Educating Young Men

Our staff are expert in boys’ education and our curriculum and pastoral care programs are designed to meet the very specific needs of young men, whilst seeking to challenge common stereotypes and prejudices. We believe that in a single-sex learning environment, boys are less susceptible to social pressures and may confidently develop their own identity, explore their masculinity and take on leadership roles. Providing meaningful direction for boys’ energy requires specialist understanding and tolerance. We are fortunate to have first class sporting facilities on site. Other curriculum opportunities such as camps and outdoor education programs are also tailored towards boys.

St Joseph’s College caters for all young men irrespective of their academic ability. We have a proud tradition of students achieving excellent VCE results. Our VCE Vocational Major (VM), VET in Schools (VETis) and School Based Apprenticeship or Traineeship (SBAT) programs provide great opportunities for those interested in pursuing apprenticeships and traineeships.

Teaching and learning at St Joseph’s is focussed on the pursuit of excellence. Striving for academic achievement has a strong emphasis and is promoted via a rich array of programs and support activities. Literacy and numeracy are emphasised at all year levels, and we challenge all students to reach their highest possible achievement in all courses.

During Years 10, 11 and 12, students from Sacred Heart College attend some classes at St Joseph’s and vice versa, providing students with a greater breadth of choice in subject selections in the Senior years.

Why Choose A Boys School?

Learning can mean far more than academic achievement. Our Staff are experienced at helping guide boys through the many challenges and choices that arise as they grow as men. When students begin their journey at St Joseph’s College, they quickly discover that there is more to being a student at St Joseph’s than just showing up for classes each day. We believe all our students, past and present, should have a sense of pride in being a part of our community.

St Joseph’s students are continuing a long history of young boys developing into young men. Some students continue their journey long after having graduated, with values and friendships that originated at St Joseph’s lasting a lifetime.

St Joseph’s College focusses on the development of the whole person - spiritual, moral, emotional, intellectual, physical, social and aesthetic. All people are unique and worthy of respect. We recognise the individual gifts of all students and our College welcomes all those who seek Catholic education regardless of social and economic status or ability. We emphasise participation and involvement of all members of the College community; students, parents, teachers and administrators.

Moved by the story of Edmund Rice and inspired by the gospel values of love and justice, we encourage one another to ‘strive for the highest’ (Ad Alta Virtute). We are committed to education that encourages students to develop and use talents, to respect and show compassion towards others, to embrace innovation, to help develop abilities and teach Christian ethics as the basis of acting with integrity.

We seek to equip boys with the knowledge, integrity and sense of self that will help them develop into fine men who contribute to the world in their own unique way. We uphold the model of lifelong learning and hope that each boy leaves St Joseph’s with confidence and motivation to keep reaching for new horizons.

Every Student Is Given the Opportunity for Success

At St Joseph’s College, we place the student at the heart of all our decisions and actions.
​​​​As a community we strive for a purposeful, evidence-based approach to student-centred learning which inspires learners to maximise their potential. We provide the opportunity for all students to participate in a broad, innovative and well-balanced curriculum, based on the Key Learning Areas: Religious Education, English, Mathematics, The Arts - Design, Creative and Performing, Health and Physical Education, Languages - Italian and Chinese, Science, Humanities, Technology, Information, Food Studies, Materials and Systems.

Our learning programs are designed to be rigorous, developmental and future-focused. We make deliberate curriculum decisions so that our learning tasks are accessible yet challenging for students to ensure that knowledge and skill development is based on what students are ready to learn. By doing so, we create learning opportunities that promote equality in our learning community, provides individual pathways and ensures that learning is connected to the world in which our students will operate.

Year 7

Year 7 students are assisted in the transition to secondary school by maintaining stable class groups throughout the year for all subjects. Year 7 students have a comprehensive program, covering all subject areas including Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Science, Food Technology, Humanities, Digital Technology and both the languages of Chinese and Italian.
In the Arts, they study Design Education, Drama and Music and have the opportunity to join the College Band. Fitness, co-ordination skills, teamwork and sportsmanship are developed through the Physical Education program.

Student Wellbeing and Pastoral Care programs and a comprehensive curriculum, help the Year 7 students to ‘build a foundation’ and develop confidence in their new school. They are provided an overview of the subject options which will be open to them in the following year.

Year 8

Students in Year 8 will continue to experience a range of subjects from each of the curriculum areas, building on from the Year 7 program. Students will undertake core subjects as well as have the opportunity to select elective subjects from The Arts and Technology curriculum areas.

Students continue to meet in Homeroom groups with their Homeroom teacher, who also delivers the wellbeing curriculum. This helps to maintain the stability of peer friendship groups, whilst expanding their connections in the various elective classes attended weekly.

Year 8 students are encouraged to ‘step up’ and meet higher expectations in learning and behaviour. 

Year 9

In Year 9, students attend the Westcourt Campus in Minerva Road, Herne Hill. This campus is an exciting venture that enables students to maximise engagement whilst providing a rich learning environment. The Year 9 program aims to develop the students’ sense of self, of their place in their school community, the local and global community and their capacity to make a difference.

The timetable at Westcourt is quite unique, with core subjects of English, Maths and Science delivered early in the day, whilst in the afternoons project-based learning through the “Westcourt Project” focuses on skill development aligned to the University of Melbourne Assessment Community, which assesses, reports and credentials the complex competencies learners need to thrive at school and beyond.

Having a dedicated Year 9 Campus means the journey of our Year 9 students can occur in a separate setting where the group can really come together as a year level. Based on research and discussion with other schools, we are confident that the boys’ return to their senior years in Mt Sion is enhanced by the increased confidence and awareness gained from their sense of belonging to the year level and of the gifts they bring to the group.

Year 10

In Year 10 we welcome our students back from the Year 9 Westcourt Campus. Mt Sion, our senior school has adopted a vertical House structure, which allows our Year 10s to join Year 11 and 12 students during each Homeroom and Wellbeing lessons.

The vertical structure means that the homeroom consists of Year 10-12 students from the same House. Topics that will be covered in this time will be Respectful Relationships, Consent education, Careers, Self-Directed Learning skills, Drug and Alcohol, Cyber Safety, Mental Health, and Community Service.

Year 10 students begin to specialise in subjects that will be a pathway into their senior years. St Joseph’s College offers Year 10 students the opportunity to accelerate their pathways by completing a Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) subject/s if they have achieved a consistently high standard in Year 9. Year 10 students who have developed independent learning skills and can work in an adult learning environment and have the opportunity to complete a Vocational Education and Training (VETis) subject either at St Joseph’s or an external facility. For some Year 10 boys, an applied learning environment is an appropriate pathway. The VCE Vocational Major subjects Work Related Skills and Personal Development Skills can be included as part of their Year 10 applied learning program after which they may select VCE Vocational Major or VCE as their final pathway.

Senior Years

As students progress to Year 11 and 12, they can choose from a wide variety of units, some offered at St Joseph’s College and others at Sacred Heart College. The vast majority of students will be choosing a pathway to undertake the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and some will include a Vocational Education & Training (VETis) component in their VCE studies. Alternately some senior students will work towards completing the VCE Vocational Major (VCE VM), an applied learning program that will enable transitions into apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and training and university (via non-ATAR pathways). The Joseph Innovation Trade Training Centre facilitates vocational certificates in Allied Health, Furniture Making and Building and Construction. Other VET courses are conducted offsite.