St. Simon the Apostle School, Rowville was established in 1982, with an initial enrolment of 92 pupils and a staff of six, the second school established by the Parish of St. Jude’s, Scoresby. Rev. Father Les Tomlinson was appointed the first Parish Priest in 1988 when the Parish of St. Simon the Apostle was formed. By 1989 the school population had reached 500, while the catchment area had become one of the fastest growing residential areas of Melbourne. The Parish Church was completed and officially opened by Archbishop Sir Frank Little on 13th November, 1993. The students participated in a fund raising effort to contribute to the cost of the Baptismal Font. At the same time, the School Motto, “Jesus Calls Come Follow Me” was created.
At the beginning of 1997, four streams of Preps commenced their schooling at St. Simon’s, thus bringing the enrolment to 674 students, with a total of 22 classrooms. In the years 1982 to 1997 St. Simon the Apostle School had been in a constant state of rapid change and growth. Student numbers have since stabilised and are now predicted to stay around the 570.
St. Simon’s is situated in attractive surroundings on 2.5 hectares of land at the corner of Wellington Road and Taylors Lane. The Parish Church, Hall, House and Presbytery are located within the same property. It is situated approximately 28 kilometres east of Melbourne, in a rapidly growing residential area, surrounded by several industrial estates. The school is organised along traditional lines. In 2019 there are 26 classes with an average class size of 22. Different organisational structures may operate at times due to student needs, or special programs. Of the 570 children there is an even gender balance, from approximately 450 families. Parental involvement is an important feature of the school. Programs such as Religious Education, English, Mathematics, Student Wellbeing, Library, Inter School Sports plus various Art and music activities are supported by parent input. Parents on the School Advisory Board assist the Principal in deciding future school direction and oversee the other parent committees – Parents Association, Uniform Shop, Canteen.
St. Simon’s has had a long tradition dating back to 1986 of involvement in the Integration Program which supports children with disabilities within the mainstream setting. The student population is drawn from a very diverse range of cultural backgrounds. In all, a total of 42 different nationalities are represented.
Approximately one third of the students are from language backgrounds other than English. In 1995 an allocation for an English Second Language program was granted by the Catholic Education Office and increased in 1997. This funding currently supports our LOTE Japanese program. The co operation and enthusiasm of the Staff and Parent Community working together, within the context of our Catholic faith and tradition, promotes an environment which fosters a love of learning and is supportive of individual needs.
Our School Vision
At St. Simon’s our school vision underpins all that we do in our school community. Our vision reflects the shared ideals that we strive for in educating children in our Parish Primary School.
Jesus is the Heart of a Christian Community
St. Simon the Apostle School, as part of the Catholic Parish Community follows the teachings of Jesus and strives to be a community of faith, sustained by the word of God and the Sacraments of the Church: a meeting place with Christ in communion with the people.
The school aims to provide an environment where all members feel happy, secure and part of a loving, caring community.
Positive attitudes towards learning are encouraged through an inquiry based curriculum which fosters the development of faith, gospel values and the attainment of skills and knowledge which equip children for a lifetime of learning.