ST JOSEPH'S PRIMARY SCHOOL
St Joseph’s Primary School at Merriwa is one of 56 Catholic schools educating 17,000 students in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. Our small school has a wonderful close knit community of staff, students, parish, parents and friends. We are proud to provide our students an education grounded with a strong sense of community, understanding and respect through the Christian faith.
While Religious Education lessons form a part of each day, Christianity is a way of loving and therefore should influence every aspect of our school life. We strive to deepen the child’s understanding and knowledge of the Catholic Faith, as well as developing a climate that will help children grow in their faith relationship with Christ.
Religious Education becomes meaningful when young people relate their study to real life situations. At St Joseph’s Religious Education certainly takes on this dimension. It also endeavours to help the students develop Christian attitudes and values which they will try to live out in the family, school and the local community.
Liturgical celebrations are an intrinsic component of the Religious Education program. School liturgies are celebrated each Monday afternoon in the Kinder classroom. Mass is celebrated on special feast days throughout the year. Parents and family friends are always most welcome and actively encouraged to join all class and school religious celebrations. Preparation for the Sacraments of Penance, Eucharist and Confirmation is family based and supported by parish and school programs.
HISTORY OF ST JOSEPH’S
St Joseph’s Catholic School, Merriwa, was founded in 1883 when the Catholic people of the district agreed to contribute ten pounds per month to employ a teacher. Miss E. Cooper (some records state “Cook”) was offered the position.
By March of 1884 the number of students had increased, requiring a second teacher.
On 5th January, 1885, three Sisters of St Joseph took up residence in Merriwa. They were the first Foundation formed from Lochinvar, which had come into existence only two years earlier in 1883.
School records go back to 1886 (unfortunately the first records of 1885 have been lost.) The total enrolment was 77 - 39 girls and 38 boys. On 25th November, 1928, Bishop Dwyer blessed the new school in Marquet Street. On 31st January, 1954, Bishop Toohey blessed the new infants classroom and on 19th January, 1961, blessed the new school building of three classrooms. Secondary classes operated at St Joseph’s Merriwa from the early 1950’s to 1968. For 125 years St Joseph’s Catholic School has offered quality Catholic Education to the children of the Merriwa district.
OUR SCHOOL TODAY
Current enrolment is 68 students K-6. The staff includes a Principal, four full time teachers, one part-time teacher, two part-time Learning Support Teachers, two part-time Learning Support Assistants, a part-time Teacher-Librarian, part-time Library Assistant and a Clerical Assistant.
St Joseph’s is very well resourced in terms of equipment and support personnel. Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music provides individual tuition in guitar, piano, violin, clarinet, trombone and drums on a user pays basis.
A Special Education Adviser and a Registered Psychologist are available to assist the school in assessing and addressing individual students needs.
St Joseph’s is also supported by an enthusiastic Parents & Friends Association, who are keen to provide funds which assist St Joseph’s in providing up-to-date learning facilities for their children.
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