St. Mary's is one of two Catholic Primary schools in the parish of Ascot Vale. Its sister school is St. Margaret's, Maribyrnong.
The area of the parish allocated to St. Mary’s School is bounded by Ascot Vale Rd. to the east, Flemington Racecourse to the south, the Maribyrnong River to the west and Holmes Rd. to the north and the railway line to the northeast. The school property is bounded by Roseberry St. (the postal address and main entrance), Ferguson St. and St. Leonard’s Rd.
St Mary’s is in close proximity to many services and facilities. It is within walking distance of the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds, the Ascot Vale Public Library, two shopping centres, and sporting and recreation facilities such as Walter St. Reserve, Maribyrnong Park, Aberfeldie Park, Ascot Vale Leisure Centre and Riverside Golf and Tennis Centre.
St. Mary’s is well-serviced by public transport, namely trams, trains and buses, enabling easy access to other facilities.
There are four childcare centres and two kindergartens in the locality. As well, there is St. Margaret’s Primary School, two Government Primary schools, several private and Government Secondary colleges, a Language Centre and a Special Developmental School, that are easily accessible.
In recent years the area has seen the redevelopment of large residential blocks into high-density, multiple-dwelling sites.
The parish of Ascot Vale is in a stage of regrowth, with many new families with young children moving into the area. Hence a major goal in the parish is to develop a sense of community in all aspects of parish life. The school is supportive of this.
St. Mary’s school was opened by the Mercy Sisters in 1913 in its present premises. It was granted primary registration in February of that year. It commenced with one hundred and seventy-two students and five teachers in a three-roomed building. The sisters of the Order of Our Lady of Sion replaced the Sisters of Mercy. In the late 1970’s the first lay principal was appointed. Over the years additional accommodation was constructed to cater for the increases in student population and innovations in education.
St. Mary’s has two of each class from Prep to Grade 6 and our current enrolment is three hundred and sixty students. The school has a culturally diverse population comprising many nationalities. This diversity is an enriching dimension of our community and is embraced by all.