The first Catholic school in Raymond Terrace is believed to have been a four room slab stone cottage with a brick chimney, built on what is now the hall side of the road, fronting onto William Street. The building remained standing until the early 1900’s, although it is believed that the school may have occupied the church building after its erection in 1850.
From 1881, Catholic education in Raymond Terrace was established and administered by the Singleton Sisters of Mercy. It belongs to a proud tradition of schools founded under the Mercy banner and in the Spirit of Venerable Catherine McAuley.
For 103 years, St Brigid’s was run by the Sisters of Mercy. In 1995, the convent became the school’s administration block. While the sisters no longer teach in the school, their spirit is very much alive.
Extensions to the building site took place in 1920 and then a major building development of five classrooms occurred in the 1950's. During the 1990's, the school was further developed and expanded due to the demand in the area for Catholic education.
It would be 2011 however, that saw the most significant changes to the way St Brigid’s would move forward into the next chapter in its history. The school hall to accommodate the entire school population and five architecturally designed infants’ classes was built, as well as a major redesign work in the library. At the same time, the original 1960's classrooms and the 1984 classrooms were all given a much-needed facelift and remodel.
The new hall was officially blessed and opened in 2011. The foundation stones of the first Catholic school are preserved in a wall in the current school library.
During recent years at St Brigid’s, the addition of a chicken coop, vegetable garden, ‘loose parts’ creative space and a variety of outdoor play equipment have come into the picture.
The school’s patron saint, Brigid of Kildare, was an Irish woman raised on a dairy farm. In the past, many of the St Brigid’s students would have milked cows before they came to school. Brigid championed education for women as well as men – a radical notion in fifth century Ireland. The stained-glass window honouring her in St Brigid’s Church includes, as well as a dairy cow, a lamp representing knowledge and enlightenment.
Our history is built on the struggles, sacrifices and optimism of the earliest Catholic settlers. We embrace our heritage as we move forward, as our motto suggests, in “Truth and Trust”, and in a spirit of prayer and gratitude.