St Joseph's School's Faith Life

St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School is a Christ-centred community, within the Bunbury Parish, which aspires to educate and develop the whole child in a caring, Catholic environment, recognising and respecting the uniqueness, dignity and rights of others.

The staff of the school see themselves as partners with parents, families and the Church, caring for each other and our students, fostering growth.

Religion and pastoral care in the school, are not viewed as independent areas, but seen as an 'umbrella' under which the school community and their activities shelter. Learning about the Catholic faith is integrated into all subjects and is reinforced through daily lessons using the Units of Work set by the Catholic Education Office (Perth).

Whole school and class prayer services (Liturgies) are held during the term to celebrate topics which the students have been studying or special events in our Church's calendar. All parents and families (Catholic and non-Catholic) are welcome and invited to take part in these celebrations. Please note that non-Catholic members of our school community are encouraged to participate in the Religious life of the school. Dates for Liturgies are printed in the school newsletter.

If you have any questions regarding Religious Education or school Liturgies, we are happy to assist. Please phone and speak to the school's Assistant Principal (Religious Education).

Pastoral Care

At St Joseph's we seek to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment. The wellbeing of each student, their family and staff members is our prime concern. Effective processes are in place to identify and evaluate students' pastoral care needs. Positive relationships are actively fostered throughout the school community. Both professional and peer support is provided for staff, students and families. Innovative and proactive pastoral care approaches which provide a range of opportunities for personal growth and student wellbeing occur regularly e.g. Buddies, Anti Bullying and Seasons For Growth. Each student is treated with respect and is expected to demonstrate respect and Christian values at all times. Through the Shared Concern, PATHS and BUZ approaches students are taught effective methods of social skills to develop relationships across the school community.

The staff form a strong bond with the students, enhancing the quality of care provided to them. Students' learning, personal achievements and responsible behaviour are celebrated in class and at weekly assemblies.

When pastoral care situations or issues are identified, effective, prompt and appropriate strategies are implemented and closely monitored. Assistance for families in need is provided through the Pastoral Care Committee and Parents and Friends Association. Each year the students carry out a variety of fund raising and community outreach events. We support Catholic Missions, Caritas, St Vincent DePaul, Rotary, and the Bishops' Catholic Care Appeal.

Seasons For Growth

Change and loss are issues that affect all of us at some stage in our lives. At St Joseph's we recognise that when changes occur in families through death, separation, divorce or related circumstances, children may benefit from learning how to manage these changes effectively. We are therefore offer a very successful education programme called Seasons For Growth to children in years 2-7. This programme is facilitated by trained staff in small groups and is based on research that highlights the importance of social support and the need to practise new skills to cope effectively with change and loss. The programme focuses on issues such as self esteem, managing feelings, problem solving, decision making, effective communication and support networks.

St Joseph's Catholic Primary School is pleased to be able to offer this important programme and we are confident that it is a valuable learning experience for those who request to be involved.

Class Religion Lessons

Religious Education is the first Learning Area in St Joseph's Catholic school curriculum. It is a learning area which focuses on the knowledge and understanding of the Gospel as it is handed on by the Catholic Church.

Staff at St Joseph's School respect parents as the prime educators of their children, particularly in the area of faith education. Religion lessons complement the work of parents, school community and the Parish in assisting children to develop their faith and knowledge.

The current K-12 Religious Education Units of Work, which our school uses, cover a range of concepts and topics in a progressive and developmental manner. All St Joseph's students participate in daily Religion lessons. The Religious Education programme aims to help students learn the teachings of the Gospels proclaimed by the Catholic Church and to develop a sense of the nature of Christianity and of how Christians are trying to live their lives. Religious Education outcomes are taught, developed and resourced with the same commitment as all other learning areas.

Within the normal hours of instruction the minimum time allocation for the Religious Edu- cation Learning Area shall be:

Yrs PP-1 15 mins per day

Yrs 2-7 30 mins per day

Assessment in Religious Education

Reporting in RE communicates the child's development of knowledge and skills related to the content of our faith. Whilst the beliefs, attitudes, values, religious practice and faith response of the child is valued and seen as important, it is not appropriate for teachers to assess or comment on the individual's faith response. Assessment and evaluation, planning, teaching and learning relate to each RE Unit of Work.

At the request of the Western Australian Bishops, Year Three and Year Five students in Catholic schools in the Bunbury Dioceses are administered an external assessment in Religious Education. The Catholic Education Office is responsible for developing, implementing and evaluating the assessment. The Bishops' Religious Literacy Assessment is curriculum based. It reflects and supports the Bishops' Mandate Letter and the progressive nature of the K-12 Religious Education Units of Work.

Catholic Church Sacraments

During the year our Catholic students in years 3, 4 and 7 celebrate various Sacraments. These Sacraments assist the students to learn more about their faith and increase their participation in Church life. Our non-Catholic students in these classes and their families are expected to be involved in the preparation and celebration of these special occasions in order to further develop their own knowledge and understanding, and also support their classmates.

Year Three - First Reconciliation

Year Four - First Eucharist

Year Seven - Confirmation

Parents who wish to have their children Baptised are asked to contact the Parish Priest at St Patrick's Cathedral, Bunbury.

Local Parish

For enquiries regarding Bunbury Parish Mass times, Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals and joining the Catholic Church, please contact the Parish Priest.

Phone: (08) 9721 2141

Parish Office
St Patrick's Cathedral
3 Brendtor St
Bunbury, W.A. 6230

Saint Mary MacKillop

The desire Mary had for religious life, combined with her response to the needs of the poor bush children of Penola, resulted in her founding a new form of religious life.

Saint Mary MacKillop website