At St Joseph’s our mission is expressed through our commitment for all students to share in the light of Christ so that they can develop into mature, faith filled young men, able to thrive in an ever changing world.
General Aims and Values:
- To be a Catholic community of adults and young people working and living in mutual respect and harmony within an open, secure and happy atmosphere
- In the tradition of Salesian education, to provide a climate where the Gospel is known, lived and loved so that students may be nurtured in the Catholic faith and their commitment to Jesus Christ
- To help students recognise their academic ability and to accept responsibility for its development
- To maintain a curriculum aimed at the acquisition of values and the discovery of truth
- To provide a learning environment commensurate with individual abilities and interests
- To help students acquire a sensitivity to the views, lifestyles and beliefs of others
At St Joseph’s our mission is expressed through our commitment for all students to share in the light of Christ so that they can develop into mature, faith filled young men, able to thrive in an ever changing world. We are fortunate enough to be founded in and supported by the charism and heritage of the Salesians of Don Bosco. About 5 years ago, Salesian educational leaders from around Australia came together to reflect on the values that should be important in Salesian Schools. It was decided quite early that a measure of success in a Salesian school should not be based on a narrow empirical set of data but within a broader human and faith context. The group emerged from their deliberations with a charter of belief statements, which were to become the pillars of Salesian education in Australia.
They are as follows:
In keeping with the Spirit of St John Bosco whereby Education is a matter of the heart and leads young people to “know that they are loved”, the Salesian school community of today is challenged to be:
- A Home that welcomes
- A Parish that evangelises
- A School that prepares for life
- A Playground where friends meet and enjoy themselves
A Home that welcomes
One of the hallmarks of St Joseph’s College is the homeroom pastoral care structure. From the beginning of Year 7 every boy can be confident in the fact that he is known. Don Bosco once said, The greatest happiness for a child is to know he is loved. Every parent can take comfort in the knowledge that there are a team of supporters who gather round each boy and nurture his well being. Level coordinators and school counsellors have worked tirelessly to ensure that the social/emotional needs of boys are met. These people and others have spent much of their time encouraging in our boys an attitude of optimism and a conviction that life is fundamentally worthwhile.
A Parish that evangelises
It is our hope that each boy can develop a deeper understanding and engagement with his faith and spirituality. These connections not only happen in the RE classroom, liturgy or retreat day – as important as these opportunities may be – they happen through every interaction with all staff and with each other. We are grateful for the commitment our teachers make in modelling these behaviours. We are grateful to the Salesians of Don Bosco and our Parish Priests for the constant guidance, reassurance and practical assistance they provide this most important aspect of College life.
A School that prepares for life
The educative programs provided by St Joseph’s continue to grow and flourish. One of the most significant aspects of this has been the development of increased pathway options for the boys. The College is always looking for ways to provide increased opportunities for boys to find their individual pathway. We aim to deliver on what we call pathways for all. This is a concept whereby students are assisted to find pathways to University, TAFE and Training or to employment. There is an old saying that if you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything and so we believe that the development of a values system is a key part of preparing the boys for life. Our Life Skills program and our Salesian approach of deep, supportive relationships between students and staff inherently position our boys to be better prepared for life. The Occhiena Centre provides another important layer of support to this idea of a school preparing our funded boys with specific needs for life. The Learning Tutors who work with individual boys and groups everyday are pivotal to the success of this program.
A Playground where friends meet and enjoy themselves
The playground at St Joseph’s is a vibrant and energetic place. It is a place where boys develop strong bonds of friendship and where skills are tested. Like anything else in a school of over 1000 boys, these activities need to be guided and supervised. I would like to pay particular tribute to the way in which the teachers, Learning Tutors and Salesians of St Joseph’s have actively sought ways of supporting our students in their recreation time at school. I would particularly like to thank staff who have gone beyond their prescribed duties to support the boys at this time, especially on those cold Ferntree Gully days when a cup of coffee in a warm staffroom may have appeared a more attractive option. These people created occasions for celebration and festivity and provided opportunities for our boys to build positive and inclusive relationships between each other.
Importantly, this is a school where lifelong friendships can be formed and there are legions of stories of how our boys look after each other at school and after their time here as well.