St Mary’s Catholic Primary School was established in 1908 by the Order of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. The OLSH nuns bought with them the values of their founder – Jules Chevalier – which continues to be the foundation of our Catholic school Community.
St Mary’s school was originally called St Joseph’s school until 1958 when its name was changed to St Mary’s to reflect the name of the Cathedral Parish located adjacent to the school. Original buildings included a two-storey classroom, dormitory and refectory. In 1941, St Mary’s school was closed due to the Second World War and seconded by the military to accommodate soldiers. In 1946 the school was re-opened and rebuilt to accommodate the growing student population.
Today St Mary’s school is the only school located in the Central Business District of Darwin, catering for students in Transition to Year 6. In 2008, an Early Learning Centre for 3-5 year olds was established, providing education and care for 3-5 year olds. The Early Learning Centre also provides a preschool program for 4 year olds, led by a qualified early childhood teacher. An Outside School Hours program provides care for children from 2.50 pm – 5.45 pm each day and a Vacation Care program operates during school holiday periods except January.
St Mary’s caters for students from all nationalities and religions, providing high quality Catholic education in a warm, welcoming and supportive environment. Our focus is on the holistic, academic, spiritual, emotional, physical and social development of each child. We work in partnership with families, affirming the important work of parents as the first educators of their children and building positive relationships between all members of our community. We cater for a wide range of students from diverse backgrounds, including students with disabilities and those with high potential.
A high priority is placed on professional learning for teachers with a focus on contemporary learning and teaching and the use of ICT to engage students. A range of extracurricular activities is offered to students including interschool and school based sporting events, academic competitions, school choir, private piano and violin tuition and community activities.
The majority of St Mary’s student population is drawn from the inner city and northern suburbs of Darwin including Bayview, Larrakeyah, Parap and Fannie Bay. A number of families enrolled live in the Palmerston area or in the rural area and parents of these families often work in the CBD.
The school community reflects the diversity of Australian society with students coming from a range of ethnic, socio-economic and cultural backgrounds including Indian, Italian, Greek, British, Fijian, Filipino, South African and Chinese. 8-10 percent of students identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
St Mary’s school has a free APP for families that can be downloaded to smartphones and other mobile devices. This APP includes the school canteen menu, notification of absence form, school newsletter and school calendar of events. Notifications of upcoming school events are also sent via the school APP.
Facebook Page is a source of general and parenting information for members of the immediate and wider community.