School History

St Kieran Catholic Primary School was established in 1920 by the Sisters of Mercy to support the Catholic families in the Parish to pass on the faith and to provide a quality Catholic education.

The School was staffed by two Sisters of Mercy from West Perth.  The sisters had to be driven to school for the first fortnight in a sulky.  Later they made the journey by tram, “The Rattler” each day along Main Street.

There were 16 pupils on the first day, 60 by Easter, and 100 by December.

In August 1934 a new school was built on Cape Street, this had three teachers, two sisters and Miss Flanagan.

In 1938 Sr Vianney was appointed Principal with three Assistant Teachers to help her.

The Church bought a house opposite the school in 1939 and this was opened and blessed as a Convent, Sr M. Vianney being the first appointed local Superior.

St Kieran at this time had 107 pupils.  It remained a Primary School until 1945, after that post-primary children attended.

Girls were taken up to Year 10, boys to Year 4 only.  The boys then moved next door to St Phillip’s School, which was later renamed “Servite College”.

Sr Vianney was transferred in 1947 and Sr Bernard became Principal.  During the time that she was Principal, until 1952, a new school was built facing Morgans Street.  There were three large classrooms, a Tuckshop and toilets with sewerage!

During 1953 Sr Vianney returned to the school and two additional larger classrooms were built thanks to the voluntary labour of the parishioners.  Among those who gave their services were Mr Mick Berry, Mr Des Doherty, Mr Gerard Russell, Mr Hardy and Mr  Leo Van Vugt.

In 1969 Sr Celestine was appointed Principal and the School Board was formed.

In 1976 Ms Elizabeth McKenna became the first lay Principal of St Kieran.

Three Sisters of Mercy remained on staff until 1979. In 1981 Sr Noreen Cahill offered her services as a teacher of piano and guitar and provided a religious presence in our school. Unfortunately, the personal link with the Order was broken in 1994 when Sr Noreen retired from music tuition.

In 1980 a Pre Primary Centre was built next to the Presbytery in Waterloo Street. It linked with the main school by the Adventure Playground which is on the corner of Cape Street and Tyler Street. This area, which is a great favourite with the children, was built mainly by parent effort.

In 1987 Mr David Heath was appointed Principal on secondment from the Catholic Education Office.

In 1988  Mr John Borserio was appointed  Principal.

In 1995 we celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the foundation of St Kieran Catholic Primary School.  In a year of thanksgiving and celebration, we launched a history of our school entitled “BUILT-IN FAITH – A History of St Kieran School”.
(Copies are available from the office for purchase.)

In 1996 Mrs Fran Italiano was appointed Principal.

In 1997 Kindergarten classes began at St Kieran for 4 year old children.

During 1998 a Capital Development Plan was approved by the Catholic Education Office. This enabled St Kieran to become two-stream in Kindergarten and in the year 2000 two streams in Pre Primary. Therefore, from the year 2000 St Kieran became a two-stream school from Kindergarten to Year 7.

During 2000 the first stage of our Capital Development Plan was completed. This stage included the building of two Pre Primary Classes and two new classrooms. Our Special Education Centre was refurbished as well as two other classrooms.

In 2002 the second stage of our Capital Development Plan was completed. This stage included the building of a new Administration Block and the refurbishment of 5 classrooms.

In 2005 Mr Red Berson was appointed Principal. In that same year, the Opening and Blessing of Stages 3 and 4 occurred and the development of a Strategic Plan for the next 4 years began.

In 2006 it was decided to incorporate into our environment the history that went before us through the Mercy Sisters and the first Parish Priest. The main playground, facing Cape Street, was redeveloped and named the “Langmead Playground” and the various areas of the school were named “Cullen Wing” “Berchmans Deane Administration Centre” “McMahon Block” “Reilly Pre Primary Centre”. This was followed in 2007 with the creation of a reflective area developed near the Library and named “Magdalen Gardens”.

In 2007 we commenced our 3 Year Old Kindy program.

In 2009 the Special Education Centre was relocated to be closer to Tyler Street and was blessed as the Vianney Learning Centre with the adjacent Genovese Gardens.

In 2014  Mr Peter Cutrona was appointed Principal.

In 2015 the school undertook a major refresh of the school buildings changing the colour scheme of the school and putting into place an ongoing maintenance plan that lead to the full refurbishment of the toilet block at the end of the 2016 school year.

In 2016 the gardens at the front of the school were replaced with a new hedge and a rose garden dedicated to the Mercy order in celebration of their 170th year of service to the people of Western Australia.

in 2019/19 a major refurbishment to the original school building was undertaken. Stage 7 saw the canteen area converted to a classroom and all rooms on the southern side of the original building renovated to provide modern light-filled classrooms.