St Patrick’s offers a curriculum, which covers the NESA Key Learning Areas:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Human Society and Its Environment
  • Science and Technology
  • Personal Development/ Health /Physical Education
  • Creative and Practical Arts

As a Catholic school, our students also undertake the study of Religious Education. We develop units of work that elicit higher-order thinking skills that cater to the needs of all of our students. Our units of work are aimed at providing opportunities for inquiry learning, problem-solving, group interaction and decision-making. We also include both independent and cooperative learning. ICT - Information Communication Technology is at the centre of programming and teaching learning. All programmed units of work and most lessons incorporate the use of SMART boards, computers and relevant interactive programs.


At St Patrick’s Primary School, Cessnock we are building a positive, informed, and resilient Catholic community through the teaching of a Catholic curriculum that reflects the teaching of Jesus and the living of the Gospels. Through a Catholic lens, we invite students into a dialogue and a daily encounter with Jesus Christ. Our worldview is seen through the eyes of Jesus. This leads us to realise the inherent goodness and dignity of all of creation and particularly, the dignity of the human person as created in the image of God. We foster our membership in the wider Catholic Church through promotion of parish relationships, our celebrations of the Eucharist and Liturgies and our engagement in Catholic social teaching. We “never see a need without doing something about it”.

Established by the Sisters of St Joseph, our school community models the charism of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. In the spirit of her charism, we are a welcoming, inclusive and accepting community. We seek to support our local indigenous community, the Awabakal nation and treat their culture with respect, acknowledging them as the traditional custodians of the land on which we sit.

The teachings of Jesus are integral to our Catholic communities culture and teaching, respecting the faith and cultural identity of each student.

Our students participate in 30-minute Religious Education lessons each day. We celebrate liturgies in our school quadrangle for important events and feast days. We attend Mass in our Church for the beginning and end of year Masses, as well as a number of Parish Masses, and class Masses throughout the year.

Units of Work

Our students follow the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese Religion structure. Students study a variety of topics from other world religions through to creation. Students also learn about the significance of Lent, Easter and Christmas.


At St Patrick's, our students are involved in a 100-minute literacy block, five days a week. Literacy activities are also incorporated into library and computer lessons each week.

Students concentrate on spelling, grammar, comprehension, reading fluency and mastering the various types of texts including informative, persuasive and imaginative writing during literacy lessons.

St Patrick's also has a designated Learning Centre. Children attend the room for specialised programs such as Mini Lit and Corrective Reading as well as one-on-one reading to enhance fluency and comprehension.

At St Patrick’s we have an extremely well-resourced school library inclusive of technology. There are 32 desktop computers, 32 laptops and 32 iPads that teachers and children can use. The Learning Centre also has a bank of laptops which are utilised to implement specialist programs.


The students at St Patrick's are involved in a daily 1-hour numeracy session that encompasses elements from each of the Mathematics strands.

Mathematics lessons are programmed to cater to the level of the students being taught and administered using up-to-date teaching methods, technology and resources. Students are then tracked on the numeracy assessment continuum so that data can be used to inform and improve teaching and learning.


At St Patrick's, our Science aspect is concerned with finding out about the world. Technology focuses on the purposeful and creative use of resources in an effort to meet perceived needs.

Science and Technology is the key learning area in which students learn about the natural and man-made environments through:

  • Investigation
  • Design and making
  • Using technology

Information Communication Technology is a major focus for St Patrick's. The school is very well-resourced with numerous desktops, laptops and iPad devices, which are utilised across all curriculum areas.


Human Society and Its Environment is the key learning area in which students develop knowledge and understanding of people and their social and physical environments.

At St Patrick’s, we implement the NSW K-6 Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum, which is organised into two subject areas - History and Geography.

The wonderful, large world map on the wall in the library is a great resource for HSIE and History lessons.


St Patrick’s has an extensive sports program comprising of class lessons, as well as team sports. The students enjoy competing in our annual Athletics and Swimming carnivals for their sport houses Wattles (Yellow), Eucalypts (Green), Bluebells (Blue) and Waratahs (Red).

For some students, there is the honour of competing at Regional, Diocesan, Polding, State and National levels in their particular sports. Our school is also well represented in Netball, Rugby League, Soccer gala days, and Cross Country trials which develops the students’ individual and team skills. 

At St Patrick’s, we place great emphasis on physical education participation by all students. We focus on educating our students about a healthy, active lifestyle. The Essential Moves Program is implemented with the infant’s students.

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education is an important key learning area of the primary curriculum. The aim is to develop in each student the knowledge and understanding, skills and values and attitudes needed to lead healthy active and fulfilled lives.

The PDHPE curriculum is organised into interrelated strands:

  • Active lifestyle
  • Dance
  • Games and sports
  • Growth and development
  • Gymnastics
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Personal health choices
  • Safe living


We continually aim to broaden our students' learning in Creative Arts through thoughtfully planned, sequenced and related experiences.

St Patrick’s biannually hold a school concert/showcase. This event gives our students the opportunity to exhibit their talents in performing. During the concert/showcase, items performed include choir singing, dance, drama, verse/poetry recital and percussion bands.

Students are active participants in the local Abermain Eisteddfod representing our school in choir singing, verse speaking, Bible reading, public speaking and impromptu speeches.

We also run our annual “St Patrick’s Got Talent” competition which is open to all students from K to 6 to perform an item of their choice that showcases their talent.

Numerous other opportunities are provided for the children in the Creative Arts throughout the year too. Drumming bands, dance classes and gifted and enrichment programs are just some examples.

St Patrick’s Creative and Practical Arts program provides foundational learning in the forms of:

  • Visual Arts
  • Music
  • Drama
  • Dance