St James’ School is a Catholic parish school within the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese. The school is situated on the western fringes of the town, on land first settled by the Wanaruah people. The school began its existence as a Catholic denominational school in the middle of a developing township in 1862. When government funding was withdrawn in 1883, the Sisters of Mercy took over responsibility for the school. This school continued to provide a valuable Catholic education to the people of the area, until demand for places, brought on by an expansion in mining and power industries, resulted in the need for the construction of a larger school. In 1983, 100 years after the arrival of the Sisters of Mercy, the present Primary School of 14 classrooms, chapel and other amenities was opened.
At St. James' Primary, in 2015, we have 250 pupils in 11 classes from Kindergarten to Year 6. We are supported by a full time Clerical Assistant, who is the first point of contact for parents at St James'. A Regional Network Administrator and Learning Technology Education Officer assist with all things technology in the school. The Teacher Librarian and Library Assistant manage the student library and staff resources. Our Learning Support Teacher, Leading Teacher in Literacy and Numeracy K-6, and Learning Support Assistants assist with the diverse learning needs of students. The Aboriginal Education Teacher and Pastoral Care Worker further assist students and families with individual needs. We have a Groundsman who maintains our expansive grounds and a Canteen Supervisor who runs the canteen three days per week.
St. James' Primary School has many amenities including a large front oval, soccer fields, cricket pitch, netball and basketball courts, fixed equipment and a multi-purpose assembly hall. We also have a computer lab and a learning centre fully equipped with a library, iPads and computers. All computers are networked and online.