Some land was bought for a new Church and school to be built for the growing number of Catholic families in Naenae.

In 1948, a hut from Thentham Army camp was bought onto the land and was turned into a Church and school. The school was named St Bernadette’s School.

The hut was used as a Church on Sunday, and as a classroom during the week. After school on Friday the school desks were removed from the hut, and the hut was made ready for Sunday Mass. On Monday morning, the hut was turned back into a classroom.

Some members of the Parish then worked to bring four more army huts on to the school grounds and there were also turned into classrooms.

The school grew very quickly, and by 1953 there were 300 children at the school. Sisters of Mercy continued to teach at St Bernadette’s School until 1969.