Skip to main content

History of Macarthur Street Primary School

Macarthur Street Primary School has a proud history. We are school number 2022 and have remained operating in the original building since 1878.

Our school recognises the significant contribution the school has made to the education of children in Ballarat.

  • 1877

    Macarthur Street Primary was constructed in 1877 and officially opened on 31 May 1878, replacing the Soldiers Hill School, with an initial enrolment of 650 students.

  • 1878

    Macarthur Street State School officially opened. It had an initial enrolment of 650 students and the Head Teacher was Mr William Cox.

  • 1899

    Macarthur Street State School closed for 4 weeks for renovations.

  • 1911

    The first Macarthur Street School Committee was elected. This committee agreed to purchase guernseys for the school football club.

  • 1914

    War was declared. Students began work for the Ballarat Red Cross knitting mufflers and socks.

  • 1916

    Macarthur Street State School was reopened after being remodelled and enlarged to cater for more students.

  • 1917

    The Honour Roll was unveiled containing 208 names of ‘Old Boys’ who served in the Great War.

  • 1919

    The first Mother’s Club was set up to assist “in whatever way necessary for further advancements of the school.”

  • 1929

    Macarthur Street State School celebrated its Golden Jubilee, 50 years since opening.

  • 1931

    ‘Bubbler’ drinking taps were installed and the yard was asphalted.

  • 1937

    Teachers gave weekly tests every Friday morning, covering mathematics, spelling and grammar.

  • 1941

    The Second World War was declared. Macarthur Street Primary School students began collecting food to send to Britain.

  • 1945

    Macarthur Street Primary School was very proud of its newly formed drum and fife band.

  • 1946

    The Rural Training School was established upstairs to provide teachers experience in a small rural school condition.

  • 1959

    Students were provided with free milk to drink each day at school.

  • 1969

    Macarthur Street Primary School had 15 classes many having between 37 to 45 pupils.

  • 1971

    Macarthur Street Primary School students enjoyed playing in a heavy downfall of snow.

  • 1978

    The school celebrated its 100 years since establishment.

  • 2001

    Mr Backwell began as the Principal of Macarthur Street Primary School.

  • 2003

    Macarthur Street Primary School celebrates its 125th Anniversary Reunion.

  • 2015

    Macarthur Street Primary School had an enrolment of 95 students.

  • 2020

    The tiled roof was replaced in a major building project that spanned all of Term 2 and Term 3.

  • 2020

    The world suffered under the weight of a pandemic. Teaching moved to a remote model in Terms 2 and 3. 

  • 2023

    Mr Backwell retired as Principal and Anthony Cross was appointed as our new substantive Principal.