150 years: Essendon Primary School

Learn about the history of Essendon Primary School, one of Victoria’s oldest public schools.

Key information

38 Raleigh Street , Essendon, 3040
29 July 1850
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Essendon School, Essendon Common School, Essendon State School, Essendon Primary School

The history of Essendon Primary School

  • 1850

    Essendon is the oldest school still operating in Melbourne.

    This school was founded as Pascoevale National School (No. 483) in July 1850.

    The school was originally situated on the banks of the Moonee Ponds Creek near the junction of Five Mile Creek. 

  • 1860s

    During the 1860s the original building and site was sold. A new structure was built in Fletcher Street.

    The school was renamed and became Essendon Common School (No. 483) on the 17 August 1863. 

  • 1875

    Due to rapid population growth, a new slate roof brick building was erected on the corner of Raleigh and Nicholson Streets.

    Essendon State School students in front of main brick building between 1875-1920.
  • 1910

    Portrait of school students at Essendon State School in 1910.
  • 1917

    An infant block was added.

  • 1920s

    Significant additions to the school were added from 1921 to 1922.

    The building was officially opened by the Governor of Victoria, His Excellency, the Right Hon. Earl of Stradbroke in 1922.

    A monument dedicated to the memory of victims of the first World War was erected in the school grounds in 1923, by the Old Boys' Association of the school.

  • 1933

    The school bell was presented by the Mothers' Club, School Committee, Old Girls' Association, and Old Boys' Association. 

  • 1955

    A weatherboard arts room was added in 1955 but it burnt down that same year.


  • 1956

    The E.A. Worcester library room was opened by the Mayor of Essendon, Cr E.B. Basford, JP in 1956.


  • 1970

    The name of the school changed to Essendon Primary School in 1970. 


  • 2020s

    Essendon Primary School is still in operation.

    The original school bell still stands in the grounds.

Find more interesting facts about this school

The Public Record Office Victoria (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's your turn to do some detective work. Take a look to see what info they have on this school.