Caloundra Primary School, 1917. A Provisional School had commenced at Caloundra in 1899. This new one roomed school was erected on the present site in Queen Street in 1910 and on 1 June 1912 it was declared a state school.
Caloundra Primary School, 1917. A Provisional School had commenced at Caloundra in 1899. This new one roomed school was erected on the present site in Queen Street in 1910 and on 1 June 1912 it was declared a state school.

Backward glances: Old school way of teaching our children

AS OUR kids and grandkids head back to school for another year, we take some time to reflect on old school days, which were certainly quite different.

On January 24, 1930, a Nambour Chronicle report stated: "Schools have been brought up to a standard where there are so many varied and interesting features for the bright observant pupil that it becomes a pleasure rather than an irksome duty. There is so much today that is brought in under school curriculums that in the great desire of educating and equipping the boy or girl for the future after school life, the view is that school days are the happiest in one's life".

In 1878, pioneering residents attended a public meeting and Isaac Burgess, Joseph Cramb and John Hankinson were elected members of the Mellum Creek School Building Committee.

In 1879, Isaac Burgess advised the Board of Education that a school at Gympie Rd, Mellum Creek, had been erected using all sawn timber.

The building was 20 feet (6m) x 12 feet (3.65m) with nine foot walls (2.7m) and a six foot (1.8m) veranda.

Landsborough State School, on Arbor Day, 1913. The provisional School was built in 1893 and became a state school in 1909.
Landsborough State School, on Arbor Day, 1913. The provisional School was built in 1893 and became a state school in 1909.

The school opened on September 29, 1879, with Mary E. Hennigan being the first teacher.

In 1891, Mrs McIntyre, the head teacher at the time, advised the Department of Education that the name of the place had been changed from Mellum Creek to Landsborough and as a result, the name of the school was changed.

William Torrens remembered that when the new school at Landsborough was built in 1920, it consisted of one large room and two verandas with earth-closet toilets and rainwater tanks. When these tanks ran dry, water was carried to the school from an old well on Old Gympie Rd, which was supposedly dug by an elderly woman in the days of Cobb & Co.

The school grounds were cleaned up every week during school hours and the boys had to bring axes and mattocks for cleaning up rubbish.

The girls stayed in school and did sewing.

Students maypole dancing during the Landsborough State School Centenary celebrations, Landsborough, September 29, 1979. Some four thousand visitors crowded the school grounds for the celebrations, which in addition to the children's displays, included an official afternoon tea and roll call for elderly past pupils and the burial of a time capsule. Other highlights of the celebrations were a proce
Students maypole dancing during the Landsborough State School Centenary celebrations, Landsborough, September 29, 1979. Some four thousand visitors crowded the school grounds for the celebrations, which in addition to the children's displays, included an official afternoon tea and roll call for elderly past pupils and the burial of a time capsule. Other highlights of the celebrations were a proce

One day, the girls built a big cubby from the rubbish collected by the boys.

In 1917, the Minister for Education authorised the construction of an open-air school, to be erected on the soldiers' settlement at Beerburrum for 500 pounds. It was to accommodate 48 children.

By 1921, 110 children were on the roll and deputations were made to the Minister for Education for increased school accommodation.

In 1933, due to the expansion of the tobacco industry in the area, the school was finally enlarged.

Maleny North School pupils and building, ca 1925.
Maleny North School pupils and building, ca 1925.

Moira Male, a former student from Beerburrum, remembered starting school in 1926.

For the first year, she only attended three days as she was too young to walk the three miles (4.8km) to and from school every day.

She remembered being severely reprimanded on one occasion for writing "shut the damn lid" on the dunny.

Opening of Maleny Township State School on 22 April 1913. Situated in Cedar Street, Maleny on land later occupied by the preschool Centre and Guide Hut. The school commenced with relieving teacher Francis Charles Whiting in charge and had an enrolment of fifty two pupils in the first week.
Opening of Maleny Township State School on 22 April 1913. Situated in Cedar Street, Maleny on land later occupied by the preschool Centre and Guide Hut. The school commenced with relieving teacher Francis Charles Whiting in charge and had an enrolment of fifty two pupils in the first week.

She said that apart from this literary achievement, she was usually close to the bottom of her class because her parents believed school was for school work and home was for chores, so no homework was done.

Later memories from the 1960s from Russell Hopkins included: dried paper blobs stuck to the ceiling, hurled there in moist form by very flexible rulers; rocking back and forth in bare feet on the very hot parade ground; trying to remember that 8+5 did equal 13 for Miss Loveday; and racing from school to be at the railway overhead bridge in time to wave to the driver of the steam-powered shunt train each afternoon.

North Maleny Provisional School on the first day of opening, 27 February, 1922. Children pictured with their teacher Clara Kaischagen.
North Maleny Provisional School on the first day of opening, 27 February, 1922. Children pictured with their teacher Clara Kaischagen.

In 1913, the Maleny Township School started with 36 children on the first day and 52 by the week's end.

Thelma Walter, with her sister and brother, rode a horse to school at Maleny. They would race other children to school but never won because of having three atop the horse.

However, one day they were leading when Thelma fell off the back of the horse and, with much outrage, she recalled they did not stop. She was picked up when they were on their way home from school.

Maleny School students on their horses, Maleny School, Maleny, 1923. A provisional school called Maleny was opened in July 1897. The school was relocated to a more central site in Cedar Street, Maleny, where it was opened as the Maleny Township School on 22nd April 1913. A new Maleny State School was officially opened on the same site on 25 September 1925. In 1959 the school was relocated to its
Maleny School students on their horses, Maleny School, Maleny, 1923. A provisional school called Maleny was opened in July 1897. The school was relocated to a more central site in Cedar Street, Maleny, where it was opened as the Maleny Township School on 22nd April 1913. A new Maleny State School was officially opened on the same site on 25 September 1925. In 1959 the school was relocated to its

Vic Waddell and his mates in the mid-1920s emulated their speedway motorcycle heroes by running around a 30ft (9m) diameter track holding a piece of wood as handle bars and old felt hats cut down as helmets.

Coolum State School pupils with their teacher, Miss Ellen Chapman, ca 1920.
Coolum State School pupils with their teacher, Miss Ellen Chapman, ca 1920.

In 1917, Coolum Provisional School, No. 1571, started in the School of Arts Hall. In 1930, a state school was officially opened by the minister for education.

Many memories are recorded in the early years of the school, including the Good Manners chart which hung on the wall and naughty children had to copy it out. One morning, the boys placed wet clay on the fence the teacher Miss Chapman had to climb through, getting clay all over her clothes.

Pupils in front of Coolum State School, 1932.
Pupils in front of Coolum State School, 1932.

No one owned up so the whole class had to copy the Good Manners chart.

The Caloundra Provisional School started in 1899.

It was located in a room within the lighthouse keeper's house, with nine students enrolled on the first day.

The community built a new school in 1910 and the Provisional School became a state school from June 1, 1912.

During 1942, the army took over the school.

Caloundra Primary School, 1945. During World War II the school was seconded by United States Army Officials as Headquarters. At the time, Caloundra was a restricted zone due to the proximity of the shipping channel and military fortifications on the northern end of Bribie Island.
Caloundra Primary School, 1945. During World War II the school was seconded by United States Army Officials as Headquarters. At the time, Caloundra was a restricted zone due to the proximity of the shipping channel and military fortifications on the northern end of Bribie Island.

At first the 9th Battalion requested storage space but the 61st Battalion replaced the 9th and within a few days, the adjutant of this battalion had taken over the school as his headquarters. This included sentries being placed on guard duty at the school and blocking all roads to the facility with barbed wire.

Visiting the school involved passing through American guard lines and if you forgot the password for the day, you were likely to be the guest of the Provost Corps. It was clear that the school could not operate under these conditions and so it was moved to the Scout Hall in Minchinton St.

Students in the classroom, Maleny State Primary School, 1920.
Students in the classroom, Maleny State Primary School, 1920.

Our reminiscing takes us back to the skills required for the bush schoolteacher of the 1880s. They had to teach a class of children aged five to 15, cook lunch on an open fire, stay fresh all day from a weekly swim in the dam, keep the school property free of goats and cattle, fight off swaggies attempting to camp in the school grounds and much more.

Enjoy the school year ahead and remember to record your memories for the future.

Thanks to the Heritage Library staff for the words and Picture Sunshine Coast for the images.



Man arrested over alleged break-in, police seek accomplices

premium_icon Man arrested over alleged break-in, police seek accomplices

Man charged with aggravated break and enter offences

REVEALED: What to expect from your local on Monday

premium_icon REVEALED: What to expect from your local on Monday

THE time has come to grab your friends, head down to the pub, enjoy a cold one and...

Local Aboriginal feature on the Pacific Highway trail

premium_icon Local Aboriginal feature on the Pacific Highway trail

Ten artists from the Coffs Coast are set to feature in an Aboriginal art trail...