Catholic Education South Australia

Principal's Welcome

I offer you a warm welcome to
Tenison Woods Catholic School...

Established in 1997 following an amalgamation between St Joseph's School, Richmond and Kilmara School, Thebarton our school is located on the sacred land of the Kaurna people. 

As a parent, I value the overwhelming responsibility you face in choosing the right Early Learning Centre, Primary and Secondary school for your child. It is a monumental responsibility and one that I know every parent values and takes seriously.

Tenison Woods Catholic School is a Reception to Year 6 co-educational school in the Josephite tradition. From our Josephite tradition we are Raising Hearts and Minds so our children can Inspire, Innovate and Excel. We seek to nurture the individual and instil in them a deep sense of social justice and call to mind an appreciation of our environment.

St Mary of the Cross MacKillop inspires us to uphold her dedicated legacy and statements such as, "Never see a need without doing something about it" and "In all things love" are two inspirational quotations which we endeavour to bring to life at Tenison Woods Catholic School.

150 years ago, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop in conjunction with Fr Julian Tenison Woods saw a need to provide education and an opportunity to the impoverished and marginalised; "seek first the poorest and neglected" was Mary's mantra in the genesis of these wonderful schools. Together in 1866, they began the first St Joseph's school in an old stable in Penola. On 19 March 1866 (St Joseph's Day) Mary started to wear a simple black dress and began the Congregation of the Sisters of St Joseph. Now as a Sister, she dedicated her life to God's work. As more and more young women joined Mary as Sisters, they were able to start more schools.

We reside in the Richmond Parish boundary which includes our church, St Aloysius located on the premises. We have a strong relationship with our Parish community and Parish Priest Fr Peter Zwaans, who celebrates Mass during the week.

Tenison Woods Catholic School is a progressive, innovative and contemporary learning community that seeks to provide learners with high levels of agency. Our educational endeavour is to equip our learners with six key researched competencies, so they can exit our school equipped to tackle the next phase of their educational and life journey. 

Our curriculum and pedagogical practices are contemporary and child-centred. In partnership with families our school community is welcoming with modern learning spaces, new facilities and expansive grounds. Our staff aim for excellence in all aspects of the educational process. Our school also offers spiritual and religious focus, physical and sporting experiences, personal support and care in the maintenance of social and emotional wellbeing. 

This community of 170 students and seven composite classrooms is intimate and family like. All students across the campus from R-6 get to know each other within the first year of school and subsequently, they build close relationships with each other throughout their school journey. We have a strong community atmosphere and delight in the opportunity to celebrate whole school events.

Integral to our community is Choice Theory and Positive Education; these physiological theories underpin our relationships and feature in our personal responsibility and well being policies. Both of these applied theories enable us to develop authentic relationships with our learners and assist us in understanding each child holistically.

When you enrol at Tenison Woods, you're not just enrolling in a school; you are enrolling into a community of thriving people, capable learners and leaders of the world God desires where every child matters. 

I invite you to join one of our Principal Tours which are held once a term. For further information please contact our friendly administration staff. 

Peter Mercer