Blackfriars is an independent Catholic school under the governance of the Dominican friars, committed to providing a well-rounded education – academically, socially, emotionally, physically and spiritually – that caters specifically to the needs of boys. We develop young men who seek truth in life, walk with confidence and purpose and are inspired by the four pillars of Dominican life – Prayer, Study, Community and Service.
Blackfriars provides over 700 students from Reception to Year 12 with modern facilities, outstanding resources, world-class tuition and opportunities to explore and question, develop confidence in their abilities and identify and excel in their natural strengths.
The only school in Australia founded by the Dominican friars, Blackfriars remains faithful to the search for truth – veritas – as lived and taught by Dominicans across the world for the past 800 years. This search follows authentically in the footsteps and foundations described by St Dominic himself, and by the school’s patron, St Albert the Great.
Blackfriars is situated on 4.5 hectares of land in Prospect, 3 kilometres from the centre of Adelaide and adjacent to the parks and ovals of the city’s northern parklands. Since its establishment in 1953, Blackfriars has provided an inclusive and progressive educational environment where boys have every opportunity to find their way in the world.
The philosophy of Blackfriars is to educate in the pursuit of truth through a life of contemplation and action. We are a Christ-centred Eucharistic community and this is reflected in all facets of our learning and teaching including an active prayer life and a passion for ministry, justice, peace, equality, religious education and pastoral care.
Our Dominican tradition commands us to recognise and accept the difference in ability and gifts of each student and differentiate learning and teaching appropriately. We synthesise faith and reason, recognising the signs of the times, so as to inspire boys to become fully human and reach their potential as balanced, humble men, who have a deep love for the world in which they live.
Blackfriars is a Catholic Dominican school for boys which promotes the spiritual, intellectual, physical and social development of each member of the school community. We aim, in co-operation with families, to engage students in an educational experience within the context of a Christian community which is fulfilling and rewarding.
To deliver excellence in boys’ education through the provision of a transformative, vibrant and reflective learning community that equips and inspires students to confidently and successfully participate as men of integrity in a rapidly changing world.
From the black cloak worn over their white habit, the Dominicans became known in England early in their history as black friars, and their houses or even the districts where they lived were called “Blackfriars”.
In England, quite apart from modern Dominican foundations, the name has survived with notable historical associations in several places. The London Blackfriars, which gave the name to a district and to a bridge over the Thames, was built in 1278, at the end of Fleet Street and the boundary of Ludgate. It stood on the Thames in the southwest corner of the city walls.
Two General Chapters of the Dominican Order, one in 1314 and one in 1335, were held in the London Blackfriars. Parliament was held in the Great Hall of the London Blackfriars Priory under Edward II in 1311, under Edward VI in 1471, under Henry VIII in 1523. In 1529, the tribunal for the examination of the marriage of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon was held in Blackfriars Priory, London. The famous Parliaments of 1258 and 1388 met in the Oxford Blackfriars and the Cambridge Blackfriars respectively.
Blackfriars Priory School therefore has brought South Australian education a name rich in historical associations.
The Blackfriars School Crest is rich with symbolism and history. It includes the shield of the Dominican Order. It is composed of eight divisions (gyrons), coloured black and silver alternately. On this there is a cross similarly coloured, the ends of which are shaped like a fleur-de-lys. The gyrons represent a knight’s pennant, and the cross was worn by the Spanish Military Orders to which members of St Dominic’s family belonged.
Above the shield is a red stripe (chief) of the tint called sanguine, the colour of bishops. A silver mitre stands between two gold towers of three turrets. This is for St Albert the Great, patron of the school, who was Bishop of Ratisbon and Count of Bollstadt, a fortified town.
Combined, the Dominican shield and the chief of St Albert the Great create the original Blackfriars Shield that has featured as the school’s most enduring symbol since 1953.
The School Crest is completed with the addition of a further three elements.
Above the chief of St Albert the Great is a gold star. It is said that when St Dominic was baptised, a bright star appeared on his forehead, symbolising the light he would bring into the world through preaching the truth – veritas. Dominicans today strive to continue this mission of St Dominic to preach the truth.
The School Motto – Deus Scientiarum Dominus – appears in three Cambridge Blue text scrolls below the Dominican shield, while the word Blackfriars, in the central of three Cambridge Blue text scrolls above the gold star and chief of St Albert, completes the crest.
The School Motto is Deus Scientiarum Dominus – “The Lord is an All-Knowing God” (I Samuel, ii, 3).
As much as these are the opening words of the antiphon in the office of St Albert the Great, it recognises the primacy of Christian teaching expressed through the omnipotence of God.