Largs Bay Adjunct School
This school was set up in the Naval Drill Shed on the corner of Military Road and Jetty Road. A part of the building was set aside for military use but the rest became a school with Miss Pepper in charge.
The shed had an asphalt floor and classrooms were improvised by hanging cloth dividers from the roof. At least one ex-pupil remembers slipping under these dividers to join another teacher’s class when her own was engaged in less than exciting work. She also remembers the sandy yard with couch grass struggling to survive.
Some of the first decisions made by the Largs Bay Adjunct School Committee were to supply water bags for the children and to frost the windows. The first school bazaar raised Eighty pounds which was used to buy a piano. An interesting feature of this period was the amount of labour contributed by volunteers to make the Drill Shed comfortable – the fitting of footrests to desks, the construction of outdoor seating, the trimming of the boxthorn hedge – were all speedily done.
Largs Bay School
In 1924 most of the children from the Adjunct School started at a new school built on Fletcher Road. The building had cost over Eleven Thousand Pounds and was only the eastern half of the large brick building that we see today. Initially there were 257 primary and 215 infant pupils in eight classrooms.
In 1924 the building was a prominent landmark completely surrounded by white sandhills. During the 1920’s & 1930’s most children walked to school across sandy paddocks from the Largs Railway Station area.
Almond Tree Flat, which was a low lying area surrounded by sand and the remains of an Almond orchard was used as a site for athletics, sports days and football practice. Largs Reserve on Woolnough Road was used for Friday afternoon school sport.
Eighteen Norfolk Island Pines were planted, some of which survive today
Saw the opening of a Ten thousand pound extension to the original building which created fourteen classrooms and a double assembly room.
During the 1930’s annual prize-giving became an important ritual at the end of each year. The old Honour Roll is still in place in one of the school foyers. Before 1933 the playground was covered with coarse gravel – one corner was tarred for basketball and drill.
Good Attendance’ awards were discontinued due to whooping cough, diphtheria, scarlatina and infantile paralysis epidemics when sick children might be encouraged to attend and spread infection at the school.
Polio epidemics of 1938 and1948 delayed the opening of school for a few weeks after the summer holidays. The war years brought many changes to both Largs Bay School and the community.
In 1941 a telephone was installed ‘for military purposes’. The building was occupied by soldiers during the summer holiday period and were still in residence for weeks into the 1942 year. The school committee took the responsibility to provide trenches near the school for the pupils and to make shelters available in the homes of nearby residents. Students were supplied with identification discs and satchels containing a first aid pack and were rehearsed in emergency procedures.
When peace came in 1945 a special thanksgiving was held and school dismissed at 9.30 a.m. on the 15th May.
Adelaide Council marked out Almond Tree Flat with a view to Government purchase for a school playground. The purchase never occurred, but the school obtained permission to use it and to this day a lease arrangement with the Port Adelaide Council still exists.
In post-war years the school’s enrolments grew quickly and reached a peak of 1300 students in 1969. Temporary buildings were crammed into the yard. Not until the opening of North Haven School in 1979 did the number of students begin to decline.
The announcement in 1980 that the main building would be extended to allow the removal of the wooden “temporary” buildings was most welcome. The School Council tried for the closure of Centre Street so that its area could be added to the yard, however, this was not successful. The occupation of the new facilities took place in 1982.
Officially opened in 1983 the upgrade built two wings onto the back of the main building consisting of the east wing downstairs a new office/staff area, upstairs a three classroom unit. The west wing on the ground floor was a resource centre that included a central learning area and reading area. Upstairs another three classroom unit. Only two transportable classrooms remained in Yard A. Hall and the canteen were built.
Negotiations began with the Education Department regarding the purchase of blocks of land adjacent to the northern boundary of the school to enable the construction of a grassed area for use of students during physical education lessons and at recess and lunchtime. Three blocks were purchased and
the houses demolished.
Staff and Governing Council decided to change the leadership configuration of the schools. One principal to lead the two schools was appointed (The Junior Primary and Primary Schools retained their existence and were staffed separately). There are two Heads of School (R-3 and 4-7) at Deputy Principal level.
The new grassed area was opened in October 2004 and has been a tremendous addition to the school as it was possible to have one recess break for the whole school. Next the official opening of the Karunye Metitya Dreaming Trail in 2007 formerly known as the Rainbow Serpent Dreaming Trail (2005). The whole school was involved and every student planted a native plant to establish the garden and a traditional smoking ceremony was held with the local Kaurna Elders from our community.
A major upgrade occurred in 2011/2012 with the school receiving BER (Building the Education Revolution) funding to allow schools to perform major works to their sites. At Largs Bay Schools we were able to remove the two transportable classrooms from Yard A for a sandpit and more playground equipment.
The Hall was extended to allow for whole school assemblies and a great indoor area for PE especially on days with inclement weather.
The new building in Yard B was built giving much needed classrooms and a resource centre. The ground floor is home to the library, resources and learning area/classroom. Upstairs 4 classrooms, a central learning area and teacher/small group area. An official opening of the new building was held and the local Kaurna Elders performed the smoking ceremony.
2013 – 2017
Largs Bay Schools consisted of individual Junior Primary and Primary Schools until January 2013 when the schools were amalgamated into one and after much debate dropped the ‘s’ on schools and officially became Largs Bay School. More remodelling of existing areas with the final BER funding available to the school occurred in 2013/2014. The staffroom was moved to rooms 1 & 2, the office and leadership area upgraded. The old resource centre became the drama room (green room) and kitchen area.
2018 saw the opening of the nature play garden in Yard B in place of the JP sandpit and pergola to provide an opportunity to explore, discover, appreciate the natural world, be active, strengthen fine and gross motor movement skills.
Looking to the future STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) is a new area of learning. In 2018 the green room was converted into a state of the art STEM facility with multiple learning areas (including class areas and breakout rooms), common, wet and kitchen areas that allows for creative hands-on learning. Garden areas around the school assist with students’ outdoor learning, creativity and awareness of the environment.
Year 7 moved to high school, Largs Bay School R-6, the painting of the mural on the front of the school depicting 100 years of growth in preparation for the Centenary of Largs Bay School in 2024.