History

Ashbury Parish was established in 1929 from sections of the heavily populated older suburbs of Ashfield and Canterbury. It was placed under the patronage of St Francis Xavier. Fr Edward McMahon, the first Parish Priest, quickly began the building of a church-school and asked the Ursuline Sisters to start a school.

The first five Sisters, came from Armidale and were led by Mother Veronica Purcell (Superior).

St Francis Xavier School began on 4 February 1930. First day numbers are unknown, but the Catholic Directory records the 1931 enrolment as 191 students.  A range of classes were started, and by 1933 girls were presented for the Intermediate examination (Third Year secondary).

In the early years, folding door partitions were used to create four classrooms. On weekends these were opened and the building then functioned as the parish church. These conditions continued until 1938 when a second level, with five classrooms, were added to the building. The consecration of a new Church of St Francis Xavier in 1955 meant the original building could be devoted to school use.

This parish school catered for girls from Kindergarten to Third Year (secondary) and for boys from Kindergarten to Third Class (primary). Enrolments reached about 340 in 1940 and from then on remained at about 300 up to the 1990s. A vibrant Parents and Friends Association was formed in 1948.

Secondary classes were provided until 1965 when the small college closed, as Archdiocesan authorities decided that larger regional schools were the best means of providing secondary education for Catholic children.

Since the late 1960s parish primary schooling in Sydney has formed a system managed by the Sydney Catholic Schools office, and our school became part of that system. One result was that primary schooling for boys was eventually extended to Year 6. Over the years there was a gradual increase in the role of lay teachers in the school.

In 1986 the Ursuline Sisters  ended their leadership with SFX and the SCS office appointed Mr Gerald McInerney as the first lay Principal.

In 2003 a building upgrade was completed including two Kindergarten classrooms, a toilet block, two Year 3 classrooms, an administration area and a playground were constructed.

The second stage of the building project commenced in 2004, incorporating a refurbishment of our school hall and four classrooms and a total upgrade of our old college building, including a new library and two new classrooms. In 2010 with the assistance of the Federal Government the Stage 1 classrooms were enlarged and refurbished.

St Francis Xavier remains a systemic primary school and continues in the spirit of the tradition and values of the Ursuline Order. Currently there are 310 boys and girls from Kindergarten to Year 6 enrolled at the school.