Tara has over 115 years experience in educating young people in the Parramatta and Hills region of Sydney. We are a school that understand girls' social and educational needs through the stages of childhood and adolescence. Tara enjoys excellent resources - including human resources and facilities. We are a proud school with a rich history.
The name, Tara, comes from the Hill of Tara, in Ireland. Miss Joan Waugh who founded the school in 1897 was of Irish background and her family home, where Miss Waugh conducted her school, was called Tara. Miss Waugh had conducted classes in Roseneath Cottage Parramatta, at The Cedars and at St John's Hall Parramatta before moving the school to her home, Tara, in George Street.
“ Tara has over 115 years experience in educating young people ”
When Miss Waugh died in 1946, the school moved for a time to All Saints' Church Hall in Parramatta and the school came under the guidance of the Church of England Synod. The school grew rapidly and in 1952 a new home was found at Ellangowan for the 142 Junior School boys and girls.
In 1953 the school commenced classes for Senior School students and Junior School pupils at Ellangowan and the school continued to prosper. The Tara parents lobbied for an independent School Council and their dream was realised in 1956 when an internal School Council, with Church leaders as representatives, was established. This is the form of governance which exists to this day.
The school grew very rapidly at Ellangowan and it was time again to find new and larger premises. The Smith Family Hospital for Children with Rheumatic Fever, at Masons Drive North Parrammatta was for sale and negotiations with the Smith Family Board were successful and Tara School had a new home. In Term 3, 1958, 103 Senior School girls commenced at the Masons Drive site with a new Principal, Miss Helen Claridge. Further construction of the Junior School and extensions to the Senior School facilities later commenced in 1969.
“ We are a proud school with a rich history. ”
The girls from Tara Junior School moved to the Masons Drive buildings late in 1970 and Tara has continued to develop and expand on this spacious site. Our vibrant history continues today with recent additional construction and buildings including the "wave" structure over the Junior School quadrangle, The Bowern Room which caters for outside school hour functions, Mouleric Field with special turf for hockey and football use and the Tara Telescope which was officially launched in March 2010.
In the latter part of 2009, the Senior Learning Centre was built in the Senior School. This facility gives senior students, particularly Years 11 and 12 girls, the opportunity for independent learning with specialist break out rooms and closer access to teaching staff. This building also proudly displays the Tara Quilt in the Main Reception foyer.
In 2010, Tara started a Pre Kindergarten class. TeLC, Tara's early Learning Class is an specialised program for 4 to 5 year old girls in preparation for Kindergarten which will feature individualised child centred programs with structured learning activities. Enquiries may be directed to our Director of Enrolments via email. In 2011, our beautiful new Library and Technology Centre, built as part of the BER project, was opened.
The school has never been a place of buildings primarily but the constant thread through our 114 years and beyond has been a sense of caring and the feeling of being a "home" for the students entrusted to the school's care. If you have been associated with Tara or are a former student, please visit our archives page - your memorabilia will help broaden the history of our school! For the history of the Tara Foundation, please click here.