Gilgandra is situated in rural NSW on the Castlereagh River 65 kilometres north of Dubbo and has an approximate population of 2600 people in town and 4300 in the whole shire. Within the school population, approximately 40% live on farms and travel to school by bus. Residents of the town are employed in service occupations such as banks, local government services, hospital, and small businesses. Residents of the town enjoy keeping active by way of sporting activities and enjoy regular social get togethers.
St Joseph’s School Gilgandra was opened by the Sisters of St Joseph in February, 1909 in a small wooden building in Morris Street, Gilgandra “where provision had been made for thirty children and seventy came”. There have been many changes since then!
The school is now situated in Wrigley Street on a full block bordered by Wamboin, Noreen and Dudley Streets, which encompasses the church, presbytery and convent and a fantastic playground, the envy of many schools.
Today the classrooms are large, bright, modern spaces with ever evolving technology being introduced. The school provides all students in Years 1-6 with their own individual Chromebook, with each class having its own charging station. The Kinder students have an iPad each and the Kinder classroom also has its own charging station. As part of our Digital Technologies Curriculum, STEM activities are taught in all classes. STEM activities are also offered at lunch times in the library three days a week for all year groups.
The staff at St Joseph’s are continually looking at way of improving the teaching of all key learning areas to ensure a rewarding education for all students. Teachers endeavour to get to know each student in their class group as a person and make themselves available to students on an individual basis when required. Teachers will provide children with a sound education by careful preparation of programs and lessons, providing remedial/enrichment work when it is required, and by progressive assessment of students. Teachers follow the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) syllabuses.
Major excursions are arranged for various classes including the Years 5/6 Sydney and Canberra/Snowy Excursions, Year 4 Lake Burrendong Excursion, Year 3 visit Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo and the infants classes have various smaller excursions around town. These excursions are not only an integral part of the syllabus but they provide additional stimuli for writing and speaking. Students attend a school performance once a term and all students from Year 1 to Year 6 participate in verse speaking choirs in the annual City of Dubbo Eisteddfod. The students of St Joseph’s have a good reputation for being polite and friendly.