A desire to build a Catholic primary school to provide for the needs of Catholic families and to build a parish of its own
The Bishop directed that a survey be conducted into the feasibility of establishing a parish for the spiritual and pastoral needs of this community. Sister Claude McNamara, of the Presentation Order, already involved in pastoral care amongst the families, undertook the survey together with members of a steering committee. A pathway connecting the school to the church was named in honour of Sister Claude’s early work for the community.
Following the survey, the Bishop expressed a desire to build a Catholic primary school to provide for the needs of Catholic families and to build a parish of its own. The steering committee and dedicated parishioners then set about the task of building a new school.
The first stage of the building programme began in 1985. Parents and parishioners were called upon to move furniture, develop and reticulate the grassed areas, build climbing frames and perform many other tasks. It was a time of great excitement and challenge in which a very special spirit was established and has continued to develop to this day.
And so Leschenault Catholic Primary School was established in 1986 as the culmination of years of planning and hours of voluntary work by groups of people dedicated to Catholic education. Having worked with the community in 1985, Mr David King took up his position of inaugural school Principal. The first school day on Wednesday 5 February 1986 welcomed 68 students from Pre Primary to year three with five staff members, a part-time librarian and a voluntary secretary. Father Pat Rooney, our first Parish Priest, celebrated Masses for the school students and parishioners in the ‘chapel’ – which is now the year one classroom. The Presentation Order continued to be a presence in the school, firstly, with Sister Flora Ricupero and then with Sister Francis O’Halloran until the end of 1988.
In 1987 the community undertook the second stage building programme, completing a multi-purpose room, now our library. This provided a venue for assemblies and became our new ‘chapel’ for school Masses and Paraliturgies and also for weekend liturgies.
In 1989 stage 3 of the building programme was undertaken, completing what is now the intermediate block.
By 1990 the school operated as a single-stream school from Pre Primary to year seven catering to 225 students.
Our Parish Church ‘Christ the Living Vine’ was officially opened on 10 May 1992. Masses and Paraliturgies in the library of the school had become so overcrowded that parents and parishioners, more often than not, found themselves standing and often had to listen to services outside the room.
Stage 4, the second stream Pre Primary, was built in 1993. This building was officially dedicated to the memory of Joe Kelderman. Joe was a member of the steering committee and Foundation School Board Chairman at Leschenault. His vision, enthusiasm and commitment contributed a great deal to the development of the school.
In 1994 two classrooms and a storage area, additions to the junior block, were completed for stage 5 of the building programme. The School Board and P and F Association also took on the building of our undercover area without any financial assistance. This year saw the establishment of a formal school choir and a double stream of year ones. It was also Father Pat’s last year with us.
In 1995 we recognised the 10th anniversary of the school Double streaming continued into year two and Father Kevin Johnston was appointed our new Parish Priest.
In 1996 the sixth building stage was completed incorporating two more classrooms and a toilet area and storage for year six and seven classes. The school continued double streaming to year three. In this year we established our motto to be incorporated onto our school logo – Christianity, Friendship, Respect.
In 1997 Kindergarten for four-year-olds commenced and the school went double stream to year four. In this year we also said farewell to David King, our Foundation School Principal, leaving to take up another Principal’s position in Bunbury. David served our community for 12 years with great leadership, dedicated commitment, enthusiasm and humour.
In 1998 Mr Greg Ward took up his position as Principal at Leschenault. Significant developments in curriculum and technology have been undertaken.
In 1999 two additional classrooms, one of which was designed to be used as a multi-purpose area, were built to accommodate the development of student numbers.
In 2003 the Administration renovated and extended and completed the two stream facilities (less one classroom).
The school had now grown double stream to year seven and had 492 students enrolled
In 2007 Mr Greg Green took up his position as Principal at Leschenault. In 2010 a new Library and Computer Lab were built as well a new area to for our Kindy students. We began a Pre-Kindy Program in 2011.
In 2013 Ms Paula MacKenzie took up her position as Principal at Leschenault. In 2015 the Junior Block Classes were extended to increase the size of the learning area. In 2016 the classes were officially opened for years 1 and 2.
In 2018 Mrs Kerry Hewitson commenced her tenure as Principal and invested heavily in improving the school by partnering with Fogarty Foundation’s EDvance School Improvement Program. Mr Daniel Graves commenced as Principal in 2022.
The growth of the school is a testament to the vision of earlier days and to the dedication, commitment and involvement of a wonderful community of parents, staff, children and parishioners. There has been significant development over the years in the facilities, curriculum, school environment, teaching practice and access to Information Computer Technologies.