150 years: Cavendish Primary School

Learn about the history of Cavendish Primary School, one of Victoria's oldest public schools.

Key information

8-10 Barker Street, Cavendish, 3314
1 January 1852
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Cavendish School, Cavendish Common School, Cavendish State School

The history of Cavendish Primary School

  • 1852

    Cavendish opened in 1852. The head teacher was James Brake. His wife taught needlework (sewing).

    The number of students enrolled was 13. The schoolhouse had 2 classrooms and 2 bedrooms for boarders. Boarders are students who lived at the school instead of going home after school each day. 

  • 1862

    The school became a common school in 1862.

  • 1870s

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

    A new school building made of timber with a shingle roof opened in 1874. .

  • 1880

    The school closed in 1880 because of an epidemic of diphtheria. Four of the teacher's children died. The teacher's house was abandoned and demolished.

  • 1887

    The roof of the school was covered with iron. A new separate house was built.

  • 1918

    The whole school was renovated.

  • 1948

    The number of students going to the school was 73. No more students could fit in the school so a new classroom was built.

  • 1958

    A pine tree plantation was planted on 10 acres. The trees would be sold when fully grown to raise money for the school. 

  • 1962

    The old building was demolished because it was too small and because termites had made the building unsafe. Two new classrooms replaced it and another was added in 1966. 

  • 1970

    The school was renamed Cavendish Primary School in 1970.

  • 2022

    Cavendish 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.