At St Joseph’s Primary School we use the Australian ‘Little Learners Love Literacy’ Program in our Junior classes. This program has been developed by Australian Literacy Consultant, Maureen Pollard, from evidence based literacy research on the best way to teach reading.


The Little learners program teaches the correspondence between letters and their SOUNDS and after just a few weeks the children can begin to blend these sounds to make words. We focus heavily on 'phonemic awareness’ at St Joseph’s Primary School. This is the ability to hear the separate sounds in a word, and manipulate these sounds. Phonemic awareness is the single most important skill necessary for successful reading.


At St Joseph's we use the 'Words Their Way' spelling program in Years 3-6. Words Their Way is a spelling and word study program that allows students to manipulate words and/or pictures into different categories. This sorting process helps students analyse, examine, compare, contrast and differentiate the patterns in words.


This hands-on approach motivates students to practice spelling words and also helps students to internalise the spelling patterns in words for the future. At the beginning of the school year, the students sit a spelling inventory test that helps determine which spelling stage they are at. From there, teachers place them into ability groups so that they can deliver developmentally appropriate lessons and word lists each week.


Levelled Literacy Intervention (LLI) is a small group, supplementary intervention program designed for all of our students who find reading and writing difficult. The goal of the intervention is to bring students to year level achievement through powerful, small group instruction. The LLI program is delivered by our Literacy Intervention Teacher and trained Learning Support Officer staff.

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Our senior students have the opportunity to participate in the extension mathematical problem solving program ‘Maths Olympiad’.

The Maths Olympiad is an ideal complement to the school curriculum. The main aims of the competitions and sessions are to:

  • Introduce students to important mathematical concepts

  • Teach major strategies and develop flexibility for problem solving

  • Foster creativity and ingenuity and strengthen intuition

  • Stimulate enthusiasm and enjoyment of mathematics

  • Provide for the satisfaction, joy and thrill of meeting challenges.


St Joseph's students in Prep and Years 5-6 participate in weekly Mandarin language lessons via Zoom. My Chinese Tutor facilitates the program by connecting each classroom with a Beijing-based tutor. Students learn the basics of the Mandarin language as well as exploring various aspects of Chinese culture.

In 2021 we are trialing a face-to-face Mandarin teacher in our Junior and Middle classes.


St Joseph’s is an active member of the Darebin School Sports Association.  We provide our children the opportunity to compete in the district Cross Country and Athletics events, which then may lead to children to progressing to Regional and State Finals.

Our senior classes compete in interschool sports in term 1 and 2, and all children from grades 3-6 compete in Hooptime - a round robin Basketball tournament organised by Basketball Victoria.


We are members of the School Sports Association that provides clinics facilitated by experts to develop our children’s skills associated with major games such as cricket, volleyball and soccer. See our students running


The Perceptual Motor Program (PMP) operates in our Prep class twice a week. This program assists the development of children's gross motor skills and therefore assists with the development of fine motor skills, essential in the learning of reading and writing. The PMP program assists the development of the child and their relationship with their peers and the surrounding environment. It aids concentration and reasoning and gives a sound basis for future formal learning. PMP enhances brain development by stimulating the five senses through movement.


This program aids concentration and reasoning and gives a sound basis for future formal learning. PMP enhances brain development by stimulating the five senses through movement. The key areas of development through PMP are:

  • Gross motor skills

  • Fine motor skills

  • Balance

  • Body and Space Awareness

  • Spatial Concepts

  • Rhythm


At St Joseph's, as a component of our outdoor health and education curriculum, we offer an annual school camp for students in Years 3 to 6. These incorporate bush, farm, beach and city experiences which, for our inner-city families, enables students to have unique experiences with nature.


School camps are a fantastic time for students and teachers to bond and form firm relationships outside the confines of the classroom. Each camp provides students with different opportunities to develop their independence, social skills and self awareness. Students become risk-takers and adventurers through participating in a variety of challenging and exciting activities.