School first commenced in June 1942 in a building facing Nicholas Street, consisting of one classroom, an entrance hall and a cloak room. The preparatory class, as well as Grades 1 and 2, worked in this classroom under the supervision of the late Mrs Margaret Sylvester.
In 1943, the Sisters of Mercy came to St Robert’s for the first time and Sr Roberta Rainsford took charge. The school then catered for girls and boys from Preparatory Class to Grade 8. As time passed, the school terminated at Grade 6 and pupils went to local Catholic secondary schools for Grade 7. The Sisters of Mercy ended their association with the school in 1977 and Mrs Noelene Colwill accepted the appointment of the first Lay Principal.
The Church building has undergone many transformations over the years and its current form was completed in 2010. It now accommodates a multi-purpose area doubling as the School Chapel and Assembly area, an Open Learning Space, ICT room, Kitchen and Art facility, Reading Recovery room and Music room.
In 2013 - 2014 the school again embarked on another Capital works program creating additional learning spaces, a new staffroom and teacher’s workroom. As well as this, major improvement works to the children’s play and recreation areas were carried out.
St Robert's School Shield and Motto
The Latin words “Sic Currite Ut Comprehendatis” translated into English means “so run that you will obtain the prize (or honor).” The ‘prize’ being the knowledge that one has achieved the best and most honorable result in a manner in which Christ taught us. (This message was given by St Paul when writing to the Corinthians). The translation in the context of our school would be “striving to obtain our prize, that prize being the knowledge that as students, staff and parents we have done all we can do, to be the best we can be, as individuals and as valued and respected contributors to our community within the context of Christ’s teachings.
St Robert of Newminster, our patron Saint
St Robert of Newminster was born in Yorkshire, England and took his name from Newminster Abbey where he lived until his death on 7th June 1159. He studied at the University of Paris, became a priest and returned to his hometown of Gargrave as Parish Priest. He later became a Benedictine at Whitby and joined a band of monks at St Mary’s Abbey in York. St Robert is described as a devoted, prayerful, kind and gentle man. He showed great mercy to others and was very zealous towards his own vows of poverty and would give his meals to the poor. St Robert’s relics are located in the church of Newminster and miracles have been reported at his tomb. His image is often depicted as an abbot holding a church. Our school, St Robert's, is named in honour of him.