St John's School, Footscray

St John's School, Footscray

Principal:  Miss Emily Conroy

E No.  E1100

Year Levels:  P to 6

Phone Number:  9687 3150

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St John's School, Footscray, was originally established as a church-school, built through the voluntary labour of parishioners. The original four classrooms were separated from the church by folding doors; consequently, the task of packing up the school each Friday for Mass on Sunday was undertaken by the school community and parishioners for many years.

In the 1950s, five more classrooms were erected, once again through the voluntary efforts of parishioners, which enabled the parish to convert part of the church-school into a permanent church. These classrooms, still in use today, are of timber construction, as it was thought inadvisable to erect a brick building on the site of a former quarry.

While retaining much of its original design and purpose, St John's underwent a major internal and external refurbishment in 1989 to enhance the school environment. In 1995, an adjoining residence was purchased in Eleanor Street and during 1998 and 1999 this was converted to the current Library Resource and Technology centres. This acquisition enabled a class group, which had been housed for some years in a portable classroom in the convent opposite St John's, to relocate back to the school site. St John's is situated on its original compact site. The recent Building the Education Revolution (BER) grant has enabled major refurbishment and re-establishment of the hall as a gathering place for the whole school as well as a school community facility.

Current enrolments remain stable, with nine multi-age class groupings. St John's was under the guidance and leadership of the Sisters of St Joseph for 77 years, until the end of 1999, when the first lay principal, Margaret MacKay, was appointed.

The predominance of Australian and Irish parishioners in the early years of the parish changed during the 1950s with a growing Italian community. Today, St John's boasts a community of 21 different nationalities. The multicultural diversity of our school gives witness to the ability of different people to live and work together in harmony and to celebrate and share the richness of their cultures generously and joyfully with each other.


At St John's School, we foster an educational environment based on the common belief in and witness to the teachings of Jesus. Each child is led in an educational process, which is intended to develop and foster spiritual, intellectual, social, emotional and physical growth.

St John's School is an integral part of a wider community and the children are encouraged to respect everyone and to participate in the life of the wider community.

The staff, as professional educators, respond to a call of teaching within the faith community and are open to change, growth and development. They demonstrate to all, the mission of the church through Christ-like example in word, gesture and behaviour, so that all may grow in self esteem and a sense of self worth.

The staff are a group united in convictions and common purpose with each other and the faith community, sharing responsibility for the total good of the students.

At St John's it is recognised that parents are partners in the education of their child. Parents are seen as an integral part of the school, and it is acknowledged that there is a shared responsibility between home and school in the development of the students.

The combined mission of those involved at St John's School is to guide each person towards the integration of Christ's values in faith and life.


At St John’s our specialist areas are Visual Arts, Information and Communication Technologies. Japanese is the LOTE studied. Computers are available in every classroom as well as those accessed through the specialist teaching programs. Children have access to iPads, laptops, and interactive whiteboards (IWB). Our system is networked, which enables every child to access their files from any computer in the school designated for student use. All students have access to a weekly specialist lesson in the Technology Centre where they participate in a developmental sequence of activities enabling them to become confident computer users. Students also have access to a variety of software programs and are strictly monitored in their use of ‘teacher-directed’ internet sites. Appropriate use of the internet is governed by a list of school rules, which must be agreed to by both the students and parents.

The school has a continuing focus on the social and emotional wellbeing of students and staff. Parents are encouraged to be part of this initiative through presentations, information evenings and guest speakers.

School location

Address:  34 Essex Street
Footscray VIC 3011

Diocese:  Archdiocese of Melbourne

Region:  Western

Parish:  Holy Family Parish

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