miniheader catholic


Home | Catholic Life and Religious Education | St Thomas Aquinas School Story

The St Thomas Aquinas School Story

square playgroundSt. Thomas Aquinas School was first opened in 1903 by the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in rented premises near Bowral railway line.

Within a few years the number of pupils had risen to fifty, and a stone cottage behind the former church of St. Thomas Aquinas in Banyette Street was bought. Numbers continued to grow and in 1939, parents made a plea to the Sisters for secondary classes as well. It was obvious that the numbers would be few, so a pre-fabricated one-room building was erected in the corner of the primary school playground. Enrolments grew to about 20 and this friendly little secondary school survived for a number of years. It ceased to exist when pupils decreased especially after the opening of Chevalier Boys' Secondary College in Bowral in 1946.

In the meantime the small stone primary school had become seriously overcrowded. In 1943, a new parish school was erected in Bundaroo Street, staffed by the Sisters. Further additions were made to this in the 1970's. In 1991 a school hall, kitchen, canteen and lunch area were completed, and 1994 saw an addition of four extra classrooms.

In 1976 St. Thomas Aquinas school became part of the system of Catholic schools in the Wollongong Diocese. It is a systemic school; the staff being employed by the Catholic Education Office, Wollongong. In 1988 the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart withdrew their congregation from the school and in 1989 Mr Kevin Ryan was appointed as the first lay Principal, retiring in 1996.

In 2002 a new block containing four classrooms and multi-purpose area was built to improve the learning and teaching facilities in the school. The school has an enrolment of approximately 420 children, with 2 parallel classes in each year level.

In 2010 the Fr Glynn Centre was built with funds granted from the Australian Government under the 'Building the Education Revolution' program.  The Centre is a multi-purpose hall that is used as a learning centre and for extra curricular activities.