Our School

About Us

St. Joseph’s School provides primary education for children from the communities in and around Orbost, drawing pupils from all outlying areas.

Our school was founded by the Sisters of St Joseph in 1923 and has developed a strong tradition in the local community guided by the Gospel values of peace, justice, love and hope. We are a school for the whole community, warmly inviting enrolments from all families, including those with other faith traditions.

The multi-age grouping of children provides for valuable social education and enables children to recognise their own responsibility in developing an atmosphere informed by the gospel values of Jesus Christ. The school gardens create a safe, stimulating outdoor area where the students can appreciate and enjoy outdoor learning and recreation.

Having modern facilities and technologically well-resourced, St. Joseph’s has the tools to assist in creating innovative teaching. Music, Art and Physical Education are taught as specialist subjects, our LOTE language is Mandarin and we currently have an instrumental music program.

The small number of staff and students creates a close knit school community, where staff, students and parents work together to create an excellent educational experience and an effective pastoral care system. We provide an educational environment that enables every child to reach their full potential in a rapidly changing world. In this way the religious, spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social and physical development of each child is nurtured and developed.

The truth about Catholic schools

  • We welcome students of all religious and cultural backgrounds. Catholic education is open to all who seek it.
  • We have high academic standards – not all our time is spent on Religious Education.
  • We believe in science and accept the theory of evolution. Our faith and science co-exist so students get a full picture of the world around us.
  • Our schools have evolved a lot over the last few decades. We work to give our students the best chance to succeed in a modern world.
  • Students, staff and families at our school thrive by being calm, confident, curious, caring and creative.
  • Collegial planning supports evidence-based practice and targeted teaching, including appropriate learning adjustments, enabling every child to learn.
  • Extreme religious beliefs have no place in our school. Rather, we encourage students to question and make sense of the world around them.
  • Our fees are very affordable and fee concessions are available to families experiencing hardship.

Vision Statement

Giving witness to the charism of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, St Joseph’s Catholic School is a welcoming, supportive community, respectful of the dignity of every person. We strive to build a learning community where all experience a sense of belonging so that each person can work towards developing their potential with confidence.

Inspired by the life of Jesus, we strive to develop a relationship with God.

In partnership, we aim to promote curious and confident life-long learners.

At St Joseph’s we foster respect for all and work to build strong connections with the community.

School Philosophy

St Joseph’s philosophy is enacted through our teaching and care for students. Our philosophy guides our teaching, strategic plans and governance decisions.

As a Catholic school, St Joseph’s Primary School responds to the teachings of Jesus and fosters values that enrich our lives. Our curriculum provides opportunities for students to explore, experience, learn, find their strengths and sustain a strong sense of service to others.

St Joseph’s community based approach to learning provides children with security and establishes an environment which encourages parents to become partners in their child’s education. We focus on the development of the whole child and give our students the individual care and attention they need to be successful and to flourish as curious learners.

School Organisation

2022 Staffing:

  • Parish Priest: Fr Michael Willemsen
  • Principal: Kirsten Daly
  • Administration Officers: Amanda Robinson
  • Mackillop (F/1): Holly Jamieson and Jessica Morgan (LSO*)
  • Colman (2/3/4):  Kate Hawley and Vivieen Kenny (LSO)
  • Xavier (5/6): Jillian Dunphy and Liam Pashos (LSO)
  • Languages:  Program, My Spanish Teacher, via internet MEG Languages, supported by class teachers
  • STEM: Kirsten Daly
  • Visual Art: Jennifer Miralles
  • School Chaplain: Hans Van Wilgenburg
  • Kitchen Garden/ Library: Louise Kidd
  • School Services Officer: Angela Davis

Class Organisation:

Classes at St Joseph’s are organised to best suit the educational needs of the students. Multi-age classes provide children with a sound academic, social and emotional education. These classes are an extension of the families from which the children come, and in them students experience interaction and cooperation with older and younger children. Opportunities for initiative, leadership, the development of self-esteem and the acceptance of responsibility continue the experiences of family living.

In 2022 we have the following class groupings:

  • Mackillop class – Foundation/1
  • Colman class – Years 2/3/4
  • Xavier class – Years 5/6

Australian Democratic Principles

We at St Joseph’s Primary School acknowledge Australian democratic principles, including:

  • elected government
  • the rule of law
  • equal rights for all before the law
  • freedom of religion
  • freedom of speech and association
  • the values of openness and tolerance.