St Joseph’s first opened its doors to students in 1982, with one hundred and forty students commencing under Brother Mat Murphy as the founding Principal. The initial plans for the school were suggested by Bishop William Murray in 1978, after which a project team led by Father John Ward of the Dapto Parish saw the construction through to its completion.
St Joseph’s Catholic High School is a systemic co-educational high school. The school provides a quality Catholic education for young men and women in the southern Illawarra, drawing students from areas bounded by Gerringong and Kiama in the south, Unanderra in the north, Shellharbour and Warilla in the east and Albion Park in the west.
A Catholic School
Our school has a proud tradition as a caring and vital Catholic community that welcomes parental involvement. The pastoral care of our students is a core focus which we are proud of. In providing a safe and supportive school community, we strive to ensure that each student has the opportunity to realise goals and focus on their learning.
In order to achieve optimum outcomes, our programs are designed to assist and motivate students to establish routines for study, whilst providing optimum learning opportunities. A key area of emphasis in our school planning is on the motivation of students, as we believe that motivated students achieve more not just academically, but also as they pursue vocational pathways into their adult life.
As a faith community, there is an emphasis on the total development of students. The spiritual, social, academic and physical dimensions are underpinned by parish input, a rich liturgical tradition, community events such as St Joseph’s Day, social justice inspired whole school events and an extracurricular program which encourages full student engagement.
Opportunities abound in a diverse range of activities. Excellent facilities, including a gymnasium, coincide with a rich sporting tradition that the school is proud of. The school has a strong reputation in the Performing Arts. Many of the school’s students are involved in the school musical, which is offered annually. A magnificent school choir and musical heritage attracts many students to the school. Likewise theatre, debating and public speaking opportunities are prevalent for students.
What We Offer
- A proud tradition of outstanding academic success as witnessed by sustained Higher School Certificate success and a high level of tertiary educational opportunities being realised by students.
- A growing commitment to careers and vocational education programs with an extensive curriculum of dual accredited vocational courses offered at St Joseph’s in well equipped and modern facilities.
- Emphasis on pastoral care and the provision of school counselling where student wellbeing is prioritised.
- Cutting edge learning with a whole school commitment to information technology. All classrooms are connected to the internet. Students and staff are able to access to computers readily as required to enhance student learning.
- Learning and teaching experiences provide significant opportunities for students in learning technologies.
- A prized community spirit which values highly a strong working relationship between parents and school. The school portal allows for immediacy of communication with parents.
- An active Parents and Friends’ Association which sponsors a diversity of school community events.
- A commitment to learning models and projects that emphasise independent learning and critical thinking. The school conducts an annual Science Research Expo. A new Literacy Project is being developed for 2017 which will focus on project based learning that integrates literacy from all curriculum areas, to support the development of literacy skills for students’ success in the future.
- A rich extracurricular program which all students can access. Previous successes in rock eisteddfods (no longer available to schools) has been the foundation of our current school musicals. An outstanding choir is part of the rich and varied cultural life of the school.
- An excellent array of sports facilities that includes a gymnasium featuring an indoor basketball court, outside netball, basketball/tennis courts and playing fields.
- A sustainability and environmental program is in operation. Grounds program features student involvement in maintaining gardens, tending bush tucker and vegetable gardens.
- Opportunities to represent the school are many, including sports, debating, public speaking, music, dance, choir, school musical and social justice initiatives.
- An extensive peer support and orientation program for Year 7 students that ensures a positive transition to high school life.
- A modern creative arts facility that provides rich opportunities to students in all areas of the arts.
- 60% of students proceed to university or TAFE
- Outstanding HSC results over many years
- Local and state success in school musical productions and Rock Eisteddfods
- A strong emphasis on creative arts
- An outstanding tradition of involvement in Social Justice at school
- Successful participation in major competitions for Debating and Public Speaking
- A tradition of excellence in teaching as evidenced by examples of staff winning Premier Awards, a Churchill Fellowship and national awards for services to teaching
- A renowned fostering of science as evident in the Annual Research Expo
- A tradition of community based projects that build community including our Sustainable Schools Project, St Joseph’s Day, Showcase and the Research School Expo
- State and National representation in hockey, netball, athletics, swimming, basketball, rugby league, soccer and tennis