St Francis Xavier Catholic Primary School was established with the assistance of Fr Keith Turnbull of the Southport Parish, to provide a much needed Catholic school at the northern end of the Gold Coast.
Land was purchased in the new suburb of Runaway Bay with the construction of four classrooms, administration, tuckshop, library and toilet block. This vision of establishing a Catholic community of faith and learning came to fruition on 28 January 1975 when St Francis Xavier School opened its doors to 69 students.
Led by the Principal, Mr Terry Ivey, and a foundation staff of three, the school prospered and mushroomed. As part of the Southport Parish, priests would visit the school for masses and liturgies.
In 1978, the second building and a school hall were constructed allowing the school to cater for the growing numbers and develop into a two stream school. The school hall was used on the weekends as the church where the first parish priest Fr Basil Nolan performed baptisms, marriages, First Communions and Confirmations.
On 2 May 1983, the founding principal Mr Terry Ivey passed away suddenly of a heart attack. This inspirational educator left a legacy which has continued over the years, and is carried on today. 2009 saw the construction of additional buildings, the Terry Ivey Activity Centre and the Fr Basil Nolan buildings which were blessed and opened on 2 June 2009 in honour of our founding principal and our first parish priest.
In 2013, an extra Prep class was enrolled to ensure the enrolment numbers in the following years maintained staff and funding levels. The extra class also counteracted the loss of two Year 7 classes to secondary school the following year. We were fortunate enough to have a spare classroom and ample resources to enable the complete set up of an extra class each year.
In 2014, with consultation from the parents, teachers and students a new Prep Playground was established. The final pirate design is another element that fosters gross motor skills and encourages the students to cooperatively play with their peers.
St Francis Xavier School is an integral part of the Holy Family Parish, Runaway Bay and has established close links with the broader Parish community. Special liturgies and Masses involving smaller groups of students are held in the parish church. Whole school liturgies are held in the Terry Ivey Activity Centre. The school receives active support from our Parish Priest, Fr John Khoai, for religious celebrations and events. The school is actively engaged in supporting the Parish’s Sacramental Program.
Outside School Hours Care
Brisbane Archdiocesan Centacare Child Care Services provides an Out of School Hours Care program. The service caters for Before School Care, After School Care and Vacation Care. OSHC is situated in its own purpose-built building. OSHC uses the school’s Quad, Terry Ivey Activity Centre, the junior playground and the Resource Centre (located in the Xavier Building).
Connection with the Indigenous - Kombumerri Saltwater People
The Kombumerri territory stretches from the Coomera River in the north to the Tweed River in the south and west to the Gold Coast hinterland. The Kombumerri Saltwater People family group belong to the Yugambeh language. During liturgies, we acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which the school is built and bring forward our message stick to signify our responsibility to take care of the land.
Students at Saint Francis Xavier are allocated a sporting house team. These teams are named after significant people in the school’s history.
IVEY The first Principal Terry Ivey
NOLAN The first Parish Priest Basil Nolan
ROBERTS The first President of Parent and Friends John Roberts
DONALDSON The first student enrolled John Donaldson
As a community, we are inspired by our school motto:
“Let Your Light Shine”
Our logo provides a visible articulation of our school, its connection to the community and of our religious identity.
The elements of the logo include:
· the cross – the Christian symbol Christ’s victory and Salvation
· the rays of light – reference our motto “Let your light shine!”
· the seagull – symbolises the site on which the school is located, which was originally tidal wetlands