St Patrick's School began as a calico building, situated in Commercial Street on the gold reefs as early as 1858 ad served as both school and church to the Stawell Catholic Parish.
Father T Barrett transported the school to the area on the back of a dray.
The first person to teach at the school was Ellen Donovan instructing a total of 23 students who each paid the sum of sixpence to two shillings weekly. In 1860 the school was moved to where the present day courthouse stands and a wooden schoolhouse was built. This building was destroyed by fire on March 4 1874 and the school re-opened in the new Catholic Church, established in 1873. In 1985 a new school building was erected adjacent to the church where the presbytery now stands. The building consisted of one room in which secretarial and business studies were conducted.
The building of the present school commenced in 1931 on a block of land on the corner of Holt and Patrick Street and consisted of three classrooms and two cloakrooms. Most of the funds for this building came from the Church and wealthier parishioners. Those who could not contribute financially volunteered their services towards building the school and therefore much of the work on the school was carried out locally as a church project. Reverend D Foley, the Bishop of Ballarat officially opened the building on July 10th 1932.
The Sisters of St Joseph began teaching at the school after arriving in Stawell in the early months of 1924. Lay teachers were only added to the teaching staff in 1960. At the end of 1993 the Sisters were farwelled from the school. Mr Brendan Maher was appointed as the first lay Principal for the 1994 academic year.
In 1961 major additions to the building were made in the form of a new staff room, offices, another classroom, a kitchen area and a large hall complete with a stage. These additions underwent further changes in the 1970s when the hall was converted into a library. In 1990 the adjacent block of land to the school was purchased, increasing the size of the school property.
On 14th March 1993 the new additions to the school were officially opened consisting of a new office and staffroom, a new library and the existing buildings were totally refurbished. These additions and improvements were made possible through a Federal Government Grant. With the current installation of a computer network linking all classrooms within the school, St Patrick's Primary School students were set to embark on the challenges of the 21st Century.
Major refurbishments valued in excess of $480,000 were carried out in 2001. This was made possible by a Federal Government Grant of $460,000 and a Parish contribution of $20,000 which again underlines the significance of the local contribution to Catholic education in Stawell.
In 2017 the new Senior Learning Hub was completed and opened. This provided the school with four large interconnecting classrooms with a central hub for breakout groups.
Currently St Patrick's Primary School provides a comprehensive curriculum for 150 students organised into 6 year level with composite classes at Grades 1&2 3&4 5 & 6. Foundation is conducted as a single year level.
St Patrick's has continued to develop a welcoming Christian community. Here the school encourages parents, guardians, families and parishioners to participate in a wide variety of school and pastoral activities. St Patrick's actively participates in the Stawell community and looks forward to continued growth and involvement in the future.