School formally began in 1921 under the guidance of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Perthville. The Mother Superior was Sister M De Pazzi. Their main influence was the Catholic School, Religious Education and Music, but their influence touched everywhere.
School commenced with 102 pupils on the 24th January 1921, using the Old Church, the Convent verandah and the Calvary Grotto as classrooms. Among these early pupils were family names such as: Brennan, Holly, Higgins, Kearney, Wesley, Regan, Cook, Field, Gream, Pearse, Tuckey, Quigley, Scully, Hall, Claybourne, Lovegrove, Tucker, Coady, Kennedy, Wallace, Manning, Rohr etc.
Prior to this, Sunday School was taught by Mrs Tucker 1904 - 1920 and Mrs Parker 1904 - 1916. The sisters of St. Joseph ministered to the Coolah Parish from 1921 - 1981. In 1982 the first lay Principal was appointed under the direction of the Bishop of the Diocese of Bathurst. The lay Principal, in collaboration with the Parish Priest, directs the School under the direction of the Bishop and the Catholic Education Office for the Bathurst Diocese.
Children moved classrooms to the present building in 1948. The present Sacred Heart School was opened on the 28th November 1948, by Bishop J.F Norton.
Faith and the Josephite Way
Inspired by the legacy of St Mary (of the Cross) MacKillop, our highly professional, experienced and dedicated staff and our students strive to live the motto and challenge of Faith, Love and Knowledge. The charism of the Josephite way of life belongs to all those who feel called to live the Gospel in a simple, inclusive, loving way after the example of St Mary MacKillop.
Students are encouraged and challenged to live out Gospel values, particularly in accordance with Josephite traditions and values which remain within the fabric of our school. These include; to work in simple and ordinary ways – to roll up one’s sleeves, to seek the “poorest and most neglected parts of God’s vineyard”, to be respectful of the dignity of all, an ability to face life’s struggles, to act with courage in the face of adversity, to be grounded in the reality of everyday, to extend a compassionate hand to those in need, to make others feel “at home” and to find practical solutions to difficult situations.
Sacred Heart is a place of celebration, and is characterised as having Jesus Christ as its centre. This is what makes Sacred Heart a Catholic School. We aim to model for our students what it means to be a good Christian person so that they are firmly grounded in Gospel values and can grow and develop through relationships with others and God.
Sacred Heart provides learning experiences outside the classroom that develop faith, religious and social understandings of students, highlighting the need for love, compassion, justice and service in the wider community. Masses and liturgies are held regularly and in conjunction with our local parish and retreat and reflection opportunities for students as they grow in their faith and spirituality.
Sacred Heart Primary School is a Professional Learning Community (PLC). This means that as a school and staff we are driven to work collaboratively to achieve the highest possible learning outcomes for each child. Improved learning for students, through data and assessment analysis is a consistent focus.
At Sacred Heart we recognise the needs of our students are diverse and we attempt to accommodate different learning styles, rates of learning and learning abilities. Our academic program and school learning environment at Sacred Heart ensures that students will benefit from:
- Small class sizes that maximises the learning and a high support ratio per student
- Evidence based academic programs, including support and enrichment
- Student centred learning experiences that promote personalised learning for each child
- Highly competent and committed teachers who work collaboratively to deliver rich learning experiences
- Innovation in technology – all students experience the benefits of learning in a technology rich environment; supported by the use of video conferencing facilities, fibre optic connection and robotics equipment integrated into learning
- A highly professional learning support team who work closely with students to ensure high levels of learning for all.
Pastoral Care and Wellbeing
Pastoral Care is based on a deep respect for the dignity and uniqueness of the individual person as we are all made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Mary MacKillop, in her living of the Gospel and as a teacher, acknowledged the human dignity of each person. From their teachings, and others alike, we as teachers acknowledge the uniqueness and dignity of each individual and express to them how significant and special they are.
The wellbeing of all students is a key component of our mission as a Catholic school. We provide a supportive and nurturing environment so that our children receive the best opportunity to thrive academically, socially and spiritually.
Sacred Heart Primary School prides itself on the nurturing and individual care it offers to students. Our unique size enables us to provide a school where teachers know their students individually; to fully understand their needs and promote their special gifts that would otherwise remain untapped in larger centres.
Our Pastoral Care system nourishes students based upon values which promote positive relationships. We incorporate a program which develops skills in resilience, relationships, communication and positive self image. We collaborate with outside agencies such as Centacare to ensure our students receive further professional support if required.
Engagement & Our Community
Sacred Heart is a small and unique Catholic school. Research consistently highlights the many academic, social and emotional benefits of attending a small school. Children develop a greater sense of engagement, belonging, and personal value when teachers and classmates get to know them. The culture of small schools typically revolves around hard work, high aspirations, respect for others, and the expectation that all students will succeed, Wasley & Lear 2001. Parents at Sacred Heart are also pleased with many aspects of the school: ‘Our children love the family like atmosphere of Sacred Heart ...Sacred Heart provides our children with an excellent wellrounded education of learning and life skills from a very professional and committed staff body. We could not be happier with the nurturing role Sacred Heart is playing in the development of our children’.
At Sacred Heart we believe in promoting a caring and supportive school community which nurtures a sense of belonging and where the inherent dignity of each individual is valued. Sacred Heart School, through its students, staff and families have a strong and rich sense of community. The school promotes a strong partnership between the school and home and continuation of that association is valued long after they leave. The school offers a wide range of opportunities for parent to engage in the life of the school and its many activities and committees. The support and involvement of parents and families is very much a part of the Sacred Heart spirit.
We value and acknowledge our proud history and place in Coolah. Whilst providing quality education for the children of Coolah and surrounds, we also enjoy the many opportunities to engage with the wider community. Coolah possesses a strong economic base and work ethic, entwined within the fabric of country warmth and hospitality, and our school sits proudly within this culture.