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History

In the 1860’s, Irish and German settlers in the Logan district wasted no time in expressing the need for a school. Mr Thomas Fraser was appointed the first teacher on 14 June 1869 by the Board of Education.

A public meeting was held on 21 June at Mr Schneider’s house. The general feeling of the meeting was that school should commence immediately. A Committee of Patrons was elected and C Wilson’s offer of the use of a barn was received.  School was opened for enrolments on 28 June 1869.

The Committee of Patrons and residents continued to meet and collect subscriptions for the election of a National School. The Provisional School continued to operate on Mr Wilson’s farm while the site for the National School was still being haggled over. In 1870 the present site was chosen. A contract was signed on 30 December between the General Board of Education and the builders - Savage, Wilson, Hardy and Hart.  They were to complete the school in ten weeks at a cost of £145.

The National School was opened on 3 January 1871 under the name of Waterford Primary School. Patrick Leo was the first of twenty-five pupils enrolled on that day. 

Early in 1872 closure of the school was threatened if the attendance did not increase to thirty scholars.

The school remained closed from April until August, being reopened by J Weaver after residents had voiced their alarm to the Board and promised the regular attendance of their children.

In April 1873, after community requests, Mr J Weaver left by mutual agreement between himself and the Board of Education. This led to the closure of the school for nearly 12 months.

The Waterford Primary School remained as a 30 by 16 foot room until 1884 when a back verandah, seven foot wide, was added.  In 1888 Mr Caroll, the head teacher, reported that the ninety-four children almost suffocated in summer, and applied for an extension. This was successful and a room twenty two by sixteen foot and a seven by six foot front verandah, were added. The back verandah of the old room was extended along the new room. A covered way, kitchen and servant’s room were also provided at his residence. In 1894 a further three foot was added to the back verandah giving the school almost the appearance we are familiar with today.

When the German Parish School finally ceased operation in the late 1890’s the enrolment at Waterford Primary School rose dramatically. Despite the big depression and flood of the 1890’s, the school enrolment remained constant. In 1898 as the economy began to improve, a play shed was built for £49/1/9d.

There was a new beginning in the 1900’s when the States of Australia federated. The school curriculum reflected the national pride with flag raising ceremonies, reciting of national pledges, parades and the singing of the National Anthem.

During the first decade of this century, one of Waterford’s pupils became a pupil teacher. Mr Rubin Greig started his teaching career in 1909 at the age of fourteen and a half.

During the First World War, 1914-1918, tight budgets affected supplies to schools.  Very few families would have been left untouched either through their menfolk being away or the scarcity of commodities.

During this period, life was made easier by the opening, in 1916, of the first concrete bridge. To commemorate the opening of the high walled concrete bridge, six trees were planted at the school. Two Camphor Laurels and one Palm Tree still remain today.

During the war years, classes continued at Waterford under the care of Mr Thomson and his pupil teacher. To accommodate approximately seventy pupils and keep firm discipline, the class was organised in three tiers.

Children had one outing each year to “Southport by the Sea”, in the back of a truck usually donated by one of the locals.

People survived the post-war economic depression and were optimistic of a future with improvement and new hope.

In 1929, a school residence was built replacing the original residence.  In this year the pupils and community celebrated their Sixtieth Anniversary.

During the 1930’s, the school population dropped. This was due to ‘hard times’ and infantile diseases.

The scholarship examinations which began in the early 1900’s became harder to pass and throughout this decade Waterford continued to have some of its pupils achieve this and go on to high school education.

In 1939 Waterford celebrated its Seventieth Anniversary.

The following are extracts from K Bizzell’s memories as a pupil at Waterford State School during the 1940’s.

'The 7 grades and 2 prep classes consisting of approximately 30 children sat in the northern end of the old building in desks that had holes for the ink well and slits for the slates to drop into. The floorboards were bare, and were kept clean by Mrs Richmond.

School was closed during the first year of war until trenches were dug.

I clearly remember the practice of clearing the school of children and having them run down to the trenches dug along the school house fence.

The time allocated for evacuation was two minutes. Thankfully they were never required for real.

Schoolwork consisted of four main subjects - maths, English, geography and Australian history. As a one-teacher school, we did not learn British history.

There was no official uniform worn. Children came to school dressed in whatever their parents could afford.

The area of school grounds, including the school residence, was two acres. We had a tennis court behind the ‘present day tuck-shop, dirt cricket pitch running across the (present day) B Block and a basketball court in front of the old school building.'

Whilst at a Pupil Teacher Course on the coast in 1945, Mr Richmond saw the advantages of what movie films could show instead of just talking about a subject. Several hundred pounds had to be raised.

From the dances, raffles and evenings held, this money was raised and Waterford State School became one of the first schools to have a movie projector.

Children had to improve sporting equipment in many ways, using any available materials - for soccer balls, rags were stuffed into a small bag, sewn up by bag needles or beans put into small calico bags for throwing as a ball.

The games played at school were rounders, ball 'o' beam, hide-and-seek, rover come over, the farmer wants a wife, hopscotch, marbles, leap frog, oranges and lemons and, if you were game, piggyback fights.

In 1945, our teacher Mr Richmond, with several others, created an annual Athletic Sports Day between schools of the area. These schools were Woodridge with 65 pupils, Kingston with 28 pupils, Logan Village with 25 pupils, Waterford with 28 pupils and Park Ridge with 40 pupils.

In 1948, it was decided to have black pants and orange tops as our school colours because the small pieces of gold ribbon, previously used, could not be seen on a runner’s chest in a close finish.

In early 1947, an extensive flood occurred. In this flood Bizzell’s store and Post Office were washed away. The family and some of their possessions had been evacuated to the old school building. It was a unique setting - a family living on the back verandah, a store and Post Office in the second room, children and their classes in the other room, children playing in the grounds, customers and their vehicles also in the grounds throughout the day, and all was accomplished without dissent.

In approximately 1950, a plot of twenty-five pines was planted behind the school residence. Along with these are many other shrubs and trees that have been planted to celebrate Arbor Day throughout the school’s history.

A small growth period occurred during the 1960’s. The classes had to be divided into juniors and seniors for one year. Teacher Aides were employed and in 1967 a third teacher was appointed. To accommodate the growing numbers of children, the back verandah of the old building was enclosed. This classroom was deemed temporary and very soon the Works Department began erecting a double storey modern school building. One classroom, a services room (previously the Principal’s Office), and a spacious storeroom was first erected upstairs and were made available for use from the beginning of 1968.

During 1968, two more classrooms were added upstairs and, by the beginning of 1969, all children were taught in this building. In the same year, the school celebrated its centenary. An historical steam train ran on the day. Despite very heavy rain, the day was a great success.

The first cleaners were employed in 1970 and the first groundsman in 1974.  During the 1970’s further growth occurred, particularly in the younger grades.  Three classrooms, a health room and a storeroom were now provided. The centre stairwell was taken away and a teachers’ staffroom was built upstairs. A second set of external stairs was built at the other end of the building.

Uniforms were introduced for both the boys and girls. All girls wore the dress still in vogue today and the boys wore an overshirt of the same fabric with grey boxer shorts. These were finished with brown hats, socks and shoes.

Work committees, now called the Parents’ and Citizens’ Association, have been behind the scenes throughout the history of the school.

Waterford State School has been privileged to have hard working and interested parents for 125 years and the school owes its history to these people.

During the last decade, our school has seen growth in all facets of school life. The present tuck-shop was built in 1981.

Buildings have been relocated and changes have been made to B Block and E Block. A Preschool, concrete tennis courts, sewerage, an Amenities Block, an Administration Block, and a new prototype Library have been built.

A further two classroom blocks have been built - J Block and K Block in 1992.

A special purpose Special Education Units (SEU) Block and a two room demountable were erected on site in 2004.

In 2006, Prep facilities built at the school included an additional singular modular, two new rooms adjoining K Block, a toilet block and a storage shed.

Congratulations to the school community for the production of this 125th Anniversary book in 1994. 

Taken from “Meandering Through the Years”.

By 1996 the school had grown to over 700 students. Following the opening of Eden's Landing State School in 1997 numbers reduced to just over 540.

The school now includes three SEU 0 to 12 years as well as the Behaviour Advisory Team who service local schools.

After the removal of the residence house a fitness trail was built in 2000 for students in Years 4 to 7.

During 2009, our School Assembly Hall/Resource Centre was built on the site adjoining Nerang Street.

As part of a State Government focus on education in the early years, a new kindergarten facility completed in 2011 provided an opportunity for children to attend a quality kindergarten program prior to commencing the Prep year.

With the opening of new residential estates in the local area, student enrolment increased to approximately 640 students by the end of 2012. Due to the increasing enrolment trend and the number of students with disabilities at the school construction of a new multilevel classroom block commenced in 2012 in preparation for the 2013 school year. Incorporating and undercover staff car park and 8 classrooms, this new building provided state of the art teaching and learning facilities for the school.

From the beginning of 2012, the school, like all schools across Australia, gradually began introducing the Australian Curriculum. English, mathematics and science were introduced in 2012, history in 2013 and geography introduced in 2014. The Australian Curriculum set out the core knowledge, understanding, skills and general capabilities that are important for all Australian students. It identifies what all young people should learn as they progress through schooling, and is the foundation for high quality teaching to meet the needs of all Australian students.

2014 is the final year for Year 7 students to attend primary school. From 2015 Year 7 will become the first year of high school. It is a significant educational reform that will benefit students at all Queensland schools. It follows the successful introduction of a Prep year in 2007. In 2008 the Year 1 entry age was raised by six months, bringing Queensland in line with other states. Also, from 2012 Queensland began introducing the new Australian Curriculum for English, mathematics and science. By moving Year 7 students to high school they will have access to the specialist resources needed including science labs and science teachers.