St Brendan’s Primary School Moorooka is setting a new benchmark for integrating education with the community, thanks to a new principal and the launch of its Community Hub. We spoke to Principal Cathryn Caldwell to learn more about this community-focused school.
How are you finding your new role as Principal at St Brendan’s Primary School so far?
I love being the Principal at St Brendan’s because this is a small, connected community where everyone knows each other and feels a sense of belonging and being important. Our staff know every child’s name in the school; they work together as a team. Together, we aim to provide our students with the best Catholic education and meet the learning needs of each child.
How would you describe the school?
St Brendan’s is an extraordinary place. It is a diverse community where everyone belongs and can feel pride in who they are and where they come from. This diversity is shared and valued. Our children model inclusion in their daily interactions with each other — it is our ‘norm’. We are a welcoming community where every person is made to feel important and is encouraged to be the ‘best that they can be’. We are a community living out the school motto, ‘Live in Faith and Love’.
The children love the staff at St Brendan’s— they know all the staff and can name many adults they feel safe with. Our children love that they can play with children of all ages — our school hall is alive with the joyous sounds of children playing every morning, and it is common to see all age groups from Prep to Year 6 playing together.
St Brendan’s Primary School provides various opportunities that our students love. These include learning instrumental music, playing team sports, representing the school in sports at Zone Carnivals, and going on excursions and camps.
Our children appreciate the free Breakfast Club each Thursday and the weekly extracurricular activities that include Minecraft, chess, running, Lego, robotics, coding and other student interest groups. There is always so much going on!
St Brendan’s Primary School is a special place where parents, children and extended community members come together to learn, play, and reach our potential. We are all lifelong learners, and it is wonderful to see all community members join together in events like our Mothers’ Day stall, where our mothers’ craft group made a range of gifts and supported the children while they shopped and chose gifts for their mums.
It is a wonderful place!
What is the Community Hub?
Recognising the need for people in the community to feel supported and connected, previous St Brendan’s Primary School Principal, Mr Marty Lewis and staff member Mrs Carmel Fitzgerald started a Community Hub. I have previously worked at a school with a community hub that was part of the Community Hubs Australia network. This was a great experience, and it led me to send an application for our Hub to become affiliated with Community Hubs Australia. We were fortunate enough to have our application accepted!
The St Brendan’s Community Hub follows the Community Hubs Australia model, providing partnerships between schools and like-minded agencies who work together to support people in our local community with the needed services. The St Brendan’s Community Hub predominantly works with mothers and preschool-aged children. Some of the initiatives of our hub include:
- English lessons for adults
- Citizenship classes
- Pre-Prep transition support
- Sewing classes
- Yoga classes
- Gardening groups
Everyone is welcome to join the fun and make new friends at the Hub!
What difference does being part of the Community Hub Australia network make?
The support of Community Hubs Australia means that our Hub has the funds and support it needs to reach out to more people in our community through extra staffing and increased access to programs. Community Hubs Australia supports us by funding English teachers to support adults in learning English and provide childcare so parents can focus on their learning. They can also see the modelling of positive engagement in play experiences to support children’s learning.
The St Brendan’s Community Hub provides a safe place for people experiencing some of life’s challenges to come and connect with others, build friendships, and find access to support services to empower them to have positive, happy and fulfilling lives.
The addition of a playgroup builds connections with families in the area. They can connect with other families and then with the school. In this way, schools are seen as part of the wider community, as safe places for their children and not somewhere remote or to be feared. The children grow up around the school, familiar with the school and staff. This builds strong relationships between the school and families, positively affecting children’s growth and learning.
St Brendan’s Primary is an engaging and vibrant small primary school that offers your child an exceptional Catholic education and enrichment curriculum opportunities.
Book a tour, attend an Open Morning, Twilight Evening or contact the school office to discuss other opportunities to visit St Brendan’s.
“At St Brendan’s we are a family. Our doors are always open.”
St Brendan’s is a member of the Brisbane Catholic Education Network.