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Holy Cross Primary School, Wooloowin QLD

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Holy Cross Primary School, Wooloowin QLD
40 Morris St
Brisbane North
07 3857 2443

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Every student valued, celebrated, and inspired to reach their full potential.

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Mr Simon Mahaffy
  • Early Learning
  • Primary School
  • Single School Location
  • Primary Campus
  • Non-denominational
  • Catholic
Prep - Year 6
Non Denominational
Single - $1,396
  • Academic Achievement
  • Co-curricular Activities
  • Community
  • Creative Arts
  • Digital Technologies
  • Early Learning Fundamentals
  • Educational Support
  • Faith / Religion
  • Gifted and Talented
  • Information Technology
  • Languages
  • Media & Film Studies
  • Music
  • Numeracy / Literacy
  • Pastoral Care / Guidance
  • Performing Arts
  • Personal Values
  • Resources / Facilites
  • Science/Technology
  • Social & Emotional Learning
  • Sport
  • Visual Art
  • Italian
  • Athletics (Track & Field)
  • Basketball
  • Chess
  • Cricket
  • Cross Country Running
  • Football (Soccer)
  • Netball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Touch Football

Our Story


Holy Cross Catholic Primary School was established in 1890 by the Sisters of Mercy. Holy Cross School is a co-educational Catholic primary school (Prep – Year 6) with a current enrolment of 159. Located in the inner city suburb of Wooloowin, Holy Cross is a Catholic learning community educating and transforming lives through the message of the Cross for the life of the world. As the oldest Catholic primary school on the north side of Brisbane, we have been providing high quality learning and teaching for over 125 years.  

HCCP220318-1246.jpgHoly Cross teachers are well qualified and highly professional with a strong commitment to the Vision and Mission of our school and Catholic Education. We are place of learners and learning, whereby students are engaged, challenged and proud of their achievements. We value the intrinsic worth of each individual and monitor the well-being of all. Holy Cross School is a welcoming, safe and caring community with a strong commitment to social justice. We strive to live our School Motto ‘With God, for Others’ in our daily interactions with each other and our neighbours.


History: In July 1890 at the suggestion of Archbishop Dunne, the Sisters of Mercy started a school in the church building. Additional Sisters joined the Wooloowin community as teachers. The church seats were altered to serve as desks and teaching was carried out in the Church for several years. The school opened with about 100 children. Discipline was very strict, which reflected the educational context of the late 1800’s. The Sisters were instrumental in developing the school. They lived very simply, surviving on income from school and piano lesson fees. 



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The first school was built at the back of the Church. The site of this school building is now the Church carpark. From 1896 to 1958 Holy Cross School Convent was situated on the corner of Chalk and Morris Streets, Wooloowin. Holy Cross Convent was somewhat unique in that the Sisters had a variety of Ministries. Some of the Sisters who lived at Holy Cross Convent were teachers at Holy Cross School and at St Carthage’s Primary School at Gordon Park. Other Sisters were involved at Holy Cross Home for unmarried mothers, disability services and women who were in the care of the state. 

? The current primary school complex at 40 Morris Street was completed in 1958. In 1975 the Sisters of Mercy withdrew from Holy Cross. They had set up the school and administered Holy Cross for 85 years.




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In 1980 Holy Cross established ‘Special Education Unit’ providing assistance those children who needed extra help. Holy Cross was the first Catholic primary school in Brisbane to have such a unit. The unit was phased out during the mid 2000s. 

We continue to be a place of inclusion and create diverse opportunities for all to learn. 

In 1890, our parish school was founded by the Sisters of Mercy. Their commitment to serve others is still demonstrated today: 

• by our desire to follow God through our actions 

• through our service and outreach to all people in our community – families, staff, parish and friends 

• by the Cross as a sign of hope and a constant reminder that we must give of ourselves for others 

• with respect for individuality and diversity through a culture of inclusion 

• in our dedication to learning and teaching in a safe, welcoming and happy environment 

• through justice, mercy, spirituality and celebration 

 • through our Catholic faith fostered in our daily prayer and liturgical and sacramental practice.


Holy Cross School is committed to planning and providing a high quality, 21st century Catholic education; an education focused on the development of the human person created whole in the image and likeness of God, bringing faith, life and culture into our school life. Our dedicated and professional teachers deliver unique and authentic learning opportunities catered towards all their students. Holy Cross teachers want every child to achieve a high standard of learning and be give the opportunity to celebrate their success and talents.

The formal school curriculum includes the following learning areas:

Religious Education
HASS (History, Geography, Civics and Citizenship)
The Arts (Visual Arts, Dance, Drama, Music & Media)
Health & Physical Education
LOTE Italian - Years 3 to 6
Information, Communication & Technology

Holy Cross teachers plan, teach, assess and report using the Australian Curriculum for English, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Technology, Health and the Arts. Queensland Essential Learnings remain for all other learning areas. Teachers plan Religious Education teaching and learning using the new Religious Education Curriculum published by Brisbane Catholic Education. The Early Years Curriculum Guidelines are used in Prep to Year 1 to provide a balanced teaching, learning and assessment program that encompasses the five contexts for learning.

Teachers plan collaboratively with their peer teachers and Curriculum Support Teacher, using Brisbane Catholic Education's 'Model of Pedagogy,' to create unique, meaningful and challenging teaching and learning for their students.
Students at Holy Cross benefit from involvement in the many Extra Curricular activities listed below, offered at different times throughout the year:?

Zone 6 / City District Swimming
Zone 6 / City District Athletics
Zone 6 / City District Cross Country
STEM ?Club
Mini Vinnies - (St Vincent de Paul volunteer programme)
Garden Club
Senior Choir
Junior Choir
Private Music Tuition
Concert Band
AFL Workshops
Soccer Workshops

The Prep Program

Prep Program.jpgEnrolments at Holy Cross are open for Prep up to 2027.

How will my child benefit from Prep?

National and international research highlights the importance of quality fulltime early education and smooth transitions to formal schooling to aid children's long term educational outcomes.

Research tells us that children learn best when they actively construct knowledge of their world around them. Therefore, your child will be actively involved in an inquiry-based learning program where teachers and children work together to explore, observe, ask questions, discuss observations and seek answers about everyday experiences. On a daily basis your child will be developing their physical skills through outdoor activities. They will also be building literacy skills through a variety of language activities including language games.

An old adage states: “tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand" – this is the essence of inquiry learning where your child actively constructs knowledge in a meaningful way. Prep programs that are child-centred and play based will improve your child's social and problem-solving skills and encourage them to have a greater interest in learning.

What activities will my child be doing in a Prep program?

Your child will be participating in a learning program based on the Australian Curriculum which is based on active learning, and includes inquiry and play. Some of the activities your child will be participating in :

  • actively making choices about what and how they learn
  • investigating and learning how to inquire about their interests
  • planning collaboratively with the teacher
  • participating in music and language experiences
  • investigating and playing independently, in pairs, small groups and as a class
  • participating in dramatic play to build an understanding of themselves and the world around them
  • drawing and painting to encourage oral language, reading and writing skills
  • constructing, using blocks and creating collages to develop early mathematical concepts and skills.

How will my child learn?

The prep teacher will select topics of interest to your child so that they can build on what they already know and do. Answers are discovered by exploring resources such as books, and the Internet and by talking to special guest visitors e.g. ambulance, scientist, council representative, nurse, etc. Your child will be encouraged to think about what they have learnt and how they can best communicate their findings and understandings.

What will it mean for me?

It is important that parents understand that a play-based learning program is an important step in your child's educational journey. When your child plays, they make decisions, solve problems, develop thinking skills, collaborate, communicate and develop a positive sense of self. In Prep, your child will participate in exploratory, directed, fantasy, educational and free play, as well as physical play and games with rules.

They will play both indoors and outdoors in different ways at different times of the school day. When your child plays, they will develop social and personal learning, language and communication, early mathematical understanding, health and physical ability and active thinking processes.

These factors have also been identified in research as the indicators for success in school learning and as the foundations for success in later learning.

What might going to school look like for my Prep child?

The prep focus is on continuity and the promotion of success for learning as a life long learner. This focus helps to ensure smooth transitions in all facets of school life. Brisbane Catholic Education is working closely with school communities to plan and develop Early Years philosophy and practices to ensure that prep children are immersed in a program that is developmentally appropriate and links into the other early years of school – year one, two etc.

Prep children will attend for almost the same hours of the school as years one to six, finishing at 2.45pm which allows for a smooth transition to home or outside school hours care. The prep precinct is located nearby the year one class groups. Prep children will eat lunch with other prep children in the prep area of a school in Semester 1 and will play in the Prep playground supervised by the teacher on duty. The Prep children will join the rest of the school for eating and play when the teacher's feel that the children are ready for this transition.

What will the Prep classroom be like for my child?

Holy Cross prep classrooms have open spaces set out with different learning areas planned for active learning. Some parts of the room have tables and chairs, with other parts consisting of an open space for group and individual activities. There is a carpeted area for storytelling and singing, and an area for painting and construction.

The prep classroom also has access to an outdoor learning space.

How will they be cared for?

Prep classes at Holy Cross are taught by qualified and experienced early childhood teachers. With their professional knowledge and expertise, these teachers are ideally placed to implement the preparatory year curriculum. Some parents may be concerned about rest time. Each prep teacher will consider the needs of their class and make educational decisions about rest time and quiet activities for children in the afternoon. Teachers will respond to the needs of their children when it comes to providing rest time and appropriate quiet time activities.

What will my child learn about Religious Education?

The Religious Education Guidelines for the Early Years support teaching and learning of religious education in the Preparatory Year and align with the aim of Religious Education in the Brisbane Archdiocese.

“All young Catholics, throughout their school years, are provided with opportunities for religious education suited to their age, background and the changing world in which they live."

(Policy Statement Religious Education of school-Aged Catholics- Archdiocese of Brisbane Catholic Education Council August 2005)

How can I be involved in my child's learning?

Building partnerships is a key part of the early years curriculum. Making partnerships with families and carers is a key element to a positive learning environment for young children. Prep teachers will be building on these partnerships and involving families in a variety of ways in the prep classroom.

If my child has a disability, can they still attend Prep?

If your child has a disability and is of eligible age, they will be included in Prep classes wherever possible. Sometimes if the child has high support needs and cannot be supported in the prep class then they will eligible for early special education programs such as Special Education Developmental Units and Centres. Please talk to the School Principal for further information and support for your child.


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Principal's Image

Welcome to Holy Cross Primary School, Wooloowin. Established in 1890 by the Sisters of Mercy we are the oldest Catholic school on the northside? of Brisbane and enjoy a long and proud heritage of quality Catholic education from Prep to Year Six in the inner north.

I warmly invite you to look through our website to discover the many opportunities our school can offer for your child and family. Our students are empowered to think critically and creatively to prepare them for learning and living in the 21st century. With access to modern technology including laptops and a 1:1 iPad program as well as a contemporary inquiry-based learning approach, our students are developing skills to be active contributors to their world and to achieve their full potential.

As a school with excellence in the Arts, our students enjoy the benefits of specialist teachers in the areas of music, instrumental music and visual arts. With specialist teachers also for the areas of Italian and Physical Education, Holy Cross attends to the whole child- academically, physically, creatively and spiritually.

Our school is part of the Lutwyche / Wooloowin Parish and through our strong connection with the Parish and our proud Mercy heritage we provide an inclusive education where all are welcomed. The Mercy spirit of Hospitality, Compassion, Outreach, Hope and Joy is found within the school community and is further strengthened by the parents, staff and children living the school motto of “With God for Others".

With great facilities such as:

  • large oval spaces
  • undercover play areas
  • nature play spaces
  • air-conditioned classrooms
  • access to outside hours school care (including vacation care)

Our students have access to fantastic facilities to support their academic, social, wellbeing and physical needs.

Being a boutique school in the inner north of Brisbane we are able to offer learning personalised to the needs of our students as well as a sense of connection and belonging where each child is known and valued. The wellbeing of our students is nurtured through our positive and caring relationships that are established between student, teacher and family. With targeted learning through the use of the Highway Heroes Program our students are equipped with positive strategies to maintain and promote a positive wellbeing.

With a great parent community, you are sure to feel welcome as we come together regularly to celebrate, learn and socialise.  Within 5km of the Brisbane CBD and close to Wooloowin Train station our school is conveniently located for families.

I invite you to come and visit Holy Cross Primary School and see how we can provide a quality, Catholic education for your child so that they can reach their full potential.

I look forward to meeting you soon. 

Simon Mahaffy


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Holy Cross Primary School, Wooloowin QLD


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