The Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle has lodged plans for a $13 million expansion of St James' Primary School at Kotara South.
The redevelopment includes new classrooms which will increase the school's enrolment from 366 to 630 students and a 79-place child care centre.
Diocese chief executive Sean Scanlon said increasing demand for places at St James reflected the growing number of families moving closer to the inner-city.
"We've basically got to respond to that," he said. "And anything you build that is new is attractive to parents."
Each year level at the school will grow from two to three classes when the rebuild is complete in 2021.
Mr Scanlon said the work would include updating buildings to reflect modern teaching methods, including collaborative learning and team teaching.
The Newcastle Herald reported last year that the diocese was building another six St Nicholas Early Education Centres next to schools in the coming two years.
Mr Scanlon said the diocese had struck a "magic formula" by locating child care centres with primary and secondary schools.
"I think it works. From our perspective it's a contemporary response to what families are looking for.
"It makes things convenient in terms of one drop-off point and one pick-up point. We think there's a fair bit of demand in that area."
The diocese opened St Bede's Catholic College at Chisholm at the start of 2018 and has expanded St Mary's Gateshead and the newly stand-alone St Joseph's College Lochinvar to year 12.
"We also have those inner-city schools that need some attention and upgrades, so that's what we're doing," Mr Scanlon said.
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