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150 years: Portland Primary School

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

Key information

45 Palmer Street, Portland, 3305
1 October 1856
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Portland School, Portland Common School, Portland State School

The history of Portland Primary School

  • 1856

    Portland opened as a national school in 1856. The first teachers were Mr and Mrs Dunbar and 112 students were enrolled. 

  • 1862

    The school became a common school in 1862.

  • 1870s

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

  • 1879

    A new school building on Palmer Street opened in 1879. Portland State School (No. 1182) and West Portland State School (No. 665) closed when the new larger school opened. The head teacher at the time was John Hill. 

  • 1912

    The school became a higher elementary school in 1912. This meant that secondary classes for older students were added, like secondary schools today.

  • 1944

    A new building was added for the higher elementary school students in 1944. 

  • 1956

    The secondary classes moved to Portland High School (No. 8230) when it opened in 1956. The building used for secondary classes became part of the primary school. 

  • 1970

    The school was renamed Portland Primary School in 1970.

  • 2022

    Portland 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.