On behalf of the staff of St Joseph’s Primary School, Merriwa, I extend to you a very warm welcome to our school community.

St Joseph’s is a small, rural Catholic school situated in the Upper Hunter for students from Kindergarten to Year 6. The school operates under the governance of the Catholic Schools Office in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

St Joseph’s provides a holistic primary education for students within the town district, as well as from outlying rural properties travelling from as far as Cassilis and Gungal.

St Joseph’s staff are deeply committed to helping students achieve their goals, with a strong focus on Catholic identity and the development of the whole person within a structured and nurturing community.

The education offered at St Joseph’s is within the context of Christ’s mission, steeped in a strong Josephite Catholic tradition. The values of faith, knowledge and love for one another are supported and developed in student learning experiences within the classroom and through service to the local community.

St Joseph’s is open to all families and amongst the highest values we hold is the relationship with families. Our belief is that the best education is possible when all members of the school community – students, staff, families, parish and wider community - share positive and productive relationship. As they say, it “takes a village to raise a child”.

Providing a meaningful and inclusive learning program, St Joseph’s caters for the intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social and physical dimensions of all students and strong programs in each Key Learning Area are delivered to all students. A highly structured combination of professional development opportunities, access to quality teaching resources and experiences, as well as an increased emphasis on student wellbeing and parent engagement has been developed to increase student readiness for and engagement in learning. Curriculum differentiation ensures that the learning is tailored to meet the needs of all students.

The school’s environmental stewardship programs highlight the respect it has for the earth and our responsibility to care for it.  Chicken raising, tree planting and family working bees are just some of the ways our students extend their learning to the real world. This has gained us high commendation in the Tidy Towns - Sustainable Communities competition and two Australia Day Environmental awards.

Student welfare and wellbeing is high on the agenda at St Joseph’s. We are closely aligned with the Where There’s A Will Foundation who support us through the latest research and high quality Positive Education programs. Our recently formulated Behaviour Matrix, which is closely aligned with our Positive Behaviours For Learning (PB4L), ensures that we, as a staff and school community, effectively, efficiently and fairly deal with behaviour in and out of the classroom.

St Joseph’s has high expectations of its students, hence application to academic outcomes, attention to wellbeing, care of our school environment, the wearing of school uniform with pride and the manner in which we relate to others at school and in the wider community are pivotal to the formation of well-rounded and spiritually centred young people.

We look forward to growing in faith and knowledge with you and your family over the coming years.

God Bless,

Mrs Anne Marie Peebles