Our Mission, Values & Catholic Life


Holy Family Catholic Primary School is committed to providing a comprehensive Catholic Education in a caring, family focused environment.


As a faith filled educating community:

  • We impart Catholic beliefs.
  • We recognize and celebrate God in our every day lives.
  • We foster the dignity, self esteem and integrity of each person.
  • We shape our curriculum in response to the learning needs of the students.
  • We strive for personal bests in an environment of high quality Catholic Education.

* * *


“Gathered In Love”

The origin of our school motto stems back to 1979 when the school first opened at Kelso. Suggestions were made at one of the initial Parents & Friends Association meetings regarding a name for the school. Parents recommended ‘Holy Family School Kelso’ and that the school motto would be ‘Gathered In Love’. Mons O’Dougherty undertook to present these suggestions to Bishop Thomas who accepted the recommendations and then an announcement was made on March 14, 1979.



Our school logo depicts images of the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
It was designed by Sr Philippine (Mary Brophy), a Sister of Mercy.


“Gathered In Love”

We are gathered here as a family today,
Gathered together in love.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph show us the way,
Gathered together in love.

Boys and girls, our family and friends,
Join in our circle of love.
Brothers and sisters of Christ are we,
Gathered together in love.

I need you and you need me,
Gathered together in love.
Strength and peace and joy to share,
Gathered together in love.

Where two or three are gathered here,
The Lord is with us too.
Join our hands in care and trust
Gathered together in love.


  • “Holy Family School is founded on the person of Jesus Christ and is enlivened by Gospel values.”
  • “Holy Family School highlights the relevance of our faith to life and contemporary culture.”
  • “Holy Family School, embedded within the community of believers, shares in the evangelising mission of the Church.”
  • “Holy Family School is committed to the development of the whole person.”


As a faith filled educating community:
We impart Catholic beliefs.
We recognise and celebrate God in our every day lives.
We foster the dignity, self esteem and integrity of each person.
We provide a family focused environment where reflection and growth are encouraged.
We strive to shape curriculum in response to the learning needs of the children.


Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
(Matthew 18:14)

“And his teaching made a deep impression on the people because he taught them with authority.”
(Matthew 7:29)

“Be alert, stand firm in the faith, be brave, be strong. Do all your work in love.”
(1 Corinthians 15:13)

“Strive for perfection, agree with one another, live in peace. And the God of love and peace be with you.”
(2 Corinthians 13:11)


2019 Confirmation Group

Holy Family Catholic Primary School exists for a specific purpose. Founded on the person of Jesus Christ, it seeks to highlight the relevance of the Catholic faith to contemporary life and culture “by integrating all the different aspects of human knowledge through the subjects taught, in the light of the Gospel” (The Catholic School, par 37). The school sees itself as embedded within the community of believers and sharing in the evangelising mission of the Church. Its task is to foster the development of the whole person, thereby providing education in its fullest and most authentic sense.

We believe that the school is not the only source of learning and knowledge. Parents, the Church and society contribute to the learning process and the development of curriculum.”

(“Curriculum in Catholic Systemic Schools”)

“The school is a centre in which a specific concept of the world, of the person and of history is developed and conveyed”.

(The Catholic School, 8)

“A Catholic school is not simply a place where lessons are taught, it is a centre which has an operative educational philosophy.

(The Religious Dimension of Education in a Catholic School, 22)

Our school exists to promote and develop the life of the Christian family, a life of love, modelled on the Holy Family, actualised through our school’s motto –

“Gathered in Love”


The core of the Catholic concept or view of reality which should underpin our school’s educational philosophy and curriculum is reflected in the following belief statements.

Human beings are made in God’s image and possess great dignity.

  • God reaches out to us in our day-to-day life.
  • The divine spark exists within us.
  • We have a future beyond this world.
  • We are both blessed and broken.
  • Christians have a history and are called to shape history, to hasten the Kingdom.
  • Society, its structures and its institutions can and should be improved.
  • Family and Society are the natural contexts for human life - in them we find our identity.
  • Christians are called to share Jesus’ identification with the poor.
  • Christians are called to build a community that enhances freedom and justice for all.


Holy Family School recognizes the following goals in promoting Catholic life at our school:

  • To encourage students to base their lives on the teaching and example of Christ.
  • To encourage students to spend more time in personal prayer.
  • To increase student’s reading of Scripture.
  • To help students understand that Christ is a real person to help them in their daily lives.
  • To help students’ develop a positive attitude to Religious Education.
  • To strengthen student awareness of how religion helps to answer real questions about the meaning of life.

Teachers and parents at Holy Family School are encouraged to promote these goals at all available opportunities.


The following ‘belief statements’ hope to reflect our understanding of the purpose of Holy Family School as a Catholic School at Kelso. We believe that:

  • “Jesus is at the core of the school. He is our focus in an atmosphere of lived Gospel values.”
  • “There is development of the individual as a whole person. Each is valued and seen as unique and special with their own gifts and talents.”
  • “People are working together as a whole parish school community. A sense of community and belonging exists and we are focused on our evangelising mission.”


As a sample, Holy Family School recognises the following features of a good Catholic school:

  • Christ is central to our school. We live the beatitudes.
  • R.E. is made real, it isn’t abstract. It is integrated throughout the life of the Catholic school, in the formal and hidden curriculum.
  • Word of God is lived out by staff so children see qualities of trust and respect in action.
  • We live out our school motto - ‘Gathered in Love’.
  • Students are led to understand what it means to be a Christian person.
  • We promote R.E. as a dynamic K.L.A. through experiential learning.
  • We gather as a community. The school interacts with wider community and parish developing a sense of belonging and parent partnerships.
  • Teaching in the life of the school is based on community and church traditions.
  • The school is a caring environment for students, teachers and parents. It is a place where people feel safe.
  • TRUST exists at all levels and between all people.
  • The school operates around a particular value system that establishes positive relationships and views.
  • The school has a focus on student wellbeing.
  • The school provides a safe and supportive environment.
  • Children are encouraged to respect one another.
  • Children are taught to celebrate and be proud of their achievements and those of others.
  • Each child is seen as an individual.
  • A sense of hope and vision is developed in the children.
  • All staff have an important role in developing the school.
  • Good staff, working together is all important to a Catholic School.
  • Teachers are mentors and guides.
  • The school promotes vigorous learning and excellence in teaching/learning.


As a sample, Holy Family School recognises the following:

1. Accomplishments

The following list states our perceived accomplishments as a Catholic School:

  • Religious Education curriculum. Core Gospel values in all areas. Relevant.
  • Prayer and worship. Creative liturgies.
  • Use of symbols.
  • School spirit.
  • Pastoral care and wellbeing focus on the individual.
  • Caring atmosphere. Esteeming of students and staff.
  • Sense of community.
  • Commitment and dedication of staff.
  • Links with the parish.
  • Involvement of school chaplain.
  • Interaction between school, parish, parents.
  • Acceptance of responsibility for development of the whole child.
  • Respect.
  • Encouragement of positive relationships.
  • Exception of ‘Catholic’ treatment of one another in all interactions.
  • Positive school climate.
  • Focus on values.
  • Positive learning environment. ‘Working and industrious’ classrooms.
  • Parent support - moral, financial, physical.
  • Support of missions.
  • Supportive leadership and ‘open door’ policy.

2. Areas for Development

The following lists intends to identify some ‘areas for continual development’:

  • Student wellbeing.
  • Children’s respect for each other - in word and action.
  • Continuing development of student behaviour and respect for one another.
  • Training and implementation of ‘Restorative Justice’ program.
  • Genuine empathy at a variety of levels.
  • Inclusion of all children, especially newcomers to the school.
  • Justice and equality among all.
  • Environmental awareness and responsibility.
  • Appreciation of resources and the school environment.
  • Student leadership.
  • Awareness of school community and student needs.