St Thomas Aquinas is a two-stream Catholic Primary School that is located within the parish of St Thomas Aquinas in Bowral and is one of the 30 systemic primary schools that belong to Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong.
The school caters for students in Years K-6 and has a current enrolment of approximately 350 students.
St Thomas Aquinas Catholic Primary School prides itself on the charism of the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and the patronage of St Thomas Aquinas. Their spirit can be found in our students and staff, in their approach to learning, in their spiritual and other achievements and in their friendships and sport.
Our community understands the importance of ensuring the school reflects its tradition of the OLSH charism which focuses on the relationship of love between Jesus and Mary, the same relationship of love we are invited to participate in and have with each other.
The Sisters’ mission of “May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be everywhere loved” holds particular relevance for the ways in which we as a school community shine the heart of Jesus on how we respond to the environmental challenges outlined in Laudato Si’.
We are also blessed to have the patron saint of our parish school of St Thomas Aquinas, whose spirituality influences our daily activities and invites Christ to be gradually formed in us and in those to whom we minister. This finds an expression in the way we care for our environment.
Coupled with our motto of 'Truth Conquers', we understand the importance of being true in our commitment to be sustainable stewards and responsible citizens that contribute to the building of a better future for humanity and our planet.
Read more about What We Offer at St Thomas Aquinas and Take a Virtual Tour of our school
St Thomas Aquinas was first opened in 1903 by the Daughters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in rented premises near Bowral's railway line. In 1943, a new parish school was erected in Bundaroo Street, staffed by the Sisters. Further additions were made to this in the 1970s. 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. 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.
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 extracurricular activities.
St Thomas Aquinas Bowral is located at the base of Mount Gibraltar, just 115 km south-west of Sydney and on Cityrail’s Southern Highlands line. The school is situated on Bundaroo St, with the parish church nearby.
Bowral is famous for its country gardens and fields of tulips in spring. In a past era, Bowral served as a rural retreat for the elite gentry of Sydney, resulting in the establishment of many historic estates and manor houses in the district.
Over 150 years ago, the area where Bowral now stands was open pasture stocked with sheep and cattle.
Known as 'Wingecarribee', it was the property of the sons of John Oxley – famous explorer of the early colony of New South Wales. Ten years later, a road traversed the property and a few rough huts huddled together in the valley proclaimed the birth of the village of 'Wingecarribee'.
Our school is located within a semi-rural community that is made up of both housing and farming estates, smaller acreages, wineries, cattle, sheep and dairy, as well as National Park areas.
The school is close to the shopping district that is a destination spot for tourism. The school draws from a wide range of socio-economic groups from emerging cultural backgrounds.
Catholic schools have a long and proud history in the Australian educational landscape. Originally established by orders of brothers, nuns and priests in the nineteenth century, they are now almost entirely staffed and led by lay people.
Catholic systemic schools in the Diocese of Wollongong are either parish primary schools like St Thomas Aquinas, or diocesan secondary or K-12 schools. They are all co-educational schools. (The diocese also has another seven independent congregational secondary schools, some of which offer single-sex education.)
Catholic schools have a unique character because as well as being places where learning is highly valued, they are places where priority is given to a values-based education in the Catholic faith. This involves all staff and students proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world. Staff identify strongly with their school and take pride in their work and the school’s achievements.