International Enrolment FAQ

Answers to all of your questions about enrolling your child at St James College.

It has been recommended that I try to enrol my child at St James College. Can you tell me about the College and what you are able to offer?

We are an inclusive, co-educational Catholic day College in the Edmund Rice Tradition located on the city fringe of Brisbane. We cater for up to 520 students with a wide range of abilities and interests and from a variety of cultural backgrounds. We have a curriculum designed to allow students to progress at their own level. Our aim is to help each student to reach his or her full potential.

Do you have specific staff members who look after International Students?

St James College employs a number of staff members specifically to look after the special needs of this valued group of students within the college. These staff members are led by the International Student Co-ordinator. Direct contact can be made with this staff member by emailing international@stjamescollege.qld.edu.au

What accommodation services do you offer to International Students?

It is College policy that all international students live in approved care arrangements until completion of their enrolled course. Students over 18 years may apply for permission to live independently. We work with International Student Care Australia (ISCA) to provide caring and supportive homestay arrangements which meet Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) compliance requirements. Further information about this will be given on application.

How do I know that St James will meet my child’s need for either extension work or learning support?

Each student is assessed at the time of interview. Reports from previous schools and English assessment tests will be reviewed. From this assessment we will determine whether St James is the most appropriate school for your child. Both our learning support programme and modular curriculum are tailored to meet specific needs, and students are encouraged to choose modules to suit both interest and ability. Teachers specially trained in working with students who have English as a Second Language are employed to work with these students

I have heard that you are a school only for students with special needs?

St James College offers a wide range of academic (OP) and Vocational Education Programs. As in all Catholic schools, students of all ability levels and backgrounds are welcome. As a result we have a number of special needs students in each year level. These students are supported by teacher aides and a modified curriculum. At St James we pride ourselves on our inclusive culture so all students will achieve success in learning outcomes

What systems are in place to ensure a safe and caring environment for my child?

The International Student Co-ordinator will oversee the settlement of all international students new to the college. Students will be given an induction, orientation and be followed up over the first few weeks at the college to check that they are settling in well. Students are welcome to come up to the International Student Office to discuss any concerns they may have.

Pastoral Care is provided within a vertical House system. Each House comprises about 120 students from Year 8 to Year 12. The House Pastoral Co-ordinator is responsible for the overall pastoral care of the students in their House and for dealing with student behaviour management issues. The House Pastoral Co-ordinators are responsible to the Assistant Principal (Pastoral) whose primary focus is on preventative care. St James College also offers an extensive guidance and counselling program and employs two full time counsellors to support and assist students to achieving their educational, personal and vocational goals. Restorative practices are a feature of our Behaviour Management system. Where possible, counsellors who speak the student’s first language will be provided.

I am concerned that I won’t know what’s happening to my child. How are parents kept informed and what is the best way to communicate with the school?

A pivotal part of the pastoral care system is the St James College Student Diary. This is issued to the students on their first day at the college. This book gives parents all details they need to know about school rules, school uniform requirements, procedures to follow when your student is absent, bell times, student timetables and a space for every day where parents can write notes to teachers/staff members. It also has a study guide, tips for assignment writing and details of the school’s Assessment Policy. Students are to carry their Diary with them at all times. There is also a weekly Newsletter giving details of happenings around the school and community and is sent home with students. Please be in contact if you would like a copy emailed directly to you.

International parents will be contacted using address and details provided at least once a term and on other occasions as required. Parents are encouraged to make contact the college directly or through their education agents and reminded to advise the college as soon as possible of any change to contact details. Correspondence received in languages other than English will be translated and responded to accordingly. We encourage all international parents who are visiting Brisbane to come and meet with college staff to discuss their child’s situation.

Does your college allow entry only at the beginning of the year?

No. Applications are assessed throughout the year. Decisions on the year level will be made after assessment of the situation is made and discussed with the applicant and the family. 

Can I speak with a staff member of the college in my language?

We have a number multi-lingual staff at the college and can currently cater for Spanish, Chinese and Korean speaking applicants. As required, translators for other linguistic groups can be arranged.

What is the $250 application fee for and is it refundable?

This fee covers the administration costs of processing an international student application. It is not refundable accept in the case that an application is refused on the basis of inadequate vacancies in the year level requested.

When can we come to see what you have on offer?

We have an Open Day where there are opportunities to view what the College offers, take part in a tour of the campus and listen to input from key staff. At all other times we welcome prospective parents and education agents interested in visiting the College. However it is necessary to contact the College Office to schedule a convenient time.

My child is more interested in a vocational pathway rather than an academic pathway. What do you offer?

In the Senior School we offer our students the opportunity to participate in the Certificate of Workplace Practices. This involves a variety of subjects studied at school and work-based training carried out in an appropriate Industry area. We also offer other certificate courses with particular industry focus, including Hospitality, Information Technology, Design and Technology, Construction and Engineering, and Outdoor Education. These courses can be used to gain credit at many tertiary institutions throughout Australia so that international students wishing to undertake a Diploma after Year 12 may reduce the length of the course time.

My child is academic and wants to go to university. What do you offer?

In the Senior School we offer our students a wide range of OP subjects. As well, students undergo preparation for the Queensland Core Skills test during both Years 11 and 12. International students benefit from the small class sizes and after school tutoring offered to students for no extra charge.

I am confused by the range of subjects offered to my child. How do I help him/her make the best choice?

In Australia, it is wise to choose subjects at school which the student is likely to follow up on in tertiary courses. The College has two guidance counsellors who will assist in subject selections especially in the senior school. The Deputy Principal coordinates this procedure with assistance from International Student Co-ordinator Heads of Department, subject teachers and the Head of Department. Students are offered a wide range of subjects and are encouraged to choose according to interest and ability. 

I notice that you don’t seem to have any sporting grounds. My child loves sport, can you offer any sort of sport?

Our students are able to participate in a wide range of sports by accessing the city resources. We have our own buses and students participate in activities such as canoeing on the Brisbane river, abseiling at Kangaroo Point Cliffs, swimming at the Valley Pool along with all the usual sports such as Basketball, Netball, Soccer and Rugby League. We regularly conduct outdoor education camps at various venues. Our Multi-Purpose Hall is an excellent facility with capability for a variety of sports during class time, recess breaks and after school. Students are actively encouraged to participate at local and district sports and are kept well informed of their options via assemblies, House meetings and the weekly College Newsletter. St James has developed a formidable basketball team over the last few years and both female and male students are encouraged to try out for the team.

How will my child get to school?

The central location of St James is a distinct advantage for all our students whether they reside close to the city or not. The school is a safe short walk from Central Station in the CBD and Chinatown. Approximately half our students use the rail service. There is also a bus service from most suburbs to the City. For information on the bus timetables and route services contact Translink on 131230 or review information on the website www.transinfo.com.au

I’m happy with all the information I have received in your College Prospectus. What do I do now?

Refer to the Application Process document for more details.