Wattle Grove Primary School has a long history, dating back to July 19th 1915, when it opened in a hall on the corner of Welshpool Road and William Street, with its first teacher Miss Amy Fitzgerald. There were 19 children ranging from infants to sixth standard. The hall was unsealed, unlined and was extremely cold and draughty, with the rain and piercing wind blowing in through the weatherboards. It was prone to flooding in winter, but in summer, the temperature soared, with the heat striking through the hot iron roof. Lessons were conducted on slates and water came from a tank when it was available.
In 1940, the school was relocated to 639 Welshpool Road, with one brick and tile classroom and a verandah, at a cost of 850 pounds. It was opened with 37 children. Then in 1952 a second classroom was established.
By 1960 the school population peaked at 180 students and so further extensions were made, with the addition of another two classrooms and a staffroom. Students of the era read “Happy Venture Readers” with Dick and Dora, Nip and Fluff. They drank bottles of milk supplied to them daily and spent countless hours unpicking incorrect sewing stitches. By 1975 the school population had returned to approximately 115.
The 1980s and 90s saw further changes to the school buildings, with the purchase in 1985 of a transportable classroom, through the fundraising efforts of the P&C. This classroom was used as a library until 1992, when it was destroyed by fire. A new permanent library building and canteen was then established in 1993. Continuous fundraising by the P&C enabled all classrooms to be air conditioned.
The new 21st century saw the subdivision of previous semi-rural land within Wattle Grove and subsequently new housing estates were established. This led to many more students and new buildings for the school. A wonderful new undercover area and new toilets were established in 2001, followed progressively but the location of eight extra transportable classrooms, a new and very modern administration extension, a new staffroom and the introduction of kindergarten classes. In 2006, the school successfully gained an “Investing in Schools” Grant from the Federal Government, for the building of an Arts Studio for specialist art and music lessons. During this time enrolments increased from 104 to 298.
In 2008, the Minister for Education announced the building of a new school for Wattle Grove and the relocation of the old school to the new school site on St John Road. The new school was completed in November 2010 and the relocation of resources and equipment from the old school took place at the end of the 2010 school year.
A new chapter in Wattle Grove Primary School’s history began at the beginning of 2011, with 359 students commencing school at the new school site. Features of the new school include; thirteen permanent classrooms, three early childhood education classrooms, a library/resource centre, a covered assembly area and canteen, music and art/craft facilities, dental therapy unit, administration, staff facilities and the latest in computer technology. As part of the Federal Government’s, ”Building the Education Revolution”, the new school also has an additional science room, computer laboratory and learning centre.
In 2012, the school gained Independent Public School status, enabling it to have considerable autonomy. Student enrolments have continued to grow to 555 and an additional 7 transportable classrooms have since been added.
In 2014, Wattle Grove Primary School received the distinction of being awarded the "Primary School of the Year " in the WA Education Awards 2014. We also underwent our first School Review as an Independent Public School and were excited to find we achieved a very pleasing report, a copy of which can be found with the School Business plan on this website.
Wattle Grove Primary School has an extensive history that has been built up over the decades by the students, staff and families of this Community. We look forward to continuing that history into future decades as an Independent Public School and building upon that sense of “Wattle Grove Community” that has existed for a 100 years with the school celebrating it's Centenary this year, in 2015. A number of events and activities are planned as a part of the celebrations.
our school newsletter