St James Catholic Primary School is situated in the mid north rural community of Jamestown, South Australia, approximately 2.5 hours drive north of Adelaide. We belong to the Catholic Education system of SA and to the Catholic Diocese of Port Pirie SA.
Since 1880, when the Sisters of St Joseph under the leadership and guidance of St Mary MacKillop established St James School, it has built a long and proud tradition of providing a Catholic education to the people of Jamestown and the surrounding district. The school motto “Live by Truth and With Love” is drawn from St Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, reminding us that we are called to work together to grow into the body of Christ. This sense of working together and partnership is a feature of our community and has built a strong school culture enriched by the charism of St Mary MacKillop and the Sisters of St Joseph.This charism drives the heart of our school community and we teach our children the values portrayed in her life.
We maintain a strong link with the Sisters of St Joseph. Sr Kerry Keenan rsj who is based at Clare visits us regularly, runs YCS gatherings for secondary students and provides pastoral and spiritual support to the wider community. The Feast Days of our patron saints are celebrated each year: St Mary Mackillop (8th August), St Joseph (19th March) and St James the Apostle (25th July).
The Port Pirie Diocese covers an area of 980,000 square kilometres to the north, west and east of South Australia. We share a rich and diverse identity with 13 Catholic schools, 58 churches and various Catholic agencies making up our Diocese.
The Charism Mass held in St Mark’s Cathedral in Pt Pirie before Easter, the Diocesan Assembly and the Diocesan Leaders Conference are significant annual events that unite and draw us all together.
Bishop Gregory O’Kelly – Bishop of the Pt Pirie Diocese and Ms Brenda Keenan – Director of Catholic Education Pt Pirie Diocese, are based in Pt Pirie. They work closely with, and support our schools and parishes.
We are very connected with the other Josephite Catholic schools in the mid-north region: St Joseph’s in Gladstone and St Joseph’s in Peterborough. Our schools provide a faith-based quality education for young people in rural communities.
We look for every opportunity to bring our schools together. St Mary Mackillop’s Feast Day is celebrated together with Mass and activities; each school taking a turn to host. Students attend sporting events and performances together. Year 7 students from our three schools attend a joint Year 7 leadership retreat. We have staff retreats, staff meetings and professional learning days together as much as possible so that staff can have the opportunity to share and talk with colleagues.
St Mark’s College in Port Pirie (just under an hour away) is the nearest Catholic secondary school and many students continue their Catholic schooling at the College. St Mark’s has options for families living at a distance such as boarding and a bus travels from Gladstone daily.