Kalamunda State School 1905 -1970
This well-used timber and iron building, the first Government School in Kalamunda, has echoed with the sounds of noisy children for over 100 years.
Opening in 1895, it was just one room, with one intrepid teacher supervising the education of all children aged 5 to 14. This is indicated by the varying sizes of the wooden desks.
It seems it was no easy task. Records show that in 1901 the visiting Education Department Superintendent was not impressed, reporting on the school’s “low moral tone” and in particular “the obscene and disgusting language”! These were the children of hard-working timber fellers, farmers pioneering new blocks and overworked mothers.
Even the children had chores at school. Listen to the sound of young Mary ringing the bell. Hear the wood being chopped by one of the bigger boys to be lugged in to the fire place down the back. Find out who cleaned the dusters; which responsible, trusted boy filled the ink-wells, trying not to add to the ink blobs on the floor.
This was the only chance of an education many local children had. Perhaps some had walked a long way to come to school through bush tracks, or ridden a horse together with their siblings. On wet days we know some covered themselves with hessian bags but still arrived cold and soggy.
But school was also a place of games with friends, of music and singing, of stories and books and learning. It was a place of opportunity for all.
By 1925 the school was moved to another site, in Heath Road, and the second classroom was added. It came to its third and final resting place here in History Village in 1970.