St James' Primary School, Muswellbrook, is a Catholic school where learning comes first. The school endeavours to provide a holistic and comprehensive education for all students by nurturing the academic, physical, interpersonal and spiritual dimensions of school life.
Physical education and the sports program at St James’ plays a unique role in the physical, social, cognitive and emotional growth and development of students. St James’ provides a diverse range of sporting opportunities for students to enjoy including swimming, athletics, cross country, gymnastics, soccer, cricket, netball, touch football and horse sports. Students have the opportunity to seek selection into representative sports at differing levels including St James’, Maitland-Newcastle Diocese, Combined Catholic Colleges and Polding level. The school also has a close association with Sporting Schools Australia who conduct swimming lessons for students to strengthen their skills.
At St James’ students are encouraged to express their creative abilities and talents through a diverse range of cultural opportunities within and beyond the school environment. Students have the opportunity to participate in the whole school concert which allows students to showcase their talents in dance and drama. A well-developed music program, Musica Viva, allows students to experience in-depth lessons from visiting professional musical performances and students can also compete in the Upper Hunter Blue Heeler film festival each year.
The school promotes the principles of diversity, social justice and supportive environments, encouraging students to contribute to their school and wider community. The school’s Mini Vinnies group supports the St Vincent de Paul Society through a number of community initiatives and activities and students actively participate in commemorative services and have lead roles in the Anzac Day service and various other civic services throughout the year, including flag raising ceremonies.
St James' has also embarked on a ‘nude food’ initiative which encourages students to bring fresh food in recyclable or reusable containers. Students are also encouraged to be actively involved with the school vegetable garden which allows students to grow fresh produce for the school canteen, maintain the worm farm and learn to recycle and compost.
St James’ features an inviting and nurturing educational environment equipped with modern facilities and up-todate technology. The school’s open plan collaborative classrooms, flexible working spaces, computer lab, multi-purpose hall, outdoor covered learning area, large playground and playing fields and fully equipped learning centre with a well-resourced library containing iPads and computers, provides a stimulating and adaptable learning environment for all students.
With around 5% of St James’ students identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, the school supports Aboriginal students through their education and assists them in developing their full individual potential. The school provides opportunities for all students to develop knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal heritage, cultures, contemporary issues and spirituality and promotes high expectations of Aboriginal students through quality teaching and learning opportunities.
Parents and the community are very involved in the life of St James'. They can become members of the Parents and Friends committee and help to make decisions about the running of the school or take a less formal approach and help out in the canteen, library, gardening, classrooms or sporting activities and excursions.
Students of St James' Primary School, Muswellbrook, are encouraged to continue their Catholic education by attending St Joseph's High School, Aberdeen.