St Therese's Primary School

The primary school of St Therese's has always been of major importance in the life of the parish. This is apparent in the decisions made for the first building development for the new parish.
 
On August 16, 1922, St. Therese's parish purchased its first presbytery, Mr. W Hayes' residence, "Marfield" situated at the corner of Richardson and Thistle Streets (where it still stands today). There, a few days later, a meeting of parishioners was held. The first building work to be undertaken was to be a church-school.
 
About 30 pupils, mostly infants, were enrolled on opening day, April 30, 1923 - a sharp contrast to the "nearly 900" children attending the two schools of St. Monica's at that time.
 
Pupil numbers increased steadily and the 1924 October Gazette records: "The growth of the parish school has been phenomenal. In 17 months the number of pupils  increased from 32 to 121.
 
 
The original church-school at the corner of Florence and Edward Streets was a brick building in-corporating classrooms situated around a central hall. It was to be more than church and school. It was the venue for all parish activity.
 
Towards the end of the year a fine swing and a couple of merry-go-round see-saws were erected in the schoool ground and a basketball court and appointments were provided.
 
The 1930s saw a significant overall increase in pupil enrolement, peaking at 465 children attending in 1936.
 
By 1954 there was a total of 693 children enrolled, the largest class being 106 in prep with Miss Ryan !
 
In the years to follow the numbers of children enrolled grew rapidly to a peak above 700 before commencing a long decline. The opening of the new church-school of Our Lady of Nativity in Fawkner Street, West Essendon in March 1958 was one factor to influence the enrolement. The reduction of the school from 9 grades (Prep to Grade 8) to 7 grades (Prep to Grade 6) occured in two stages about this time. 1962 was the last year which included Grade 8, and 1966 saw the last Grade 7. As from 1967, St. Therese's had primary grades only.
 
Further information regarding the school can be obtained from the website: