Weekly rehearsals are on offer for the choir. Children are able to then perform at school masses, parish functions and community events. We also provide opportunities for our students to perform for our local community at local organisations, nursing homes and shopping centres.
Our School Concert Band was form in 2018 and is slowing building. The band rehearse each week under the leadership of our music teacher, Mrs jo Cook. Students are encouraged to seek tuition outside school time. Music students from our sister high school, St Mary’s Catholic College, tutor to our students for a discounted rate. The band perform at school assemblies.
Premier's Reading Challenge
Each year St Paul's students engage in the Premier's Reading Challenge to celebrate their love of learning and literature. The Challenge aims to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students, and to enable them to experience quality literature. It is not a competition but a challenge for each student to read, to read more and also to read more widely.
The ICAS University tests are provided for students each year. The independent skills-based assessments include Computer skills, English, Spelling, Writing, Mathematics and Science competition papers and are sat by over one million students in Australia and New Zealand annually. These assessments offer students the opportunity to explore extended content in each of the curriculum areas. Students are then awarded different achievement commendations ranging from Merits to High Distinctions.
St Paul's holds an annual Public Speaking Competition in Term Three. Public speaking is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge and clearly articulate their thoughts, ideas and understanding to their peers. Preparing a speech for public delivery increases a child's knowledge of the topic and enables him or her to become more in tune with the subject matter, as well as, develop confidence. Every student at St Paul's learns the skills of public speaking during class and has several opportunities to practise delivering a speech to an audience. Our more talented and exceptional speakers are then invited to present at the whole school competition, where their talents are recognised more formally. Winners of the school competition go onto the Regional Public Speaking Competition held annually in Term 3.
Each week at St Paul's a talented group of Chess players meet to practise the game. Students will either play one-on-one games or doubles tournament rounds. St Paul's have entered the Primary School Chess Competition, which sees our students visit a number of primary schools across the region. Chess is an activity that exercises both sides of the brain and demands concentration, planning and foresight. It also strengthens memory and problem-solving skills. Chess provides our higher ability students with an opportunity to rely on their creativity and exercise some originality.
Stage Three students have the opportunity to enter the Maths Olympiad competition. This is an annual competition extending across Australia. This program is designed to strengthen students' mathematical intuition and requires calculated problem-solving strategies. Students sit a five problem test every month between May and September, competing against other likeminded students, as well as aiming to improve their own achievements. This high-quality program produces critical thinkers and fosters creativity and ingenuity.
Our St Paul's team meet regularly to train for these contest problems. At these training sessions students strengthen their problem-solving skills and learn different strategies that assist in speedy solutions. The focus is on strengthening students' ability to solve mathematical problems in a creative manner. These gifted mathematicians are taught to use critical thinking to find the solution, as opposed to simply finding the answer using a prescribed method. Maths Olympiad not only requires a strong understanding of number sense but relies on the ability to find shortcuts in order to find solutions.
Tournament of the Minds
TOM offers teams of students the opportunity to solve authentic, open-ended challenges that foster creative, divergent thinking whilst developing collaborative enterprise, excellence and teamwork.
Challenges are set in the following disciplines... The Arts, Language Literature, Social Sciences and STEM.
St Paul’s students from Year 3-6 have the opportunity to audition for the school TOM team. Practices take place at lunchtime in preparation for the TOM Competition held annually at Newcastle Grammar in Term 3.
Coding and Robotics Club
St Paul’s has a Coding and Robotics Club that meets at lunchtime once a week. The students have the opportunity to develop their skills in coding and robotics, using Mbot robots, Scratch and Code.org
At St Paul's, we aim to provide opportunities for our students to become active and responsible leaders in our school community. This includes having all students involved in our Buddy Program - Year 6 students are partnered with a Kindergarten student to ensure smooth transition to school.
We also give all students the opportunity to be nominated for an official leadership role as School Councillors and House Captains. Each student that is nominated for these official leadership roles is expected to present a speech in order to be voted into that specific role. All Year 5 students participate in the Rock ‘n’ Water resilience and self-awareness program as part of their preparation for student leadership
We have a large Mini Vinnies group which draws on students from Year 6. Mini Vinnies is a voluntary program designed for groups of primary school students who are interested in social justice. At St Paul's, Mini Vinnies students get together to help those in need within their school, local or international community.
St Paul's has a range of exciting sporting initiatives happening across the school extending our students talented sporting achievements. Each year, we offer the following additional sporting opportunities:
- Diocesan Representative Sport. Students in Years 4, 5 & 6 have the opportunity to trial for selection to represent the Diocese of Maitland Newcastle. These sports include netball, basketball, soccer, hockey, touch football, rugby union, cricket, rugby league and AFL
- Regional Catholic Schools Sports Gala Days such as Soccer, Rugby League, Touch Football and Netball
- Students between the ages of 8–12 also have the opportunity for selection in school, Lakes Region, and Diocesan Representative Teams for swimming, athletics and cross country
- Rugby League competitions e.g. NSW Catholic Primary Schools Rugby League 10-a-side
- Sporting Skills Development days e.g. AFL Aus Kick, Basketball, Soccer, Rugby League, Cricket
- Year 2 Swimming Program at our local swimming pool with professional trained instructors.