Our School History
Our School History
Bungaree Primary School has a rich history which we try to preserve. The history of the school has been prepared by one of our resident historians, Heather Trigg. We always welcome new photos and memorabilia for our collection. We also have a photo album of all the children for each year, going back as far as we can. This is in the foyer.
For over 130 years, Bungaree Primary School has provided quality education for children of the district. It has gone through many phases: hard times during time of war and depression, to the current computer age, but the school has always provided quality education for all.
Common School No. 944
In 1866 there were a number of children in the district with no school for them to attend, so it was seen by the local Church of England community to call a meeting with the intention of building a room that could be used for day school during the week and church services at the weekend until a church could be built. The school room was opened on 1st September 1867 with an average attendance of 35 and was known as Common School No. 944. But by 1876 attendances reached 77 and it was acknowledged that a new building was needed to cope with the numbers.
Commencement of Bungaree State School No. 1960
A new blue stone building was built at a cost of £598.11.0 and opened on 3rd September 1877. It was built to accommodate up to 100 children and would be larger than most common size buildings built by the Education Department which were 60 feet by 40 feet and made of wood.
In the opening year School No. 1960 had an average attendance of 104 pupils. However over the years attendances fluctuated mainly due to the opening of a Catholic School at Bungaree.
At the end of September 1878 the Department received notice from the Victorian Railways which informed them that a line, the “Warrenheip and Gordons Railway” was to be constructed. The surveyed route would involve excising a corner of the school reserve – the area taken would be 1/10th acre. Once again in October 1900, a small piece of land (10 perches) was required when the “Bungaree to Racecourse Railway Trust” proposed building a railway link to the racecourse.
In 1880 a “mere cottage” was relocated to Bungaree to be the Head Teacher’s residence. It was placed adjacent to the school building. Prior to this the Head Teacher rode his bicycle from Ballarat.
The school was officially known as No. 1960 Warrenheip until 1909, although it was named in other instances as “Junction”, “Warrenheip Junction”, “Bungaree Junction” and finally officially became “Bungaree”.
This school was condemned and closed in July 1924 and students transferred to the new red brick school built 200 yards east of the railway line. The blue-stone school was left idle for many years and later became a storage shed for potatoes. In 1988 with the help of a Bi-Centennial Grant, the building was renovated and became the home of the Bungaree & District Historical Society.
Building of the Red Brick School (1924)
In July 1924, instruction had been received from the Education Department “to remove into the new school as it was now ready for occupation.” Soon after a teacher’s residence was erected.
The school residence was vacated in 1982, and with a few modifications the house was converted for use as a classroom. It was also used as an office for visiting specialist teachers and a place for the Mothers’ Club members to meet. In 1994 the house was removed to Dunolly where it has been renovated.
Changes started to occur in the school yard at the end of 1989 with the acquisition of a portable classroom from Lakeside Hospital which had closed down. The building was placed on the eastern side of the original brick building.
With the closure of Bullarook PS (1989), St. Michael’s PS Bungaree (1993) and Millbrook PS (1994) numbers increased and more staff appointed. Additional portables were added in 1992 and 1999. A portable room, with toilets, was purchased in 2002. This facility had been used in the Olympic Village in Sydney as accommodation for participating athletes in 2000.
In 2007 two new classrooms, a new toilet block and multipurpose gym were significant additions to the benefit of the school and two of the three portables were removed.
The school building itself has remained the same until 2010 when the building was renovated and a principal's office, staff room and general office added through the Building the Education Revolution program. This was a result of a Federal Government scheme to provide stimulus to the economy during the global financial downturn. The remaining portable was converted into an Art room.
Bungaree Primary School has survived highs and lows in its history but always remains focused on educating our children to allow them to become productive in whatever they choose to do in life.
A detailed history is available in book form titled, “Bungaree Primary School No. 1960 – celebrating 125 years of education – 1877 – 2002” through the Bungaree & District Historical Society. Contact Heather Trigg at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information on the history of our little town of Bungaree, please visit www.bungareehistorywalk.com