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150 years: Penshurst Primary School

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

Key information

87 Ritchie Street, Penshurst, 3289
20 December 1858
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Penshurst School, Penshurst Common School, Penshurst State School

The history of Penshurst Primary School

  • 1858

    Penshurst opened as a national school in 1858. The first head teacher was Patrick D. Baxter and 34 students attended the school. The school building was erected on the south side of Bell Street. Local parents paid for the building works. A bluestone school building was added later on French Street. 

  • 1862

    The school became a common school in 1862.

  • 1870s

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

  • 1908

    Black and white photograph of the Penshurst school building in the distance behind a picket fence.
    Penshurst Primary School in 1908 when it was known as Penshurst State School. Source: State Library of Victoria
  • 1962

    The bluestone building was used by the Penshurst Youth Club as club rooms from 1962. 

  • 1963

    A new school building was built on Kolon Estate, fronting Ritchie Street and Martin Street. It was opened by the Minister of Education, Hon. J.S. Bloomfield in 1963. 

  • 1970

    The school was renamed Penshurst Primary School in 1970.

  • 2011

    Penshurst marked its 150th anniversary in 2011. There was a parade through the town and all students were involved. The opening of a new school sports stadium was also held as part of the anniversary commemorations.

  • 2022

    Penshurst Primary School is still in operation. 

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 information they have on this school.