s, quality education takes pride and place within a community that is prayerful, respectful, supportive and dedicated to the development of the children in our care.

CONTEMPORARY LEARNING

At St Joseph’s Gloucester we believe our students will best experience success through quality teaching and learning. Our programs are personalised and respond to the learning needs, interests and experiences of each student. In Week 6 of every term, parents, teachers and students meet to set personalised academic, cultural and social goals moving forward to enhance the learning of every child. Achievement of individual goals is celebrated across the school.

Our teachers and support staff are highly skilled and trained in 21st century learning pedagogy, providing a collaborative work environment, engaging students through rich learning tasks.

Contemporary learning aims to empower students with the knowledge, skills and capacities to respond creatively to the challenges of their world. We encourage innovation and enquiry-based learning to create a sense of belonging and purpose that strengthens our learning culture. The children have access to laptops, iPads and SMARTBoard technology in every classroom. The school has video conferencing facilities to link with like-minded students in other schools. This technology is presently accessed to coordinate our Manning Regional Gifted Education Program, driven by the dedicated staff at St Joseph’s Gloucester. This technology brings together like-minded students from the other Manning Region Catholic primary schools in consultation with St Clare’s High School in Taree.

HIGH ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

At St Joseph’s Primary School, Gloucester we have a commitment to high academic achievement as evident in our results in a variety of areas. 2018 NAPLAN results indicate that all students in Years 3 and 5 are at or above National Minimum Standard in all areas of Testing – Writing, Reading, Language Conventions (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) and Numeracy. This is testament to the hard work of staff, students and parents/carers working in collaboration to ensure that all students at the very least attain the minimum national standard. Our Year 6 students all received Distinction Awards in the 2018 Diocesan Religious Literacy Test.

Having a commitment to high academic performance also means providing opportunities for students to broaden their existing skill base. Our students regularly participate in Maths and Science challenges and public speaking K to 6 events. We also support opportunities for students to excel in the Creative Arts because high academic achievement is sought in all Key Learning Areas and not just limited to English, Maths and Science. In 2018, we had a student representative in the Diocesan ASPIRE production A Dark Night in the vocal ensemble. Our whole school choir once again performed in the Taree and District Eisteddfod in the Small Schools’ section, finishing a very creditable second. Selected students in Years 3 to 6 attended a Gifted Education Day in Creative and Performing Arts and another day in Science and Maths to work with like-minded students from other regional Catholic primary schools under the guidance of specialist teachers at St Clare’s High School, Taree.

EARLY LEARNING AND TRANSITION TO SCHOOL

Students enrolled to commence Kindergarten at St Joseph’s have the opportunity to participate in our Transition to School Program during Terms 3 and 4 the year preceding the start of school. Our ‘Early Birds’ attend St Joseph’s every Thursday during Terms 3 and 4 and participate in all school activities scheduled for the day. In line with the Diocesan Early Learning Policy and Procedures, the children have the opportunity to participate in play-based learning to develop the skills and confidence to make a smooth start to their formal school years. This program is very popular and is free of charge. Children attend school for the whole day and many children travel to and from school with their siblings or friends on the bus. Children participate in the Prelit program which is a precursor to the Kindergarten Literacy Program Initialit. Children taking part in the Early Birds program are not required to wear school uniform.