History - Location

LOCATION OF SCHOOL:

What influenced the establishment of the school?
The ending of transportation to the colony in 1840 and the increase in the number of poorer working class people increased the need for organised education of some kind.

Formal education began in Mudgee with the arrival of the Reverend Jas Gunther in 1844.  He established the Church of England School in Mudgee.  It was a small slab building with a bark roof in 1848.  There were probably one or two Dame Schools in existence at this time in Mudgee as well as a Roman Catholic School (by 1855) and several private tutors.

Gold was discovered in June 1851 at an outpost of Henry Cox’s property, “World’s End”, only 16 miles from Mudgee.  In July, gold was found at Louisa Creek (now Hargraves). 

In 1852, to encourage permanent settlement, G. H. Cox divided part of his “Burrundulla” estate.

In 1855 it was felt that the scattered condition of the rural population, and other practical difficulties in the way of the Denominational system, made it necessary to establish a public school.

Were there any community influences on the establishment of the school?
Reverend John Blowes, a new Wesleyan clergyman, made formal application to the National Board of Education in 1855.  This was approved and a local committee was formed.

Has there been a change of location?
On 24th October 1855 the school opened in a disused Public House on the Perry Street site.  The first teacher was Mr J. H. Murray who commenced duty with an enrolment of 28 boys and 34 girls.  By January, 1856 this had increased to 74.  Mr Murray experienced considerable difficulty because of poor accommodation, lack of supplies which had to be brought from Sydney by bullock team, a leaking roof and constant arguments with the local patrons.

The present site in Perry Street was granted on 12th October 1855.

DATE OF ESTABLISHMENT

Dates relevant to the school history are as follows:

  • 12th October 1855 the site in Perry Street was granted.
  • 23rd July 1856 the foundation stone was laid by Mr G. H. Cox Esquire, M.P.  He was the grandson of Lieutenant William Cox and son of G. Cox, one of the first settlers in Mudgee.
  • 18th March 1857 the school occupied the new premises.
  • 1st March 1859 it became The District Model School
  • 1876 Sir John Robertson, Premier of New South Wales and Member   for Mudgee laid a stone, which is still in the school.
  • 26th January 1878 the new school was officially opened by William Wilkins.
  • March 1881 it became Mudgee Superior Public School.
  • January 1908 named Mudgee District School.
  • August 1916 became Mudgee Public School.
  • 1917 Mudgee High School opened.  Only carpentry and Home Science remained in the Primary School.
  • April 1925 became Mudgee Public and Demonstration School.
  • April 1926 became Mudgee Public School.
  • June 1929 separate Infants Department completed.
  • 1931 – On 15th January 1931 the separate girls and boys departments were amalgamated as a result of falling enrolment figures with the establishment of a new non-language school provided by the High School.
  • 1932 - Establishment of Mothers’ Club. Its first project was the creation of a landscaped garden.
  • 1935 – The Department was offered the old District Gaol Governor’s residence.  The offer was declined because: “existing sites and buildings, at present in use at Mudgee, meet all the educational needs that one can contemplate.”
  • 1947 - All forms of Secondary Education transferred to the High School.
  • 1950 -Three departments established: boys, girls and infants.
  • 1952 – Establishment of school library.  There were 3 000 volumes in the library and the total borrowing for 1957 was 7 458 books. 
  • 1962 - Co-education reintroduced.
  • Records show that a Mother’s Club was running from 1970, as a separate entity, until it was amalgamated with the Parents and Citizens Association. 
  • 1971 - Opening of school canteen with a paid manageress.
  • 1974 - O.F. Unit established- later renamed as “Special Education Unit”. This was the first Special Education Unit established within a mainstream school and was also in a country area.
  • 1976 - Introduction of tent camping into the school program for students in Primary grades.
  • 1986 - Mudgee Public School receives a ‘facelift’.  Costing approximately $750 000 the Public Works Department carried out extensive renovations in keeping with the school’s original architectural style.  Planning for this extensive project was begun in 1984 following the opening of Cudgegong Valley Public School.  Agitation for the return of the original school bell to the belfry was a controversial topic for many months.  The original bell had been housed at the Mudgee Historical Museum twenty years previously. 

BUILDINGS

On 18th March 1857 the school occupied the new premises; a two-storey stone building in which work on floors, ceilings, doors and windows was incomplete.

The building was constructed of sandstone with a shingle roof.  The outer walls were of stone 18” thick.  The expected cost of the buildings was ₤811.

The two-storey building consisted of a schoolroom 43’ x 18’; a classroom 15’ x 18’ and a dining room 16’ x 14’, which also served as a classroom.  The upper floor contained the master’s residence.

In 1858 the school grounds were fenced because they had a frontage to the road to the town slaughter yards and because there was a hotel next door. 

In 1863 the school residence was used as classrooms. 

Repairs were costly so it was demolished in 1876 and the Mechanics Institute was used as temporary premises. 

  • 1898 - new boys’ classroom built
  • 1903 - new classroom
  • 1910 - temporary wooden rooms
  • 1914 - new Kindergarten room
  • 1926 - a portable classroom was transferred from Mosman to serve as an office for the headmistress
  • 1929 - new Infants school constructed at a cost of ₤6 999/16/0
  • 1979 - O.F. Unit became part of the school complex.
  • 1986 -renovations/refurbishment of original building to meet present day standards

 

29th March 1901
The flagpole, the cost of which was collected by the children, will be mounted on the tower rising 30 feet and overall, 70 feet from the ground.  The Union Jack will be run up simultaneously with the opening of Federal Parliament and in the presence of Mayor Alan Cameron.

 

Photo showing the date of the establishment of the school administration building of today. This date is formed into the stonework at the entrance way to the foyer and also can be found high up on the front wall below the gable.

Photo showing the date of the establishment of the school administration building of today. This date is formed into the stonework at the entrance way to the foyer and also can be found high up on the front wall below the gable.

COSTINGS

  • In 1855 an application was made to construct a school.  The community hoped for a grant of ₤666/13/4 from the Government.  This figure was 2/3 of the estimated cost.
  • 1858 - the school had cost ₤1 425/12/6. (The National Board had paid out ₤945/15/0.)
  • An extra ₤400 was spent on alterations for the Model School.
  • In 1903 another ₤266/10/0 was spent for a new classroom.
  • 1910 saw the amount of ₤1 840 being spent for the cost of wooden rooms.
  • In 1914 ₤360/5/0 was required in order to construct a new Kindergarten room.
  • Major renovations in 1986 – 1987 cost approximately $750 000

FACILITIES PROVIDED

  • 1890 – an underground tank provided for drinking water
  • 1892 – re-roofed with galvanized iron
  • 1893 – a retaining wall built
  • 1909 – total area of grounds was 5 acres
  • 1939 – purchase of a wireless set, an electric gramophone and gramophone records
  • 1967 – temporary accommodation in Mechanics Institute for Infants children
  • 1974 - 53 ceiling fans installed
  • 1974 – O.F. Unit established
  • 1984 – arrival of first six computers but no training for staff provided nor any software. Money for computers was raised by the children participating in a Spell-a-thon and the annual School Fete proceeds.    

ADDITIONAL BUILDINGS

Weatherboard additions in February 1859 provided facilities for two new teachers at the Model School.  There were three divisions of pupils – boys, girls and Infants.

  • 1863 - numbers at the school had grown so much that it was decided to use the school residence for classrooms and to lease a home for the headmaster.
  • 1898 - new boys’ classroom built
  • 1903 - new classroom
  • 1910 - temporary wooden rooms
  • 1914 - a new Kindergarten room
  • 1958 - school covered 6 ½ acres

A new Kindergarten room was occupied in May 1914. The room had accommodation for 48 pupils.  It cost ₤360/5/0 ($720.50).

Between 1963 and 1988 major building projects were carried out. These included:

  • Complete renovation of the 1876 structure.
  • Erection of four new classrooms. A toilet/ablution block, shelter area and new Food Preparation Unit in the Primary Department.
  • Construction of large Assembly Hall in the Primary area.
  • Covering for wet weather and toilet facilities in the Infants Department.
  • Six new classrooms, Clinic, Toilet/ablution/shelter unit and renovations in the Infants Department.
  • Extensive ground improvements and the commencement of L.P. Gas heating installations.
  • Site acquisitions bringing the total area to 7 ¼ acres.
A 2005 Kindergarten room

A 2005 Kindergarten room