St Joseph’s School was founded by the Congregation of Our Lady of the Missions (also known as Heidelberg in its early years) and officially opened on 24th October 1926 by the late Archbishop Redwood in the presence of a large assemblage among whom were the Mayor of New Plymouth (the late F E Wilson), and the Minister of Education of that period, the Hon R A Wright.
At that time the school consisted of four classrooms measuring 27 feet by 24 feet, a smaller classroom and a teacher’s room and conveniences. An infant room was added in 1938. Fatima Hall was built on the school grounds in 1950 and was used as a Mass centre and later as an additional classroom.
In 1962 two new classrooms were built to accommodate the ever increasing numbers enrolling at the school and again in 1964 a further two classrooms were added complete with toilet and washing facilities for all the Infant Department and a staffroom for Infant teachers.
Currently the school comprises five teaching blocks, library, administration offices and a separate school hall, all sited on an elevated position. The grounds are both substansive and attractive, providing open spaces for a range of recreational activities. Facilities include a swimming pool, three engaging and challenging adventure playgrounds, an all weather cricket wicket and a large covered sandpit.
School policies, procedures and programmed activities strive to capture and live the Special Catholic Character dimension of the school. Teaching instruction covers nine curriculum areas – the eight core NZ Curriculum Learning Areas, Religious Education and a focus on our Gospel Values and the 8 Competencies (8 C’s).
Pupils wear a uniform to engender pride and to strengthen the identity of the school within the wider community.
The school thrives on an active integration with the local Catholic community and encourages active parental involvement and support across all aspects of ‘school life’.