St Francis School

(07) 4783 2877


St Francis School is a Catholic Systemic School and is part of the Townsville Diocese. It commenced in 1912 with just a handful of children and three Sisters of the Good Samaritan.

In its history it has served the Ayr district in many ways.Today, it is the Parish School for the Burdekin district north of the river, with children enrolled in classes from Prep to Year 6.

Our ideals are based on the Gospel Values of Christ. Through these ideals, we try to influence the children positively with concern for others, co-operation, obedience, tolerance, respect and honesty. Education is a partnership between child, school, family and Church, where we see your child becoming a thinking, believing member of society.

St Francis Xavier

"What profit is it to a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his soul?" 

The words were repeated to a young teacher of philosophy who had a highly promising career  in academics, with success and a life of prestige and honour before him.

Francis Xavier, 24 at the time, and living and teaching in Paris, did not heed these words at once. They came from a good friend, Ignatius  of Loyola, whose tireless persuasion finally won the young man to Christ. Francis then made the spiritual exercises under the direction of Ignatius, and in 1534 joined his little community (the infant Society of Jesus). Together at Montmartre they vowed poverty, chastity and apostolic service, according to the directions of the Pope.

From Venice, where he was ordained priest in 1537, he went on to Lisbon and from there sailed to the East Indies, landing at Goa, on the west coast of India. For the next 10 years he laboured to bring the faith to such widely scattered peoples as the Hindus, the Malayans and the Japanese.

Wherever he went, he lived with the poorest people, sharing their food and rough accommodations. He spent countless hours ministering to the sick and the poor, particularly to lepers. Very often he had no time to sleep or even to say his breviary; but as we know from his letters, he was filled always with God's presence and joy.

Francis went through the islands of Malaysia, then up to Japan. He learned enough Japanese to preach to simple fold, to instruct, and to baptise, and to establish missions for those who were to follow him. From Japan he had dreams of going to China, but this plan was never realised. Before reaching the mainland, he died.

All of us are called to "go and preach to all nations." Our preaching is not necessarily in distant shores but to our families, our children, our husband or wife, fellow employees. And to preach, not with words, but by our everyday lives. Only by sacrifice, the giving up of all selfish gain, could Francis be free to bear the Good News to the world. Sacrifice is leaving yourself behind at times, for a greater good. The good of prayer, the good of helping someone in need, the good of just listening to another. The greatest gift we have is our time. Francis gave it to others.

Francis died on the island of Sancian, a hundred miles southwest of Hong Kong. In his final sickness he had to be removed from the ship because the Portuguese sailors feared that kindness to him would offend their master. They were forced to leave him on the sands of the shore, exposed to a bitter wind, but a Portuguese merchant led him into a ramshackle hut. He prayed continually, between spasms of delirium and the doubtful therapy of bleeding. He grew weaker and weaker. "I (Anthony, his friend) could see that he was dying, and put a lighted candle in his hand: Then, with the name of Jesus on his lips, he gave his spirit to his Creator and Lord, with great peace and repose."

We celebrate the feast of St Francis Xavier on December 3 each year.

School Crest

The St Francis School Crest attempts to reflect the wonderful history of primary education which has taken place in Ayr since St Francis School commenced in 1912. Our current School Crest contains elements from the crests of the three Catholic primary schools which amalgamated in 1974; St Francis Primary School, Blessed Edmund Campion Primary School (Marist Brothers' Primary) and St Mary's Parkside.

The top left hand quadrant contains the book and cross taken from the crest of the Good Samaritan Sisters. It reminds us of the contribution which the Sisters have made to St Francis School, as well as representing religious learning and secular knowledge.The shield is divided into four quadrants.

The Marist Brothers are represented in the top right hand quadrant of the crest. The stylised A M is taken from the Brothers' crest and stands for the Latin words "Ave Maria" (Hail Mary). This symbol also reminds us of the value we, as Catholics, attribute to the Blessed Virgin. Mary, for us, is a model of how we can lead a life which is truly centred on Christ.

The Southern Cross shines boldly from the bottom right quadrant. It calls us to exhibit pride in our nation and reminds us of our obligations as Australian citizens to share our wealth and to use the riches of our country wisely.

In the final quadrant we see some sugar cane stalks. This quadrant relates our school to the Burdekin, representing the major crop of our district, a district rich in God's blessings.

Central to the crest is a cross which touches all quadrants, joining them together to form one shield. This cross represents Christ, our Saviour, who touches each of us and is central to our school community, joining us all together to form one family.

The motto of St Francis School is Christ and Knowledge. It reminds us of the purpose of our school: that knowledge and learning will help us to reach our full potential and that to become a fully developed person we do so through Jesus Christ.

The School colours are red and blue. 

How our parents can be involved in their child's education

  • Regular P&F meetings
  • Regular School Board Meetings
  • Parent volunteers in classrooms
  • Parents invited to assemblies, class and whole school activities
  • Regular class newsletters
  • Weekly school newsletters (emailed every Tuesday and also available on-line)
  • Ongoing process of consultation to assess community opinions
  • Social gatherings


Principal: Mr Bill Goodwin

99 Edwards Street
Ayr QLD 4807

P: (07) 4783 2877
F: (07) 4783 3978

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