History of S.A.S.
The historical records indicate that Catholic education in Montserrat commenced around 1860. There was no school building, but classes were held in the church building in Plymouth, the capital town. In 1875, under the direction of Father Gagneaux, a small school was built, which was later named the St. Augustine School, and this date is, therefore, recorded as the official commencement of the school.
From 1875 until 1923, the school was run by lay teachers, under the supervision of the parish priest. In 1923, the Canonesses of St. Augustine (later renamed the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) took over the running of the school.
The school building was destroyed twice by hurricanes, in 1899 and 1928, and both times was rebuilt. Additional land was purchased and a playground and additional classrooms were established, enabling the expansion of the school to include kindergarten classes.
In 1989, Hurricane Hugo caused extensive damage to the school building, and over the next two years, through the outpouring of support and donations, and led by the determination and hard work of Father Ed. Herberger, A modern new school was built. In 1991, the new multi-storied St. Augustine Primary School was dedicated.
In July 1995, Montserrat’s Soufriere Hills volcano commenced an eruptive phase. When volcanic activity escalated in 1996, the school was forced to relocate to the northern ‘safe’ zone. A house was acquired in Palm Loop, Woodlands, and gradually converted to make it more suitable for housing a school. As volcanic activity continued, the beautiful new school building in Plymouth was destroyed over time by an accumulation of volcanic material from pyroclastic flows. The school established itself at Woodlands, and with additional buildings, improved playing courts and grounds, this is now the new home of the St. Augustine School.
Over the years, St. Augustine school has achieved recognition at both the national and regional levels for academic, cultural and sporting achievements. Pupils are encouraged towards mastery of foundational literacy and numeracy skills, as well as self-discipline and industry. Together, these have provided a sound footing for a large number of alumni who have gone on to achieve success in various fields. The school has maintained its Catholic distinctiveness, and continues to strive towards the goal of becoming a Centre of Excellence for education in Montserrat and beyond.
To provide access, equity and all round development for all pupils and to provide a proactive, safe, solution-oriented, moral and spiritual environment in which:-
- Students are educated for life and motivated to excel;
- Teachers are encouraged to develop professionally, and
- Parents, alumni and the wider community are encouraged to participate in the enrichment of school life through personal and financial contributions.
Our Vision and Core Values
St. Augustine School should be the school of choice at the primary level for quality teaching and learning. St. Augustine School puts the child at the centre of its work and ensures that a passion for learning is engendered.
We value our foundation as a Catholic school providing faith-based spiritual and moral direction and promoting excellence in academic and non-academic activities through:
- Commitment to the pursuit of excellence at all levels;
- Respecting all children as individuals-with diverse needs and abilities;
- Promoting their talents and celebrating their achievements;
- Creating a safe and stimulating learning environment;
- Managing effectively our human and other resources;
- Developing and nurturing strong stake holder involvement;
- Nurturing a keen sense of personal and social responsibility;
- Building tolerance and respect for cultural diversity and ethical values;
- Fostering interest and participation in community development to build civic pride and patriotism, and
- Retaining dedicated, resourceful, and competent teachers.
The School Motto
Noverim Te, Noverim Me – To Know God and To Know Myself
The School Crest
The crest and its symbols revolve around the life of St. Augustine, the patron saint of our school.
Book – Symbol of the presence of God in the life of St. Augustine and a symbol of our own search for truth.
Cross – Symbol of Christ of whom St. Augustine said: “Our Hearts are restless until they rest in thee”. Christ is also our Way, Truth and Life.
Torch – Symbol of learning of which St. Augustine was an avid pursuer; for ourselves, a sign of encouragement to pursue Scholarship, Holiness and Truth.
Shamrock – Symbol of the early settlement of Montserrat by Irish Roman Catholics seeking a refuge from religious persecution and finding in Montserrat a place where they could practice their religion freely.