150 years: Sale Primary School

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

Key information

Macalister Street, Sale, 3850
21 January 1854
School type:
School number:
Other names:
Sale School, Sale National School, Sale Common School, Sale State School

The history of Sale Primary School

  • 1854

    Sale opened as a national school in 1854. The first head teacher was Mrs Marianne Carpenter. There were 26 students enrolled (19 girls and 7 boys).

  • 1860s

    The school became a common school in 1862. The school building was described as “an iron room – very hot or very cold – badly ventilated and unhygienic, as it acts injuriously on the children’s health”.

    A large brick classroom was added in 1864 and an extra wooden classroom was added by 1867. Another brick classroom was added in 1869. The school was damaged by a hurricane the same year. A ball was held to raise money to repair the damage.

  • 1873

    The school became a state school at some stage in 1873. There were 483 students enrolled in 1873 and two more brick classrooms were added.

  • 1883

    A new brick school building on a new site on Macalister Street in 1883. A procession from the old school to the new school was part of the opening. There was also a fireworks display.

  • 1907

    John H. Refshauge was head teacher in 1907. He was also headmaster at the new Agricultural High School that opened in the Mechanics Institute building. A Stoyd room, used for woodworking, opened the same year. A room was also converted to be a cookery centre.

  • 1920

    Black and white photograph of the Sale school building with trees and bushes on the grass in front of the school. The school building is brick and has a bell tower. Sale Primary School building in 1979. Source: John T. Collins and the State Library of Victoria

    Sale Primary School in 1920.

  • 1952

    The school building from Newry State School (No. 1145) moved to the school in 1952. Renovations were undertaken in the same year.

  • 1970

    The school was renamed Sale Primary School in 1970. The head teacher at the time was Gordon D. Murdoch.

  • 1983

    A reunion was held in 1983 and students repeated the procession from the old school to the current school like they did 100 years ago.

  • 2002

    The school building’s spire at the top of the bell tower was restored in 2003. The portico verandas at the front of the building were also restored.

  • 2022

    Sale 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.