The History of Coburg North Primary School
This page was researched and written by Grade 4 students of 2019 as part of their inquiry challenge to ‘Preserve the history of Coburg North Primary School’.
The Coburg North Primary School buildings opened on 1st of March, 1937 for the classes to start, but the official opening was held on the 28th of April 1937. John R Harris (in photo), who was the Minister of Public Instruction at the time presented the school with an opening plaque. The first Headteacher was Henry Lanyon (in photo). At that time, Coburg North Primary School was part of Pascoe Vale Primary School. The Coburg North grades spanned from Beginners (Prep) to Grade 2, then at Grade 3, the students would move to another school. Coburg North Primary School was part of Pascoe Vale Primary School for five years. In 1942, Coburg North Primary School became its own school, known as Coburg State School. The first Headteacher of Coburg North State School was Ruby Smith.
When Coburg North Primary School opened it had very few buildings. The buildings of the school included a cream brick building, two toilet blocks, and two shelter sheds, one for the boys and one for the girls. It also had a boiler room which was run by coal. The cream brick building supplied three classes, Beginners (Prep), First grade and Second grade as well as a Head Teacher’s office. The cream brick building had central heating and the toilet blocks had sewage. In 1939 the buildings also got electricity.
Do you know there was an army hut in our school in 1947? An Army Hut was moved from Ballarat to Coburg North Primary School. It was used as classrooms and an assembly hall due to increased student enrolments. The army hut was made from corrugated iron and it was a hard place to work in. Debra Davis, a former student and current Business Manager at CNPS stated “When it was summer, the air got trapped inside so that would be really hot. But when it was winter, it would be really cold.” The army hut was later removed in the 1980s.
In 1975, the school underwent big renovations. The total cost was $2.6 million which was provided in a grant from the government. This included a library, computer room, language lab, art/music room and an amphitheatre underneath. There was also a red brick building that was built in the renovation but now has been demolished.
In 2017, Coburg North Primary School received $6,711,000 from Lizzie Blandthorn. Lizzie Blandthorn is our elected state Parliamentarian. The money went towards a new office New office building and ‘The Arts’ learning spaces. These buildings were officially named by our Wurundjeri Elder Aunty Di. The office building was named Wa-Dam-Bak which means ‘renew’. The Arts learning space is called the ‘Booeegigat’ which means ‘create’.
CNPS Student Enrolments
The number of students at this school has widely grown over the last ten years. In 2010, CNPS only had 114 kids attending. In each year level there was usually only one class, if they were lucky then 2. This amount of students in each class was just enough for the school to stay open. The school, regardless, was still very small which is what got it close to being closed years before. But then the next year they had a change of luck and the school numbers started to rise. By 2019, there are 532 happy kids who came here for amazing education.