Our School

School Profile

St Patrick's Primary School is a Catholic systemic co-educational school located in Sutherland. It is an integral part of St Patrick's Parish, Sutherland. The school caters for students in Years K-6 and has a current enrolment of four hundred and twenty students. Over the last three years the numbers have steadily increased and most classes have approximately thirty students.

The school employs thirty-two staff comprising of twenty-one teachers and eleven non-teaching staff, the latter being employed in a variety of capacities including teacher's aides and office staff.

St Patrick's Primary School, Sutherland was opened in 1924 under the leadership of the Sisters of Mercy. In 1950 the Presentation Sisters assumed responsibility for the school and continued to provide inspiration, ethos and leadership until 1990 when the first lay Principal was appointed.

In 2002, a new administration block was officially blessed and opened. The administration block includes the administration office, the executive offices, teacher's workroom, staff facilities, interview room and library.

In 2011 the building and refurbishment of all learning spaces was completed to include a three-storey classroom block, which houses students from Year 3 to Year 6. Student toilets are located in this block, together with a suite of specialist teaching areas (Special Education, Reading Recovery and the leveled Reading facilities and Teacher workroom). There is a multi purpose learning space for Arts/Craft lessons and a large space for music and drama lessons, which is adjoined to a newly built school hall.

There is a separate infants block with 6 classrooms. This includes the 4 new Year 1 and 2 rooms, which include, toilets, wet areas and withdrawal spaces for specialist programs. The school grounds are landscaped and security fences are erected on all boundaries. Playing areas are partially grassed and partially asphalt, with a shade structure sheltering the quadrangle playground and Cola sheltering the top asphalt playground, which is also the whole school assembly area. There is a well-equipped parish hall available for use by the school for assemblies, sporting activities and meetings.

History

The first Catholic school was founded in Robertson Street, Sutherland in 1924 and staffed by the Sisters of Mercy from Cronulla. Before 1924, the only opportunity the children had of formal religious instruction was provided by the priests who came once a month for the celebration of Mass. However, as early as 1916 the Sisters of St Joseph came from St Declan's Penshurst.

The first teachers at St Patrick's Primary opened the school with an enrolment of 26 pupils. The early school was the weatherboard church-hall (altar at one end, curtained off from the rest) where classes were held. In 1928 the school moved to the completed brick Church in Belmont Street. The sisters travelled to Sutherland daily (in all weathers, through the years) by steam tram, by bus and later, by electric train. They continued for twenty five years until 1950.

In January, 1950, a staff of six Sisters from the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Wagga Wagga convent) began teaching in St Patrick's Primary. Enrolment for that year commenced with 210 pupils and by December that year, the number had risen to 330. The school buildings were expanded in 1953. In 1954, in response to the continued petitions of the parents, the Sisters began the Secondary School in the same building as St Patrick's Primary. In 1959 the first stage of Mary Immaculate College was built, and St Patrick's a Primary School only again. The original brick structures were built in 1966 and refurbished and re-opened in 2001.

Our Patron

St. Patrick of Ireland is a very well known saint around the world. St Patrick an apostle of Ireland was born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387 and died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.

There are many legends of St. Patrick, but this is his story. Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian. As a boy of fourteen or so, Patrick was captured during a raid and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learnt the language and practices of the people who held him.

During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote "The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same." "I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain."

Patrick's captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britian, where he reunited with his family. He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him "We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more." He began his studies for the priesthood and was later ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years. Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, in Slane.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity after hearing Patrick's message. Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461 in Saul, where he had built the first church. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity, and has this symbol has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.

Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.