Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

A Voluntary Academy

Catholic Life  »  History

Where did our school come from?

From the Irish Potato famine in 1840 - Irish immigration to Leeds gathered pace and many Irish Catholics settled in Leeds. In 1890 – Sacred Heart parish was founded by provost of Leeds Cathedral called Browne. He bought a cottage on the corner of Poplar street and Burley road. Later Jesuits took over and built a church on the site of the old cottage which became the church of the local area, Sacred Heart Church. A small primary school was built to the rear of the church.

In the 1960s, Poplar street, Sacred Heart Church and the school were all demolished. The school was re built in its current location and a new Sacred Heart church was built in the Hyde Park area of Leeds. In the 1990s the diocese sold the Sacred Heart church and it became Leeds Grand Mosque.

The original Sacred Heart Parish Church

The parish of the Sacred Heart was established in 1890 to meet the needs of the local population – many were poor and in need of:

  • Love
  • Peace
  • Comfort
  • Mercy

First Browne and then the Jesuits were inspired by the Sacred Heart to attempt to meet the needs of the local Catholic population.

The Sacred Heart church is gone – the school lives on and is still to this day inspired to help the community by those values that created it in 1890.

The Parish of the Sacred Heart Archive

​​​​​​​1930s Group photograph showing children in costume taken outside Sacred Heart School off Burley Road. The school was situated between Poplar Grove and Poplar Road.

1930s A class of infants pose with their teacher outside Sacred Heart School. The school was located, with the church, between Poplar Grove and Poplar Road, off Burley Road.

1930s A group of young boys, wearing sashes, pose for a photograph outside Sacred Heart School. The Roman Catholic school and church was located off Burley Road between Poplar Grove and Poplar Road.

1930s Portrait of the May Queen (Kathleen Wallace) and her two small attendants, (Olga Holdsworth, left, and Kathleen Melody, right), pupils of Sacred Heart School. The Queen wears a print dress trimmed with lace and a ribbon sash at the waist. Her long hair flows from beneath a close-fitting cap and she wears buttoned gloves. She holds a tall stick topped wtih a huge arrangement of lilies. Her attendants also wear buttoned gloves and long dresses. Circlets of primroses decorate their hair. Sacred Heart School was located off Burley Road between Poplar Grove and Poplar Road.

1930s Image shows a group of children photographed outside Sacred Heart School off Burley Road. The school was located between Poplar Grove and Poplar Road.

June 1967. Photo shows the Sacred Heart church on Woodsley Road and Hyde Park Road. It is a concrete and glass building with an 'abstract' style cross on the top. There is a tree trunk visible on the left of the image.

c1950. Image taken in c1950 in the playground of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic School. A group of boys are having a photograph taken on the day of their confirmation. Father Soul is seated in the centre. Sacred Heart Church is on the same site as the school. In the background are the bay windows of red-brick homes in Poplar Grove. These front Willow Road at the other side.

The Values that established the Parish of the Sacred Heart live on in our school community. They are:
  • Inspiration
  • Love
  • Peace
  • Comfort
  • Mercy

We are inspired by the love of the heart of Jesus to share these values:

  • God loves each and every one of us – we are called to love one another.
  • Jesus will give peace to all – we are called to spread peace.
  • Jesus will be there to comfort us – we are called to comfort others.
  • Jesus shows mercy – we are called to show mercy and forgiveness to others.

What does the symbol of the Sacred Heart represent?

Jesus’ Sacred Heart represents the divine love he shares with the Father and the Holy Spirit and the love he has for us. It also represents his physical human heart, the word made flesh through the Incarnation:

  • Cross: the crucifixion, the ultimate sacrifice
  • Crown of thorns: Jesus’ suffering & agony on the cross, which he willingly endured for our sake
  • Flames: Jesus’ burning love for us and its purifying and transformational power
  • Wound and blood: the piercing of Jesus’ side during his crucifixion, his precious blood spilled for our redemption.

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