About Us

Our School

St. John's Catholic school began in 1893 as a result of the Irish railway workers asking the Sisters of Charity at the opening of St. Joseph's Hospital in 1892, to teach their children religion. The Sisters immediately started teaching the children within the grounds of the Hospital.

Within a year the Sisters had agreed to requests from the local catholic community to open a full time school. The opportunity arose with the construction of Auburn's first Catholic Church in Queen Street. After the building was completed in April 1893 it was able to function as a church on Sunday and a school during the week. By the middle of the year two teaching sisters had arrived to take up residence with their nursing sisters at the hospital's Duncraggen Hall and they opened the primary and infants school. Sr Patricia Murray was the founding Principal with Sister Alphonsus as Infant Mistress.

In July 1802, Governor King proclaimed that the districts of Parramatta, Bankstown, Prospect Hill, Toongabbie, Seven Hills, Eastern Farms, Field of Mars (Ermington - Ryde) Northern Boundary and Kissing Point should be known as the Parish / County of St John, in honour of Captain John Hunter, the late Governor.

In 1893, the School, in the Parish/County of St John, established by the Sisters of Charity in the tradition of the Sisters and the charism of Mary Aikenhead, was then known as the Convent school in the Parish/County of St John's. Later the convent school was commonly known as St John's Catholic School.

Sr Patricia Murray RSC was the first Principal of the school. Due to increased enrolments the original school/church building of 1893 was demolished. In its place was built the present building known as the Alphonsus Memorial Building. In 1930, on 26th January, Archbishop Kelly blessed and opened the two story school building for girls. Sr Patricia Murray died 17th June 1949.

Sr Alphonsus Fitzpatrick was appointed as the first Infants teacher and taught in the wooden building left of the church/school building on the right. She was sent to Auburn because of her ill health. Sr Alphonsus stayed and worked at St John's Convent School for forty- two years. She was known and loved in the school and district hence the new building was known as the Alphonsus Memorial Building. After she died 2nd October 1936 a lane was named in her honour - Alphonsus Way, Auburn.

The school expands

The school developed rapidly and by 1900 had about 170 pupils, in Infants' and Primary classes. Auburn in 1915 became a separate parish. By 1930 there were 500 pupils and the school had extended to Third Year secondary (Intermediate). From 1942 the older primary boys moved to the Marist Brothers' school which was established in that year. At St John's the secondary section provided Home Science classes for girls.

Increasing enrolments and the need to implement the more complex Wyndham reforms in secondary education led to widespread rationalisation of Sydney schools in the 1960s. This was certainly needed at St John's, where classes in 1960 had an average of sixty pupils. In 1962, the primary section was moved to a new building at 12 Alice Street, Auburn and by 1964 was known as St John's Regional Primary School. The secondary section was now called St John's Regional Girls' High School.

The relocated St John's Primary, with an enrolment of about 500 in the 1960s, was for girls from Kindergarten to Sixth Class and for boys to Fourth Class. It was part of the evolving system of schools managed by the CEO, Sydney. The Sisters of Charity maintained their leadership of the school until 1974. Lay Principalship was organized by the Catholic Education Office, Sydney. By the 1990s boys remained to Year 6.

A major change took place in 1995 as part of a major reorganisation of Catholic schools in the district. St John's Girls' High School was closed and St John's Catholic Primary returned to its original site.

In the year, 2010, St John's Primary School has an enrolment of 300 students encompassing 55 nationalities with 49 members of Staff. The School has undergone many changes in Education using many programs and teaching initiatives. Facilities have been improved providing open space learning for Kindergarten to Year Three. 2011, through the Building Education Revolution of the Federal Government, (BER) a new school hall, Year One and Year Two Open learning spaces was opened, June 6, by the Honourable John Murphy Federal Member for Lowe and Father Ray Farrell PP. Mr Frank Molloy, CEO Regional Director, Sr Gaye Reynolds representing the Sisters of Charity, other guests, parents and students were present. Refurbishment of the Year Four, Five and Six Classrooms will need to take place in the near future.

St John's is a great school where Building Relationships in a Learning Environment is of great importance. The students value their school, its history and its learning opportunities. As we look back to 1892 when Sr Patricia and Sr Alphonsus commenced the school in the grounds of Duncraggen Hall, St Joseph's Hospital, we express our gratitude for the Sisters, Teachers, Parents, Parish Priests and the Catholic Education System who have nurtured and developed our school to this day. Let us thank God for the past, the present and ask His blessing for the future of this great catholic schoo