St. Raphael’s school was originally opened in 1936 and is situated in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, in the City of Darebin. The two storey building and hall is situated on a one-hectare site in Cooper Street, West Preston. St. Raphael’s was originally established by the Good Samaritan Sisters and has a history of being ‘primary’ then ‘secondary’ and returning to a ‘primary’ school. St Raphael’s Catholic school has always had a proud reputation for providing quality education for the children of West Preston.
In 2010, as part of the Federal Government’s Building the Education Revolution project, the school now has a wing on the west and east side of the old building which includes four new learning spaces and several meeting areas. The old part of the building has also been refurbished which means that our physical space matches our innovative, dynamic and contemporary learning and teaching. The outdoor learning areas have also undergone a major redevelopment with sand pits, adventure playgrounds, landscaping, a bamboo forest and outdoor learning areas redeveloped in the last two years.
St. Raphael’s has 12 classes with a combination of two straight Foundation classes and 10 composite classes from years 1 – 6 with a current enrolment of 272 students from Prep to Year 6. We have specialist programs in Physical Education, Science, Visual Arts, Performing Arts and Italian. We offer intervention programs in the areas of Reading Recovery, Literacy and Mathematics as well as a highly-abled student extension program. In addition to the Performing Arts program, we offer parents the option to enrol their child in the Instrumental Music Program at their own expense. The Instrumental Program includes Violin, Piano, Drums, Guitar and Singing.
St. Raphael’s has 12 home rooms with a combination of straight and composite classes and a current enrolment of 279 students from Prep to Year 6.
We have specialist programs in Physical Education, Performing Art, Italian, Science and Visual Art, as well as intervention programs in the areas of Reading Recovery and Maths Intervention. School Officers give additional support to a number of special needs students at the school. We also provide programs for highly able and gifted students.
We have a staff leadership team that includes a number of positions of leadership. As well as teachers taking on these very important roles, the students are also an integral part of leadership in the school. These include S.R.C., R.E Leaders, Social Justice Leaders and Sports Captains. At St. Raphael’s we believe in shared leadership. Our supportive leadership ensures a safe, organised, welcoming and well-resourced environment for all members of the school community.
We have a strong community spirit acknowledging and fostering home/school/parish partnerships. We also ensure Catholic education at St. Raphael’s is accessible, affordable and inclusive. The teachers are committed professionals who are highly appreciated and respected by the students and parents.
The demographic of our school community consists of young families, many whom have moved into the West Preston area and have redeveloped old Edwardian houses. Occupations in our parent community primarily consist of tradesmen, shop assistants and professionals. The school community is highly-valued and the parent’s skills and expertise are actively sought to enhance learning opportunities for the children.
Being a Catholic Primary School the religious characteristics of the children who attend St Raphael’s are primarily Catholic. Our Parish Administrator Fr. Simon Grainger, is willing to accept children of all religious denominations with Catholic children given enrolment priority.
We strive to maintain a positive school culture where the student’s resilience is fostered. We also promote a healthy approach to life and general wellbeing.