School History

School History

Kennington Primary School celebrated its centenary in May 2011.

On 23rd September 1901, the Reverend C.P. Brown of St Luke’s Church, White Hills, wrote to the Department pointing out that some forty children of Upper Grassy Flat lived more than two miles from either Quarry Hill or Gravel Hill Schools. The parents at this closer settlement area called a meeting to discuss the situation and a resident, Mr Cumming, offered one acre of freehold land on the main Strathfieldsaye Road as a site. However, it was decided to purchase 1.5 acres for twenty pounds and to accept as a gift one half an acre from Mr H.A. Craig as a school site. By 1st May 1911, a school was erected at a cost of 343 pounds, ten shillings, and the name then determined as Kennington. The Hon. J Sternberg, MLC, who opened the school, agreed with the Committee’s suggestion that the name Kennington be adopted.



T Pittaway was the correspondent for the Committee.
When the school began on 27th May 1911, the Head Teacher was Gladys M. Grenfell who remained until 10th September. Her successor was Annie M. Lowrie who was Head Teacher until 31st December 1913. The first staff member appears to have been Jessie Cameron who was at the school from 23rd November 1911 to 31st May 1912.

There were 42 pupils in attendance in 1911. In 1912 the accommodation was over-taxed by more than 50. In a letter dated 22nd March 1915, Mr Wirth, Chairman of the Committee, stated that the school was now far too small to accommodate the children with comfort. Built to hold 45, it now had 61 on the roll, working in the one room with three teachers. On the advice of the District Inspector however, the question of enlarging the building was deferred and a pavilion and a cloakroom utilised as classrooms. In 1919, District Inspector Akeroyd reported on the lack of space, there were then 64 children in a room 21 feet by 27 feet, and the Kennington Progress Association also wrote, stating the need for more comfortable conditions. Early in 1911, the Minister, the Hon. Sir Alexander Peacock, MLA, accompanied by Parliamentary colleagues visited the school and promised that accommodation would be attended to as early as possible. An additional room was erected later in 1922 at a cost of 859 pounds, two shillings. An extra site of 2 acres, 2 roods, 5 perches adjoining the school was purchased in 1923 for 300 pounds and on this land a teacher’s resident was erected at a cost of 923 pounds, 15 shillings and was first occupied in April 1925. The net enrolment for that year was 76.

Reflections by Past Principals

Mr Charles Graham Welton
Principal 1977-1979

The time I spent at Kennington was a period of rapidly rising enrolment. When advertised in 1976, pupils numbered 187. On my arrival in 1977 it had increased to over 220 and by the end of 1978, the number enrolled had exceeded 300. The rapidly changing enrolment meant extra classrooms. Heavy rain one day turned the surface near the new building to yellow mud which found its way inside onto the new blue carpets.

Playing space was limited and it was amazing to see one group of boys playing Australian Rules north and south on the oval whilst another group played soccer east and west in the same space with surprisingly little interference to each other. The situation was eased somewhat when Lindrea’s house was rejected as an art room and met a fiery and spectacular end, extra playing space being deemed a more urgent need.

I was most grateful to the staff and the parents and their organisations for the support I received.

Jim Jennings
Principal 1984-1991

One of my most compelling memories of Kennington Primary School was the rapid growth that characterised the school during the seven plus years I was there. Around the school was the expansion of residential properties and housing estates together with commercial developments – ie Strath Hill Shopping Centre and sporting complexes, Strath Village Shopping Centre and the establishment of Girton College.

The neighbourhood growth was reflected in school population growth where student numbers escalated from some 300 to 400 within three years and then steadily went to 440 plus over the following time.
It was a tribute to the staff, Parents’ Club and School Council that this growth was accommodated so well, particularly the staff who, in addition, had to take on board different visions of teaching practice, curriculum change, different forms of school organisation involvement in School Council Management Committees and initiatives in Integration.

One of the early perceived needs was for a multi-purpose hall. Our proposal was for the original Kennington Rural School (then used as a classroom) to be included as part of the space for this. However, the Ministry’s architects rejected this notion because of the building’s condition and the expense involved. To save some years on the waiting list for this facility, we accepted an offer to reincarnate, with some extension, a light time construction building from the demotion of the Kyneton Primary School. This was joined to the existing art and craft room and refurbished to become a multi-purpose/art and craft room complex.

Whilst we were pleased with this venue, there were some frustrations. We had negotiated that a foyer type entrance be built utilising some materials from the original Kennington School. In this it was our intention to create a permanent display of our school’s historical records and memorabilia. However, we were defeated by expediency. I returned from a two day conference to find that the old school had been bulldozed and carted away to prepare this site for the location of the Kyneton building which was ready for transport. Only the bricks were saved. These were eventually used in the path that connects the Condon Street gateway to the main building. As compensation, the archways forming part of the entrance to the multi-purpose room were provided.

Our growing school numbers also necessitated additional playground space. This was provided through negotiating the acquisition of the old school residence land that had been indented into our existing playground on the Marnie Road side. Two complexes of children’s adventure playground equipment were later built in and near this area as well as an outdoor theatre on the school oval side.
An area of playground that had been formed for tennis courts was asphalted, fenced and developed for basketball, netball, tennis and small games. A rebound wall was included as part of the boundary of this area. Major drainage works to divert surface water from the oval away from the building area and carpark was also completed.

With the increasing school numbers came a seemingly endless procession of portable classrooms (70% of students were located in them when I left). They were sited, in the main, around a hollow square which with the children’s assistance was paved and made more attractive through the establishment of garden areas and seating. A covered causeway was constructed along some rooms while others had air conditioners installed.

Seven equipment storage/display areas were built in the main building to cover the shortfall in storage space for shared and classroom items.

A unique feature of the school was the establishment of the McDonald House Hearing Unit. The transition of students to Kennington from the closed McDonald House School for the Deaf went very smoothly and was assisted by the positive attitudes of all involved. The negotiations to secure staff and develop agreements to ensure the unit’s ongoing success were not smooth – they continued for two years and had to bridge contraventions to Ministry policy on integration, staffing quotas and union agreements etc.

A significant change to our school program was made through the introduction of computers. An initial purchase of 6 Apple IIE units proved inadequate for the number of students involved so we visited every area of the school’s finances to accumulate in excess of $20,000.00 to upgrade to a Mac classic for each school classroom.

There were outstanding contributions to school programs from specialist teachers with a strong emphasis on The Arts. These were supplemented by a government initiative which provided the teaching of a range of musical instruments and culminated in such established annual events as the combined Strath-Haven/Kennington Primary School concert and the Years 5 & 6 musical production.

There was a strongly based and developing classroom program which utilised high levels of teacher co-operation and parent contribution. There were significant outdoor and camping programs which extended children’s social ideas, knowledge and skills and a range of after school sports programs organised by parents and teachers.

Because of the socio-economic mix of the Kennington environment, the school did not attract a great deal of government assistance. However, Kennington did enjoy strong local support which combined the endeavours of staff and children to ensure that the students benefited from a whole spectrum of educational opportunities.

Phil Robertson
Teacher 1990- 1991
Principal 1992-2001

Arriving at Kennington as what was then known as a Band 4 teacher in 1989, it was clear at the time that the school was highly effective. The gender and experience mix produced teaching programs of high quality in a positive and optimistic environment. I remember the children were fabulous, open and keen to learn notwithstanding some behaviour challenges common to all schools. Largely these were effectively dealt with by teachers and parents working together, a long standing hallmark of the school.

The “old site” on the corner of Marnie Road, was large enough for the student enrolment of the time (about 374 at the time if my memory serves me correctly). The grounds had shown the long term commitment of both staff and parents in terms of development and maintenance – it was a pleasant place to work and play. There was a mixture of permanent and portable classrooms, the latter having been cunningly absorbed into the landscape to give the impression of permanence. Permanent specialist teaching facilities had also been built as the school’s enrolment grew. Spaces were dedicated to art / craft, library and physical education. The library’s innovative design was the result of one of the first state funded - School Council organized building projects.

The library building project probably symbolized a lot about the time covering my Principalship – an era of change and accountability within developing statewide guidelines. Until the late eighties schools had been a bit insulated from direct government influence. Because of the qualities of the children, parents and staff Kennington had prospered. Statewide guidelines for curriculum, governance, management and facilities were either present or being introduced but there was a gradualist philosophy present with a lot of the momentum depending on schools themselves rather than the “system”. Curriculum Frameworks were being introduced and schools started to be responsible for their own internal reviews and assessments rather than external inspections as had been the previous method of maintaining school standards. The learning standards at Kennington remained arguably high with anecdotal evidence from secondary schools generally placing Kennington “graduates” as being well performed academically. My own recollections based on a continued teaching load at the time, was that the kids were mature yet fun to be with, focused on the learning experiences offered and enjoyed the variety of activities beyond the classroom found in sporting activities, camps and excursions all of which found active support from the parent community.

One statewide focus at the time was a commitment to enrol children with disabilities to mainstream schools. This bought extra funding options to support special individual learning needs, however, integration programs did increase workload and the complexity of the teaching task. The children funded under this program brought a special quality of acceptance and understanding to the school and gave us all the opportunity to learn more about life in general to make us richer as individuals and as a school.

With a change in government, there was a general community mood towards increased system and individual accountability in schools. There were simultaneous budget cuts experienced by the education sector and the impact on Kennington was the loss of many excellent teachers who took advantage of redundancy packages on offer. Almost at the same time the government launched its “Schools of the Future” program which was designed to give schools more power and authority but to operate within stronger statewide guidelines. Like all schools Kennington was learning its way through this changed landscape and maybe tracked better than most.

The school had been for some years the host for the McDonald House School for Deaf Children. Over the years many deaf children had been placed with their peers in regular classrooms and been supported by Teachers of the Deaf and Teacher Aides. The “Schools of the Future” program provided the impetus of formalizing and integrating the budget of the School for the Deaf into the Kennington host school budget. This was one of the many complexities solved at the time.

School enrolments continued to rise and this enabled the school to continue its excellent work – even though class sizes increased, not ideal to some, but the increasing budget allowed the school to maintain a full range of specialist programs (and even introduce new ones like Reading Recovery) and to maintain a proper focus on student learning while providing much needed planning and preparation time for the staff in a time when they were wrestling with new ways of doing things.

Just when the school was becoming accustomed to this new environment, it was invited to change sites from the one in Marnie Road to a new Crook Street site vacated by an independent school. The planning and achievement of this mammoth task was done in under four months and represented a huge amount of work for children, parents and especially staff. The move was supported by a $750,000 refurbishment project which was literally completed just before the children started school in February 1995.

On the new site, the school continued to prosper with a focus on the best possible student learning experiences and welfare. The environment was certainly great with spaciousness in both grounds and buildings being the most obvious change. A sub-school structure was carried over from the old school which was seen at the time as being important for both curriculum development and student welfare. The school continued its expansion of computer facilities with a mixture of laboratories and classroom based hardware connected by one of the first networks running around in primary schools. This enabled preliminary work to be done on a school intranet as a support for student learning.

The school continued to grow in enrolment and participated in the various morphs and developments of the “Schools of the Future” program taking advantage of various possibilities such as flexible arrangements re budget and staffing processes. This was brought about by well developed management processes and a very active School Council. There has always been some discussion about the big school / small school benefits and it was this era in the school’s life which to me underlined the benefits of what the big school could offer students. The budget generated by the now 500+ enrolment provided the opportunity to be able to staff and support a wide variety of learning programs around which a primary school lives as a vibrant part of the community. Kennington continued to provide specialist teaching input right through the leanest times of state education funding and it could provide high quality experiences and facilities through thoughtful and strategic organization of a growing resource base.
Kennington became a pilot school for the Self-Governing Schools Program, an arrangement where all funding came directly to the School Council. Because of the huge shifts in matters like employment and accountability, the program was contentious and with the change in Government the program was abandoned. Kennington did have however, two years of either full or part Self-Governance and had some experience with the benefits of outsourcing things like student support services and being freed from set staffing arrangements. At the end of the period the school was absorbed back into the system probably better for the reflections, conversations and debates about how we can best serve the developmental needs of children.

About this time in 2000, the school started on a journey towards accreditation as an International School with the European Council of International Schools (ECIS). This represented an opportunity to link school assessment to an objective set of exemplary criteria seen in the world’s successful schools. It added another dimension to the existing assessments and reflections against internally set goals.

Sharron Hollis
Teacher 1993- 2001
Principal 2001- 2004

When I was asked to reflect on my time employed at Kennington Primary School, my reaction was of pride and love for a school community where I enjoyed twelve years of many celebrations, challenges and changes before retiring from the teaching profession.

In 1993 I was thrilled to be appointed as an Advanced Skills Teacher 3 at the previous Kennington school site in Marnie Road. My role was teacher of Grade 2, and leader of the Sub-School Team.

As enrolments continued to rise, the school was outgrowing the Marnie Road location. During 1994, the Victorian State Government offered the School Council the opportunity to relocate to the present school site in Crook Street Strathdale. Kennington Principal Phil Robertson and the School Council with the support of the parent community had the foresight to take up the offer. After much planning and refurbishment, the buildings and grounds were prepared and occupied by excited students and teachers at the beginning of the 1995 school year. The new school offered modern buildings, a huge playing space, 12.1 hectares of grounds and a swimming pool. These facilities attracted extra enrolments and the school commenced the year with more than 500 students.

I can remember the excitement of the first school assembly, with the media and so many parents attending. The day was historical with everyone given the first half an hour before the assembly to explore the new surroundings. It was a new beginning for the whole school community.

During the years under Phil Robertson’s Leadership, his vision led the school to set in place many of the foundations that were built upon in the following years, such as a commitment to parent teacher partnerships, a balanced curriculum with the priority of developing literacy and numeracy skills, inclusive education and host site for the Regional Deaf Facility, The Arts programs, the promotion of Information Communications Technologies, professional development of staff, as well as many improvements to school accountability structures, the buildings and grounds.

His vision also led to Kennington Primary School becoming a Self Governing School in 1999. This allowed the School Council to have more responsibility in managing the school’s resources, and make educational decisions to improve student learning. During this time, Kennington Primary applied for status as an International School through the European Council of International Schools. In the year 2000, the school community worked tirelessly to document the school’s response to the requirements for the evaluation of all aspects of the school’s structures, policies and programs.

I progressed at Kennington along a path of curriculum leadership positions and was appointed as a Leading Teacher 1996-1999, Assistant Principal 1999-2000, Acting Principal 2001 and School Principal 2002-2004. During the twelve years, I experienced many different phases and structures, varied names of our employer, and many new acronyms for various new innovations and programs. Memories include Schools of the Future, Curriculum Standards Frameworks CSF1&2, The Early Years and Middle Years Literacy and Numeracy Programs, The Blueprint for Government Schools and the new Victorian Essential Learning Standards Framework, which was being introduced at the end of my career.

From the foundations set, it was an enormous privilege to lead a school community and to celebrate many achievements during my time as Principal. Reflecting on those times, the following highlights come to mind:

· The development of the school’s Vision and Mission statements and the publication of an informative brochure to promote the school. The school’s Annual Report Executive Summary was distributed within the brochure to every family annually.
· The dedication of the teachers and support staff enhanced change in the teaching and learning to provide quality programs and growth in both student and teacher development, through the Thinking Curriculum approach. This was influenced through ongoing professional development with the involvement of educator Lane Clark for a period of four years.
· The promotion of student wellbeing as a priority through the Healthy Relationships Program, and the You Can Do It Program. The end of term assemblies was always a happy time with the school band, choir, and many activities and learning experiences the students had been involved in, celebrated with the school community.
· The ongoing commitment to Information Communication Technology by updating and developing the school’s network of computers, and the integration of Information Communication Technology across all areas of the curriculum, was important to the achievement of the school’s goals and priorities. Student access to the global world of learning was continued and promoted using tools such as classroom and lab computers, data projectors, the internet, digital cameras, digital microscopes, lego technics, and printing to networked photocopiers.
· The many improvements that were made to the school’s grounds and buildings. Some of these included the completion of the shade structure over the amphitheatre, the construction of new adventure playgrounds and shade sails over the playgrounds, the installation of a phone system to all classrooms, establishment of gardens, signage and movement of traffic, including additional car parking, and the refurbishment of many classrooms.
· The support given by the 2004 School Council to employ an artist to work with the Grade 6 students to create some permanent pole people in the school grounds. The “Kennington Kids” and the “International People” promoted the school’s vision in preparing students for their role in the local and global community.
· The achievement to be awarded Accreditation as an International School in 2002 was a significant highlight. The staff, parents and School Council worked together to address the major recommendations from the 2001 Team Visit to the school by ten international educators, who evaluated the school’s programs and practices. The benefit of the whole process of working towards International Accreditation was the direction it set to improve the structures and processes implemented and evaluated in every area of the school’s operation. This resulted in the school community striving for continuous improvement during the following years. To be awarded International Accreditation was an affirmation to the school community that the school offered an education of quality, which met world standards.

At the time of my retirement the school had grown to more than 620 students. Time moves on with new educational practices and innovations being created and implemented to provide the best education possible for the next generation of students and their teachers. I look back on a fulfilling career, and celebrate the many wonderful experiences, the families I came in contact with, the staff and many colleagues I worked with, the students I taught, and my time as an educator working with the school community of Kennington Primary School.

Reflections from Past and Current Staff

Helen Hobley
Teacher 2000-2001
Assistant Principal 2001-2005

I had the opportunity to join the staff at Kennington Primary School in 2000 as a Leading Teacher and from 2001 as an Assistant Principal. I worked closely with Phil Robertson as the Principal in 2000, and from 2001 - 2005 had the pleasure of working within an exciting leadership team with Sharon Hollis in the role of Principal and Trudi Jacobson as Assistant Principal. I enjoyed my last term at the school with Glenda Miller as the newly appointed Principal before I moved onto a regional role within the Loddon Mallee Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. Kennington, as the largest primary school in the Loddon Mallee Region worked hard to offer a rich and personalised education to all students whilst maintaining a strong community focus. The dedicated staff members were committed to developing the ‘whole child’ as young citizens as well as ensuring each student could achieve their vocational goals in life. It’s a real thrill to have past students sidle up to me in the street or serve me in a local coffee shop and share their life journey thus far. The devoted School Council and parent body were a driving force working with closely with leadership to create and maintain quality facilities and resources. I have very fond memories of theme morning teas and school functions where formalities were set aside. I wish Kennington Primary School the very best with the Centenary Celebrations and look forward to catching up with some familiar faces.

Mark Winter

Student 1983-1985

Teacher 2002- 2011

Parent 2011

As a Student

My family moved to Bendigo in 1983. Dad started working as a teacher at Kennington and naturally I was enrolled in Grade 4 at the school. I had a great time at Kennington as a student at the Marnie Street site. Ms. Kim Robson (now Mrs. Kirkpatrick) was my Grade 4 teacher. Kim taught us our favourite game, ‘Times Table Champions’. She also encouraged our creative sides letting the girls perform impromptu dances in the afternoon. I had Norm Nicholas in Grade 5. I liked how he had all the day’s work neatly written up on the black board. Mr. Nicholas’ passion for sport rubbed off on many of the students including me and I took up Twilight Cricket. A number of those guys still play cricket in Bendigo today. I had Mrs Oster in Grade 6 and I remember how caring and supportive she was. I particularly remember how she looked after us when some of us got sick in Canberra on our Grade 6 camp. We used to have so much fun at recess we’d lose all sense of time. You’d be right in the middle of a great game of 40/40 and the bell would ring. I really enjoyed Art with Miss Willson, Music with Mrs. Hetherington and our Grade 6 Production “The Eureka Stockade”.

As a Teacher

I started as the Music specialist in 2002 following in the shoes of Jason Hague and Trevor Trewartha. The school has had a fabulous tradition of Music Education as far back as I can remember thanks to Jason, Trevor and Eileen Hetherington. Eileen Hetherington was the music teacher when I was a student and it was her dedication and enthusiasm for music education that made a huge impact on my life. During the mid 1980s the Music Teacher Pilot Project started in schools around Bendigo including at Kennington Primary School. This meant students had access to Instrumental Music lessons with highly skilled musicians. This program remains to be a valued part of Kennington to date. I felt very fortunate to be the Music specialist. Highlights of teaching in the music room were working with all the students from Prep to Grade 6 and getting to work with all the teachers and support staff in the school. My favourite part of music teaching was the annual musical production. Even though it was often stressful it was always so rewarding to see how brilliantly the students performed on the night.

Over the past few years I have worked as a classroom teacher for half of the week and Music teacher for the other half. I learnt a lot and had a great time working with Lyn Pearce and 1C in 2008 and with Sherilyn Butler and Prep A during 2009 & 2010.

This year I am teaching in a Prep classroom full time and I am particularly enjoying working with the students in Prep D. Prep D and I are lucky to have Jane Strauch, Marnie Pollock and Nancy Davis working in our room.

As a Parent

This year I have a new perspective on Kennington Primary School. My wife and I were so pleased to see our daughter Anna start at Kennington in Prep and she just loves school. It has given me a renewed appreciation of what an amazing school we have thanks to the students, teachers and parents.

David Winter
Teacher: 1983 – 1999
Garden and Maintenance: 1999 - 2008

I moved to Kennington Primary School which then was situated in Marnie Road, from Harcourt in 1983 . Mr John White was the principal with Mrs Elaine Rogers as the office secretary, twelve staff members and about 360 children.
Over the years 1983 to 1999 I taught in grades 3,4,5 and 6. I have taught approximately 450 students during that time. I would like to think that I have made a positive impact on the lives of those children and their families over the years. There was a very active and supportive School Council and a wonderful Parents’ Club.

Musical productions were a significant feature of Kennington Primary School, and still are. In the 1980s and 90s the Grade 5s played recorders and other instruments and the Grade 6s did the acting. Mrs Eileen Hetherington was the music specialist and, without a Music Room, went from grade to grade leading and inspiring students with her infectious love for music and children. She led and orchestrated shows like Rats, The Wizard of Oz and The Eureka Stockade. I was fortunate enough to be asked to play the piano in support.

To me Eileen was inspirational, and nurtured the musical talent in so many children. Eileen died in 1992. An annual music award in Eileen’s honour is still presented to a student each year, and in April that year an outdoor theatre was constructed on the edge of the school oval and dedicated in her honour. The song ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ was performed beautifully by students Jeni and Paula Fleay, and the principal at the time, Mr Phil Robertson, made a moving and heartfelt speech.

I became interested in the garden and environment around the school. Allan Bradshaw, Phil Webster and I installed a drip system around the school garden beds; however teacher Norm Nicholas did most of the mowing and garden maintenance. Phil could tell you about the near miss he had while I was swinging the sledge hammer!

School Camps: I attended camps at Axedale Rotary Club Camp, Lake Eppalock, Tarragon Lodge (near Mathoura) and Anglesea. They were a good bonding time for staff and students.

I taught with many wonderful and talented people. People no longer with us who come to mind are Gerry Lamaro (the Annual Grade 6 English Award is presented in her honour) and dedicated Carolyn Johnson.
After retiring, in 1999 I accepted the gardening and maintenance position along with Ron Bassett who had grandchildren at the school and who also came to the Roses Gap campsite in a helpful capacity, and then Geoff Fidler took over from Ron. I retired at the end of 2008 after 26 years at a wonderful school.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my association with Kennington Primary School and I have many happy memories. I look forward to seeing how Kennington develops and grows in the coming years.

Carol Willson
Art Teacher: 1977 – 2008

After thirty years at Kennington Primary School it is a pleasure to reflect on the school’s journey. I was very fortunate to be appointed Art teacher at Kennington in 1977. The school just kept growing, thus was able to maintain a continuous art room and program. My first ‘art room’ was teaching on the floor of the enclosed veranda that was part of the original weatherboard school situated on the corner of Condon Street and Marnie Road. This building consisted of a principal’s office, veranda, staffroom and three classrooms that serviced a number of portable classrooms, while a new brick building was erected.
The school community settled into using the new classrooms, offices, library, staffroom and toilet block in 1978. A wonderful team of teachers and close knit community nurtured 250 students, providing specialist programs in Library, PE, Music and Art. Over the years the school continued to grow and portables again began to pop up like mushrooms, to cater for extra classes. The original old weatherboard building, hidden behind the new brick structure, was renovated to become a multipurpose room and fully equipped Art room complete with a clay kiln. Metal archways were added to the front of the renovation and became the symbolic logo for the school.

By 1994 the school community expanded to 470 students, losing playing space to more portable classrooms. At this point in time the Girton School community vacated their double storey brick buildings, situated at the Crook Street site, next to the old orphanage. The Education Department was able to secure this site for the new Kennington school. Then began the big “pack up and shift”, to move from the old site to the new site. We even managed to take our clay kiln. In 1995 students were thrilled with their new classrooms and expansive play grounds. Kennington continued to grow, necessitating the use of the old cream brick building that was once part of the Orphanage. Eventually the numbers rose as high as 630 students in 2006 and today we witness the use of additional new buildings providing ‘up to date’ learning environments.

I have enjoyed many school activities such as camps, sports, swimming or productions, but especially the art projects undertaken – Artists in Schools (Mosaic sculptural seat), etched/decorated paving bricks, P-6 painted dragon mural, Young Researchers at the Gallery, Victorian Art projects and the school’s Annual Artwork Acquisition Program. As you can imagine, teaching methods and tools have changed greatly over the years, with the addition of computers, laptops, interactive white boards, netbooks and the Ultranet. Electric photocopiers replaced Mr Nicholas’ blue ink duplicator. Many students have passed through the school achieving many different things in life, and often returned as parents of the next generation of students, while some even returned as teaching colleagues.

Over many years, much work and care has been put into the school’s students, programs, buildings, play areas and gardens. Kennington Primary School can be very proud of its wonderful place in education and its strong community partnership between caring professionals, and supportive parents working for the benefit of all the students. Congratulations to everyone on reaching another milestone in your history.

Other Reflections

Grant Findlay
Student: 1969 – 1975

I still have very strong memories of my primary school days and believe that our year of Grade Six in 1975 was the last of the school being a small school with just a single building. We had eight or nine students in our grade, virtually the same group from prep to grade six.

Our playtime was filled with fun and was always outdoors; no sun protection back then. We ran for hours either playing Brandy or A which usually involved running around the school building. The palm trees that line Marnie Road were small but would still protect you from a tennis ball.

Ah, those were the days. We had to drink warm milk at 10 o’clock, there was no cooling in the summer and we relied on a teacher to keep the fire going during the winter months – but we loved every minute of it!

Elaine Rogers
Office Staff: 1980s
1980s – Technology Comes to Kennington Primary School

Kennington Primary School was a relatively late-comer to modern technology. In 1980 there wasn’t even a photocopier in the school. All duplicating was done on a Gestetner ink duplicator or (for class teachers) on an old spirit duplicator which reproduced purple print. The only typewriter was an aged manual one – all of which served their purposes quite well.

With the advent of new staff members who were used to more up-to-date equipment moves were made to upgrade and in 1984 a state of the art photocopier was installed and an electric typewriter introduced into the office. Plans were also put into place to fund classroom computers.

In 1985 six Apple 11E computers were purchased for classroom use which meant a quick training program for staff members who had to try to keep ahead of pupils who were already familiar with the technology at home. Very soon these machines needed to be upgraded and with careful budgeting and fund-raising by the Parents’ Club each classroom and the office was equipped with a Mac Classic computer.

It was a while before the Education Department offered direct funding to schools for this sort of equipment but with the introduction of Departmental school accounting and pupil records programs, all schools were supplied with a computer for administrative purposes.

What a contrast to today when many students are provided with their own laptop computer and most communication between schools and the Department is transmitted ‘on-line’.

Mrs Pam Coad
Grandparent of Kennington Primary students

I am a proud grandparent of eleven children. All of my grandchildren have attended Kennington Primary School. My involvement with Kennington Primary School is in its 21st year and my involvement is ongoing. I have had an active role in each of my grandchildren’s educations at the school. My first two grandchildren, Melissa and Lauren began their schooling at Marnie Road, whilst the other nine attended the current site in Crook St. Melissa started at Kennington Primary School in 1991 and Chloe and Jakob are currently in Grades 5 and 2 respectively.

My involvement with Kennington Primary School increased when my daughter Sherilyn began teaching at Kennington Primary School. This meant that I was happily able to undertake the role of reading Nan for Matthew. I have enjoyed doing the school pick up over the many years and especially enjoyed the company of my grandchildren after school and on curriculum days.

I love the way many of the teachers at Kennington acknowledge me and come up and speak to me when I am at the school. Over the years I have enjoyed assisting with the wrapping of boxes of presents for the Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day stalls, which I have also worked at over the years. I have taken great pleasure in attending all the special events at Kennington. These have included Grandparents’ Day, Open Days, Athletics Days and Sporting events, Productions, and each of their Graduations. I have been interviewed for many projects and given talks to whole grades on World War 1 and World War 2, as well as on early Bendigo.

It was no surprise to me when my daughter Sherilyn decided that she was going to be a teacher. I still remember her coming home from her first day of Prep as a 5 year old, saying, “I am going to be a teacher.” I have enjoyed having my daughter, Sherilyn teach at the same school that all my grandchildren have attended, or are attending. This makes Kennington Primary School a very special and important place to me. I love being with Sherilyn when kids come up to her to say hello as they always have a smile on their face.

All my grandchildren are wonderful kids and I am very proud of them. They have had a great start to their education at Kennington Primary School. All of my grandchildren who have gone on to do great things;

Melissa - Studying at university whilst working for Children’s Services

Lauren – Working for Children’s Services

Matthew – Studying Business at university

Nathan - Studying Education at university

Adrian - Studying Education at university

Jeremy, Megan, Jarrod and Aimee – Studying at high school

I look forward to the graduation of Chloe and Jakob, and also to my continued involvement with Kennington Primary School.


1911 Gladys M. Grenfell
(later Mrs Dillon)
1911 – 1913 Annie M. Lowrie
(later Mrs Collins)
1914 William O.E. Wroland
1915 Gertrude E. Mitten
1915-1918 William H. Tregellas
1918-1919 George T. Wilson
1919-1934 Charles E. Shaw
1934-1937 Francis R. Sydes
1937-1939 Gilbert C. Duff
1939-1941 Frederick W. Williams
1941-1944 John T. Gardiner
1944-1947 Claude H. Lefoe
1947-1949 Eric E. Spriggins
1949-1950 George F. Pirrie
1950-1959 Chadwick M. Whiteley
1959-1960 Jeffrey J. Layther
1960-1961 Phillip G. Summers
1961-1962 Francis J. Richards
1962-1969 Leo D. McDonnell
1969-1970 Peter N. Landgren
1970-1971 Maxwell L. Jeffrey
1971-1974 Paul Bartels
1974-1977 Stanley G. Allen
1977-1979 Charles G. Welton
1979-1983 John A. White
1984-1991 James E. Jennings
1991-2001 Phillip J. Robertson
2002-2005 Sharron J. Hollis
2005-current Glenda J. Miller

Citizenship Awards

2001 Kahlia Reid & Kurt Hanna
2002 Courtney Waterson & Ben Coughlin
2003 Rebecca Beagley & Trent McNeil
2004 Kathryn Gray & Miranda McMahon
2005 Sophie Steele & Audrey Stewart-Peterson
2006 Cameron McNeil & Hugh Johnstone
2007 Eli Ivey & James Coughlin
2008 Rachel Gray & Gabriela Giggins
2009 Tara Moore & Milly Dowton
2010 Thea Morton & Temuna Quayle