Mary’s Mount Primary School in Gooseberry Hill is this year celebrating 100 years since was opened by the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition, with five boarders and 12 day students.
Originally a boys’ college, the school has gone through a number of transformations over the years, with a new brick campus completed in the 1950s, the move to a co-educational community at the end of the 1960s, and significant growth and improvements continuing through to today.
Principal Emma Bell began at the school for the start of this year, in time for the first celebrations and cake-cutting.
“I feel blessed to be joining the Mary’s Mount Primary School community in such a significant year for the school,” she said.
“I have met families with whose own histories are woven into the fabric of the school, I have loved hearing the stories of generations of family members connection with Mary’s Mount Primary School.
“The students, families and staff certainly make this a welcoming and vibrant school environment,” Ms Bell said.
Along with the celebratory mass for staff and students that was held last week, the school has planned events and activities throughout the year, including a 100 Year Gala dinner on 22 May, a community mass at St Mary’s Cathedral on St Emilie’s Feast Day, 17 June, and rebuilding of the school’s Grotto.
2021 will be a year when students are encouraged to create their own history and memories of Mary’s Mount Primary School, while taking inspiration from the Sisters of St Joseph of the Apparition and their faithfulness to the charism of their founder St Emilie de Vialar.
Year 6 student, Madison, said that “the 100th year is the year we have all become role models, we will embrace the kindness of St Emile De Vialar and take responsibility for our school,”
Fellow Year 6 student, Nate, said that learning was a tradition that had been passed down over the years at the school.
“It is a tradition that I am more than happy to pass down in the hundredth year of Mary’s Mount Primary School,” he said.
Gabrielle, also in Year 6, said “it takes responsibility to lead, courage to try, and an open-minded attitude to lead education for 100 years,”
Beautiful grounds and excellent facilities in a scenic hills setting are a point of pride for the school, and have been developed with care and passion over the years.
Recent features include the Loquat Grove nature playground, named via a student competition and opened in 2017 by Maggie Dent, and the Giovinazzo Creative Learning Centre, refurbished and named after two long-standing staff members in 2018.
Ms Bell said that in the school’s 100th year, staff and students would look to the future while honouring the history and traditions of the past.
“The centenary, like our faith, will be incorporated into everything in the life of our school throughout this year.”