St Finbar's School, Brighton East

St Finbar's School, Brighton East

Principal:  Mr Pat Berlingeri

E No.  E1111

Year Levels:  P to 6

Phone Number:  9592 4479

Email Website


St Finbar’s School opened in a small wooden building in June 1848 as St Patrick’s School, Little Brighton. At this time, it was run by a lay teacher, Mr Thomas Sherry. During the 1870s, as this original building fell into disrepair, lessons were conducted in the church for as many as 72 children. Between 1906 and 1908, the Presentation Sisters taught in the school. They returned to run the school in 1925 and remained until 1974. Due to decreasing numbers and a redefining of their mission, the Sisters handed on the tradition of quality education to lay administration and teachers, and this legacy lives on today.


'St Finbar’s is a Catholic parish primary school situated in the bayside suburb of East Brighton. Rich in history, we are a welcoming community working together to provide a dynamic learning environment' (St Finbar’s Vision Statement).

The school is bound by Nepean Highway, Centre Rd and Wallen St. After almost four years of planning and one year of building works, the building program was completed in December 2008. We believe that our new building has provided our students with the best possible learning environment. Each of the classrooms from Years 2 to 6 is new or has been totally refurbished. The Years Prep–2 classrooms are undergoing renovations during 2009. Facilities constructed as part of the building program last year include new:
• Information & Communication Technologies Teaching Room
• Arts Centre
• Library
• Administration and staff facilities.

The building program was self-funded and has incurred a debt of approx. $3 million, to be repaid over 15 years, the interest of which is paid by the government. We believe that these facilities will meet the needs of students of today and far into the future.

The playground spaces have been increased and further works are planned to 'green' our school garden spaces.

The current enrolment is approximately 340 students from about 230 socioeconomically diverse families. Approximately 97% of our students were born in Australia from predominantly Irish, Greek and Italian backgrounds. It is anticipated that the current enrolment will remain relatively stable.

Current class structures are two classes of each year level in Years Prep to Year 6.


As a parish primary school, families are encouraged to take an active part in the life of the parish. Sacramental programs are conducted as part of the Religious Education program and parents are expected to support their child in the preparation for reception of the sacraments. Confirmation is received in Year 6, First Eucharist in Year 4 and Reconciliation in Year 3.

The principal and staff of St Finbar’s seek to create a learning environment in which the children are encouraged to realise their own potential and fully accept responsibility for their own learning. We believe in the provision of excellence in education, through a love of learning supported by a challenging educational program which meets the needs of the individual student. We aim to support the development of each child’s spiritual, intellectual, emotional, physical, social and creative growth. The staff are responsible for providing a planned and sequential curriculum which will enable each child to develop his/her capabilities. It is recognised that continual evaluation of the curriculum must be carried out in order to meet the current educational aims.

Students construct their own understandings and knowledge through a process of reflection and revision in a supportive learning environment. The school curriculum is supported though a modern, well-resourced library, as well as an extensive computer network of 60 computers across the school. A 0.5 part-time Special Education teacher supports students with special needs (both gifted and those with learning difficulties) within the classroom program.

At St Finbar’s School, we believe that children need guidance in developing attitudes and skills that enable them to effectively contribute to our changing world. A Values Program and a Bounce Back Program are implemented in
Years P–6. A part-time 0.5 Student Welfare teacher supports the pastoral needs of our students.

Parents are encouraged to be involved in various school programs including the morning literacy blocks, numeracy blocks, PMP lessons and excursions.

The programs offered at St Finbar's school, together with a professional, dedicated and committed staff, position our school well as we prepare our students to meet the challenges of the 21st century. ‘At St Finbar’s, we build expectations that each of us has the potential to contribute to the development of our changing world’ (St Finbar’s Vision Statement).

School location

Address:  90 Centre Road
Brighton East VIC 3187

Diocese:  Archdiocese of Melbourne

Region:  Southern

Parish:  St Finbar's