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Our School’s History

Our School's History

1912 – 1936

  • A petition was presented to the Minister for Education for consideration for a state school in the district to be established. They listed eight main reasons for a school.
  • East Cannington School commenced in March 1912 with an initial enrolment of 21 students, and steadily grew to 56 students. It is reported the building had no ceiling and no stove.
  • A new building was opened in June 1913.
  • Enrolments steadily increased. During the initial years there were several epidemics that affected attendances. The school timetable was adjusted to accommodate teachers travelling on the train.
  • A tennis court was constructed in 1920 by teachers and pupils. The cost of this was met by teachers.
  • The school grounds flooded often during the winter months and drainage was badly needed.
Beckenham Primary School History
Class of 1923
  • In 1925 reports from examinations ranged from excellent, commendable, eager, responsive and enthusiastic.
  • The school grounds improved slightly when drainage was installed in the late 1920s.
  • In 1928 the library was reported to have over 100 books. Very good use was made of these books.
  • The buildings were beginning to show the need for repairs.
  • A report in 1930 said the school was outstanding in several characteristics in areas of behaviour, intelligence and keenness.
  • A Manual Training Centre was established in 1930 with bench space for 16 boys. By the mid 1930s the school accommodation was stretched to the limit with enrolments in the 160s.
An Early School Building

1937 – 1962

  • In the 1930s sport was a strong feature of the school.
  • A community concert and a fancy dress occasion were held to raise funds to purchase equipment.
  • Still the grounds continue to flood regularly.
  • A bird club was formed in the 1940s. Also a Junior Red Cross was started. Air raid exercises were well practiced.
  • The Principal, Mr McKinnon, was called up for military service.
  • The P & C worked very hard to raise funds for the school.
  • Many sporting events were organised in the late 40s.
  • Again the grounds, buildings and fences were badly in need of repair. They were completely renovated in 1949.
  • Each classroom had its own wireless receiver installed and a film projector was purchased.
  • Lawns were successfully grown around the school.
Mrs. Leeder’s Class
  • Building additions were officially opened at a public function in 1952.
  • Enrolments were in the 240 plus. Still more classrooms were needed.
  • The school was designated a Training school in 1954. There were 10 trainee teachers in practice.
  • A lot of ground work was completed.
  • Two new classrooms were completed and a new toilet block was erected.
  • A lunch room was installed in the late 1950s and 100 lunches were served the first day.
  • More land was needed for more extensions as the school population was now over 300.
  • A piano was purchased in 1959.
  • The school was upgraded a class in 1960 to Class 1. The first Deputy Principal was Bob Elm. He also was an acting principal in 1970. Admissions were increasing regularly. Enrolments were well over 400.
  • A school uniform was first introduced in 1960.

1937 – 1962

  • There were now 10 classrooms and one old manual room.
  • A steady influx of migrant children was noted.
  • The Unit Progress System was introduced in 1967.
  • By 1969 there was an enrolment of 640+, utilising sixteen classrooms.
  • In 1970 the name of the school changed to Beckenham Primary School.
  • Another school opened in the district and about 180 pupils transferred there.
  • In 1973 a new Maths Syllabus was introduced.
  • New piano and violin classes commenced in 1975.
  • A purpose built library was also opened.
  • The choir recorded broadcasts for the ABC.
School Netball Team
  • In the late 70s the enrolment was still in the 600s.
  • In 1977 Gosnells became a city and each child was presented with a medallion.
  • 1978 saw the first school camp at Point Peron.
  • A Dental Health mobile clinic was opened in 1979.
  • A school nurse was also appointed for the first time.
  • Many special activities were held for the 150 years of Western Australia.
  • A special gifted children’s program was commenced.
  • Many special weeks were held in the Resource Centre.
  • A new Resource Centre was planned, built and opened in 1982.
  • The first parent “Thank you” afternoon tea was organised in 1983.
  • The school participated in Telelit, (a telephone link up with Author Colin Thiele in South Australia). This was the first of its kind in a Western Australian school.
  • Alas, the oval was still flooding in winter!
  • A initiative was started. We had students deliver Christmas cards that were posted in a special mail box.
  • There was a fire in the library.

1988 – 2016

  • We had exchange teachers from Scotland, Canada, China, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia.
  • The whole school was involved in a concert presentation. Staff and students participated. This was enjoyed by all.
  • A new hands on Maths program was developed. All classes took part in it. We set up a special room for the activities.
  • Various school based programs were initiated –Self Esteem/Pastoral Care, ESL, SAER, Aboriginal Homework Classes, Tutor Volunteer Reading Program/Support a reader, Commonwealth Literacy and Numeracy Program, Collaborative Problem Solving, School Volunteer Program, Getting It Right, NAIDOC WEEK, Kids’ Hope Program, Student of the Week, Grandparents’ Day, Lane Clark Strategies, Quality Teacher Program (QTP), Road Safety, Daily Fitness, Kidskin.
  • The canteen closed permanently due to lack of volunteers.
  • The enrolment of the school reached 550+.
  • The school was selected to take part in a technology program called “The 100 Schools”. It operated for 3 years and staff and students started many years of learning to use computers and other new technologies.
  • Some classes were learning boot scooting, and a small group represented our school in Tamworth.
  • A permaculture garden was started with the help of a parent. It was planted near the canteen.
  • Refrigerated reverse cycle air conditioning was installed in the Heritage section of the school buildings.
  • The Student Representative Council was formed where students from each class hold preferential elections. This is still a current process. Active citizenship of BPS is on display in the Old Parliament Buildings in Canberra.
  • A new school board was set up in 2010 to support BPS becoming an IPS (Independent Public School).
  • New buildings in 2010- Science/Art, Music, new Library and two new classrooms were built.
  • 2011 was a very active year. The old library was converted to the Stephanie Alexander building incorporating a kitchen and garden program with a specialist teacher.
  • Students study Science with a specialist teacher.
  • A new public address system was installed in under cover area.
  • School Grounds were beautified.
  • The old canteen was converted and opened as a child care centre.
  • All classes were involved with a centenary mural.
  • The old playground systems were upgraded