Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School Important Information


posted 18 Feb 2020, 18:33 by Nicole Albatti

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School, Fairfield is pleased to announce to our school community that our school has been accepted into The Newman Selective Gifted Education Program, which caters for the particular learning, social and emotional needs of identified gifted students. This program is unique to Sydney Catholic Schools and will begin for OLR in 2020. The program’s strong focus on differentiated learning has the potential to positively impact on whole school pedagogy, enriching professional experiences for teachers and resulting in learning gains for students.

For more information please visit https://sydcatholicschools.nsw.edu.au/learning/learner-diversity/newman-selective-gifted-education-program


OLR - Highest ranking school in Fairfield

posted 5 Jun 2019, 17:13 by Nicole Albatti

We are delighted to have featured in The Daily Telegraph as Fairfield's highest ranking school in Fairfield for NAPLAN! 


posted 12 Mar 2019, 16:37 by Nicole Albatti   [ updated 12 Mar 2019, 16:47 ]

New Principal at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School in Fairfield, Jackie Vella (right), puzzles parents, Dimitri and Fiona Papaikonomou, with Maths problems. PHOTO: Supplied 

The new Principal at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School in Fairfield has already “puzzled” many parents in the school community with her very personal and “hands-on” approach.

In her first semester at the school Jackie Vella has already met many of the parents at OLR, and has even conducted a “Maths Puzzles” workshop especially for them, to assist with their understanding of their children’s learning.

The interactive workshop was designed to allow parents to live the experience of a Maths Problem Solving Lesson. Many students in the OLR school community are from migrant or refugee families, for whom English is their second language. The Maths Puzzles workshop helped parents to not only understand what their children are learning in their Maths classes, but also to meet and get to know their new Principal.

Parent, Roden Shakoori helps her son, Fadi Atoza, with a Maths puzzle. PHOTO: Supplied

“It was so much fun and took me back to school,” said Dimitri and Fiona Papaikonomou, whose daughter started school at OLR this term.

Ms Vella, who was formally Principal at St Therese’s Primary School in Padstow, has a keen interest in Mathematics and Gifted Education and said she hopes to share her experiences in these two areas with the school community.

She has big shoes to fill, replacing Br Nicholas Harsas as Principal, as the beloved Patrician Brother had served the school community for 11 years prior to leaving.

Principal Jackie Vella presents a leader badge to Year 6 student, Nicholas Mouarkesh at the opening School Mass. Looking on is parish priest, Fr Michael de Stoop. PHOTO: Supplied

However, Ms Vella has made a promising start, taking time to meet in person many of the staff, students and parents.

Since beginning at the school, Ms Vella has also spent much time personally visiting each classroom and working alongside teachers.

This refreshing approach has been welcomed by staff and students as one teacher said, “It reflects ‘walking alongside’ us as educators… rather than doing all the many ‘Principal’ things she needs to attend to. It makes us feel she appreciates what is happening at the coalface.”

Ms Vella reads a book with Kinder student, Manasseh Anti Oti. PHOTO: Supplied

During Catholic Schools Week, parents of OLR students were given many opportunities to engage in the life of the school, promoting the idea that the education of children is a partnership between the school and the parents. 

Ms Vella said she appreciated the “wonderful support” given to the school by the parent community.

Students at Our Lady of the Rosary receive much support in the classroom from teachers and parents. PHOTO: Supplied

As a way of further promoting the “family” spirit of the entire school community, a Harmony Day will be held on 21 March when students will come to school wearing clothes that reflect their national dress. Students will be called to assembly by other students saying “hello” in different languages and parents will bring food from their various countries to share for morning tea.

Catholic Schools Week also marked the opening of enrolments at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School in Fairfield for 2020. The school is currently accepting enrolments and information is available at the school office.

More info: 02 9727 9064

The Catholic Weekly - 11th March 2019
To see full article please go to 

About Catholic Schools Magazine - Special Feature

posted 18 Dec 2018, 18:19 by Nicole Albatti   [ updated 18 Dec 2018, 18:24 ]

The Term 4 2018 issue of "ABOUT Catholic Schools" features a special
 article that includes our school and Br Nicholas.


posted 18 Nov 2018, 20:10 by Nicole Albatti   [ updated 18 Nov 2018, 20:19 ]

Mr Guy Zangari MP, Member for Fairfield, presented a special tribute to OLR's Principal Br Nicholas Harsas, fsp at the Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament, in October 2018. Congratulations Br Nicholas!

School Concert Highlights 90th Anniversary

posted 4 Nov 2018, 18:46 by Nicole Albatti

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School celebrates 90th anniversary

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School’s 90th anniversary celebrations have begun with pupils presenting the story of the school at their concert on Thursday.

Kindergarten to Year 6 pupils presented  the culmination of their class music, dance and drama programs at the 90 Years Young concert.

Outgoing principal Brother Nicholas Harsas said from humble beginnings the school has grown into a place with a fine reputation of “high expectations, excellence in education and wonderful school spirit”.

“The school began in 1928 staffed by two Sisters of St Joseph with a small group of children. In 2018 there are 670 students and over 60 staff...the school has come a long way,” he said. 

The school has come a long way.


“Turning 90 years is a significant milestone. It is a cause for celebration as we remember the past, celebrate the present and hope for the future.

“ I am sure Our Lady of the Rosary School will continue to be a happy, inclusive community where all students, staff, parents feel welcome and valued.”

The school will celebrate their 90th anniversary year and Our Lady of the Rosary's Feast Day with a special Mass at noon in the parish church on October 26.

For the full article please visit: https://www.fairfieldchampion.com.au/story/5673743/olr-celebrates-the-big-9-0/

Fairfield Champion Article - OLR Marking 90 Years

posted 4 Nov 2018, 18:04 by Nicole Albatti   [ updated 4 Nov 2018, 18:13 ]

Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School marks 90th anniversary with mosaic

The unveiling of a specially commissioned mosaic was one of the highlights of Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School’s 90th year anniversary celebrations last week.

The mosaic, which each member of the school community contributed to creating, was blessed as part of the festivities which included a school mass to coincide with the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Some of the special guests for the event, which included a repast in the hall, were McMahon MP Chris Bowen, Fairfield MP Guy Zangari, Fairfield mayor Frank Carbone , Regional Director of Sydney Catholic Schools Dr Vicki Lavorato and Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools Dr Dan White, an ex-student of the school.

A large number of Sisters of St Joseph who worked in the school and current and former parish priests of Fairfield were also in attendance.

Principal, Brother Nicholas Harsas, unveiled the new mural and cut the anniversary cake with Sister Marion Gambin –  the last Sister of St Joseph principal of  the school.

The school began in 1928 staffed by two Sisters of St Joseph with a small group of children. In 2018 there are 670 students and more than 60 staff.

Last month, Kindergarten to Year 6 pupils presented the history of the school at the 90 Years Young concert.

“Turning 90 years is a significant milestone. It is a cause for celebration as we remember the past, celebrate the present and hope for the future,” Brother Nicholas said.

To view full article click on link below:


OLR wins 1st & 2nd prize at the 2018 Public Speaking Competition

posted 20 Sept 2018, 19:19 by Nicole Albatti

We are very excited at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School, Fairfield!

On Thursday September 20 2018, the Finals were held of the Inter-school Public Speaking Competition for Years 5 and 6 students. This competition consists of three rounds of Public Speaking involving Years 5 and 6 students from 14 Catholic primary schools. 

Our Lady of the Rosary School, Fairfield, was awarded both first and second places in the 2018 Public Speaking Year 5 Competition - taking both Gold and Silver Medals.

The school community is very proud of the success of Mary-ann and Trinity and we congratulate our eloquent and polished Public Speaking Winners: Mary-ann Younan (Gold medal) and Trinty Buontempo (Silver medal).

The school prides itself on excellence in literacy and this is just another indication of the school's success in this area.

Br Nicholas Harsas, fsp 

COMING SOON: Sydney Catholic Early Childhood Services

posted 19 Aug 2018, 20:20 by Nicole Albatti   [ updated 19 Aug 2018, 20:28 ]

ABC News highlights OLR's NAPLAN success

posted 14 Dec 2017, 17:59 by Nicole Albatti   [ updated 14 Dec 2017, 18:00 ]

Children who grow up speaking a language other than English are outperforming native English speakers in spelling in some states, the 2017 national school assessment report card shows.

Key points:

·         Migrant children top the nation in Year 3 spelling

·         Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children improved their NAPLAN results significantly over the past 10 years

·         Federal Education Minister says overall decline in writing and reading scores as a "wake-up call"

The literacy achievement of primary school students who speak languages other than English is the surprising success story to emerge from this year's NAPLAN results.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are also standout performers in reading and maths improvement over the past decade.

But this year's national picture is mixed, and the Federal Government has described an overall decline in writing and reading scores as a "wake-up call".

Hundreds of children begin their first year of primary school in Australia speaking limited English, and in some cases no English at all.

But by Year 3 they are outperforming native English speakers in spelling in New South Wales and Tasmania.

In most other states children with a language background other than English are performing on par with native English speakers.

Fairfield, in Sydney's south-west is a melting pot of diverse cultures. A local Catholic school, Our Lady of the Rosary, welcomes about 90 students into kindergarten each year.

For almost all of those children, English is a second language.

PHOTO: Teacher Julianne Merhi with some of her pupils at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Primary School. (ABC News: Natasha Robinson)

Despite the challenges, it is among about 40 schools nationwide that have been identified as making the biggest gains in literacy and numeracy achievement.

The school said it scored above the state and national averages in spelling, and has been consistently above state and national averages over the past five years in Years 3, 5 and 7 NAPLAN spelling.

"We've got children who are very, very willing and ready to learn," school principal Brother Nicholas Harsas said.

"It's wonderful to see them coming into school with little or no English, and then 12 months later how far they've come."

Kindergarten teacher Julianne Merhi puts the results down to explicit phonics instruction in the early years of school.

"Because a lot of the children do come to us with limited language, building letter and sound correlation is very important," Ms Merhi said.


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