History


In 1912, the Parish Priest of Swaffham, Fr Joseph Vendé approached the Superior General of the Daughters of Divine Charity, an Austrian Congregation in Vienna, and asked her to send Sisters to found a Convent in Swaffham.

In June 1914 the first Sisters arrived and their first home was Ivy House, Providence Terrace which they rented for £35 per annum.
In July another sister arrived with seven girls who were to be the first pupils but sadly the outbreak of the First World War overshadowed the first months of the Sisters’ lives and some had to return to Austria.

In spite of many difficulties the first Convent and School dedicated to the Sacred Heart flourished and moved to its present site in 1920 and by 1924 there were fifty pupils of whom twenty were boarders.
The School increased in size during the 2nd World War and by 1955 there were 266 pupils.

Sacred_Heart_BuildingDuring the following years the boarding facilities were improved and extended.
In 1960’s Senior Classrooms, the Gymnasium, Dinning Room and Kitchen and first Swimming Pool were constructed.
In the 1970’s the new Swimming Pool and changing rooms were built and a new playground constructed. Sister Francis Ridler became Head of the school in 1979.

In 1987 the Lower School Block was completed and in 1989 the 75th Anniversary was marked by the Blessing of the newly erected Middle School, housing two Science Laboratories, Home Economics and ICT facilities, two more classrooms and the School Office.

Sacred_Heart_SportThe Sports Hall was opened in April 1997.
In 2000 the Sisters bought the old Barn adjacent to the property and over the next few years converted it into an Arts Centre with a Theatre, Pottery Studio, Music and Art Room.
In 2006 Miss Diana Wynter took over from Sr. Francis Ridler who had been Headmistress for 27 years. In 2009 Miss Diana Wynter left and Sr. Francis Ridler returned as Headmistress.