Mount Pleasant Primary SchoolShow map

71 days ago

This was the first State School built in Ballarat. State School No. 1436 was officially opened on August 3, 1874. Designed by Henry Bastow, the State Architect, and built by Llewellyn and Edwards at a cost of nearly £8000 it was a monument to free, secular and compulsory education in the colony of Victoria. More than 500 pupils could be squeezed into the original six class rooms. The land had previously been a dairy farm, and before that was mined for gold—the rich Milkmaids lead ran down the northern boundary. The school is the direct descendent of the 1855 Wesleyan tent school (see 2.). A plaque and photographs inside the building celebrate the achievements of the first head teacher, William Nicholls, who established night classes that allowed more than a hundred mature-age students to matriculate directly from this school. The 1918 Honour Board may also be viewed with the names of forty-eight former pupils who died, and 220 who served in the Great War. The displays may be viewed with permission from the school office. From 1934 to 1958 a Rural Training School was conducted in a separate classroom modelled on a one-teacher country school. In the 1990s, due to the determination of the staff and the community, the school survived a rationalisation process under which many State schools were closed.

71 days ago

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