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150 years: Bendigo (Violet Street) Primary School

Learn about the history of Bendigo (Violet Street) Primary School, one of Victoria's oldest public schools.

Key information

Corner Old Violet Street and Webster Street , Bendigo, 3550
18 February 1867
School type:
School number:
Other names:
German Common School, Hosking's School, Bendigo State School

The history of Bendigo (Violet Street) Primary School

  • 1867

    The school opened as a common school in 1867. The school was called German Common School when it opened.

    The first head teacher was John Spencer Slade. He was assisted by Herman and Elise Marquard.

    There were 210 students at the school in 1867.

    The schoolhouse had brick walls, an iron roof and a pine floor. 

  • 1870s

    Another local school closed and these students moved to German Common School in 1872.

    The school became a state school at some stage between 1873 and 1878.

  • 1884

    The school was renamed Bendigo State School.

  • 1901

    By 1901, a Junior Cadet Corps had been set up for boys at the school. The boys wore a uniform and carried a single-shot Francotte rifle and a three-cornered bayonet.

  • 1911

    The brick school was rebuilt. Classes were held in the Hopetoun Bandroom and the Rechabite Hall during the renovations.

  • 1914

    There were 669 students at the school in 1914.

    Rae's Hill State School (No. 323) was an adjunct to Bendigo. This meant that students from Rae's Hill went to Bendigo for some classes.

    There were 103 students at Rae's Hill in 1914.

  • 1940

    A 'Back to Violet St' school reunion was held. 

  • 1967

    An event was held to recognise that the school had been opened for 100 years. Around 1000 people came. Past students travelled from all parts of Australia. A new library was set up at the school to mark the occasion.

  • 1970

    The school was renamed Bendigo Primary School in 1970.

  • 2022

    Bendigo (Violet Street) Primary School is still in operation.

Find more interesting facts about this school

The Public Records Office (PROV) is the archive of Victoria's State and local government. They look after some of our oldest school records, and we can use these records to help us understand what school life used to be like.

Now it is your turn to do some detective work. Take a look to see what information they have on this school.