St Joseph’s highly values pursuits of academic excellence. Teachers are committed to assisting all students to reach their academic potential through a range of academic endeavours both inside and outside the classroom. These include: Science and Engineering Challenge; Regional Public Speaking Competition and Diocesan Debating competition; the Upper Hunter Shire "Mayor for a Day" writing competition; Regional Spelling and Maths Bee competitions; and the Premier’s Reading Challenge. All of these endeavours, in addition to many others, enhance the academic potential of our students.
SCIENCE & ENGINEERING CHALLENGE
This activity allows Stage 3 students to compete in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) experiences with schools around the region. It is a wonderful example of community partnership and collaborative learning. The students are assisted in the challenge by university students, high school students and community volunteers, through rotary clubs in the region. The competition extends to high school, so the positive experiences the students experience in Year 5 and 6 can develop into a passion throughout their high school years.
Students from Kindergarten to Year 6 compete at school and the regional level to prove the quality of their spelling skills.
Students from Kindergarten to Year 6 compete at school and the regional level to prove the quality of their speaking skills.
Students from Year 5 and Year 6 compete at school and the regional level to prove the quality of their debating skills.
MATHS MENTALS BEE
Students from Kindergarten to Year 6 compete at school and the regional level to prove the quality of their mental computation skills.
MAYOR FOR A DAY COMPETITION
The Upper Hunter Shire combines learning about levels of government and their responsibilities with developing sophisticated writing skills with this annual competition. Stage 2 and 3 students are invited to write about what they would do for the Shire if they were the mayor for a day. The winners are given the opportunity to present their speech at a special council meeting. Infants students have their awareness of local government increased as they participate in a concurrent postcard making competition.
PREMIER'S READING CHALLENGE
This Challenge aims to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students, and to enable them to experience quality literature. It is not a competition but a challenge to each student to read, to read more and to read more widely. The Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC) is available for all NSW students in Kindergarten to Year 9, in government, independent, Catholic and home schools.