Thornlie Primary School

Thornlie Primary School opened 1960 with Miss Jess Morton as the Headmistress and Mrs Joyce Bartlett appointed to teach 60 students aged from six to eight years. However, the school was not ready for the beginning of Term 1 and the students who were in Year 1 were sent home and those in Year 2 and Year 3 were taught on the verandah of Kenwick Primary School.

The school was designed by architect Raymond Jones with slow combustion heaters in every room with the last being removed in 1982. The school had no telephone and no staff room with staff eating on the verandah or in the wood shed.

In 1961 the first faction carnival was held and was won by red faction. Class sizes were huge with as many as 50 students on some occasion. There was no external relief so if a teacher was absent due to illness the class would be split up and sent to other classrooms for the day.

The official school opening was on the 24th of May, 1961 by Honourable C. Malder the Acting Minister of Education. Later that same year, in November, disaster struck when a one of the classrooms was destroyed by fire and the class finished the year working in the washroom.

In the 1970’s the manned cross walk was introduced, the old Library/Resource Centre & Canteen built, Dental Therapy and the old assembly area completed. These buildings were re-purposed with the government sponsored BUR building project in 2010 where a new Library, Assembly Area, Music Room, Science Room and Canteen were built.

The enrolments at Thornlie Primary quickly grew from 60 students in 1960 to 586 students in 1970 and then an all-time high of 831 students in 1975. At various time demountable building were used to accommodate the growing number and even today there are still demountable on site – although not the same ones.

In 1985 the school celebrated its 25th Anniversary. The administration area was totally revamped – the original frontage was extended to make room for offices, sick bay, storage and reception.

The 1990’s student numbers fluctuated from 480 to 378 in 1997. 1994 marked the introduction of four days per week Pre-Primary Program. The Pre-Primary which was located off site at Coops Avenue relocated to Thornlie Primary School in 1994 and was officially opened in 1995. The computer lab was established in Room 7 and Victoria Modern Cursive Script style of printing/writing was introduced.

Thornlie Primary School Intensive English Centre commenced in 2010 with enrolments of students and staff in Term 4 of 2009. The IEC provides specialist intensive English instruction for students who are new to Australia and new to English.

Today Thornlie Primary School is a multicultural school who strive to provide the best education for every student. The staff are dedicated to providing rich learning experiences which challenge students to achieve their personal best.

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