History of Woollahra Public School
Woollahra Public School now has the same name as when it opened in 1878 with three rooms and 300 students. In the late 1890s its name changed to Woollahra Superior Public School, with an enrolment of 1200, which included students receiving secondary education. More buildings were added including the Chisholm Building (for girls) in 1891 and the Barton Building (for boys) in 1902 to 1903. The present after care centre room and classrooms above were added in 1924, and these were used for manual training. In these early days, the average numbers in classes was around 60.
In 1932 Woollahra was one of a number of schools in Central Sydney where Opportunity Classes for academically gifted and talented students were introduced. These classes still exist for 120 children in Years 5 and 6.
Interestingly, it wasn’t until the late 1960s that primary classes became coeducational. Separate playgrounds operated for boys and girls until the mid-1970s. Electricity was connected to the classrooms in the late 1960s following a candle lit protest. It was during the Centenary year in 1978 that the school received a long overdue refurbishment with bright paint replacing faded grey and fawn and the bare floorboards were carpeted green.
During the 1960s and until 1979 the school was known as Woollahra Demonstration School because students from Alexander Mackie Teachers College visited the school to watch demonstration lessons. When the college moved and the lessons were no longer part of teacher training, the name returned to its original Woollahra Public School.
In 2022 Woollahra has an enrolment of 700 students organised into 29 classes. The school is continuing to undergo major refurbishments to preserve the precious heritage buildings. Within those buildings our students and staff embrace future focused learning approaches while simultaneously valuing our long and special history of educating the young people of our community for 144 years.
OLD BOYS' & OLD GIRLS' STORIES
Marianne Allan (pdf 330 KB) Marjorie Ella Curtis (pdf 330 KB)