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The Grote Street Model School

March 1, 2021

South Australia has been blessed with some very fine educational institutions and none more so than the Grote Street Model School which was built and opened in 1880. This was the Government’s response to the 1875 Education Act which made it compulsory for all primary school aged children to attend a school.

This school was the first of the kind built in the colony of South Australia. The building is of the pointed style, with gables and gablets. It is of one storey, and the height to the plate 19 feet 6 inches and 25 feet to the ceiling. Accommodation is provided for three distinct schools, to be apportioned respectively to boys, girls, and infants. The principle school-rooms – those for boys and girls – are each 70 feet by 24 feet in the clear, and the class-rooms which open out of each, are 24 feet by 16 feet. A hat and cloakroom and lavatory are also attached to each of these main divisions, the former being 26 feet by 12 feet and the latter by 24 feet by 8 feet. The Infant classroom, also provided with a hat and cloak room and lavatory of rather smaller size than those connected with the other departments, is 40 feet in length by 20 feet in breadth. For the convenience of the headmaster and matron, and their assistants, there are two rooms opening from the main lobby. Between the two large schoolrooms is an arcade, paved with a slate and roofed in a like manner as the other portions of the schools. This arcade has the effect of keeping the classrooms cool and is found convenient as a sheltered walk. Ventilation is secured by tubes from the ceiling to the external air, terminating at the Ridge of the roof. Fresh air is admitted by shaft’s opening just below the level of the plate. In the Infant School room the Gallery accommodates from 90 to 100 juveniles. In each of the larger rooms are five groups of desks and forms, 5 deep, right across the room, with a passage between the several groups the rooms are lighted by narrow pointed windows at the sides and at the ends of the large schoolrooms are coupled lights with cinquefoil openings over them. The turret is the centre of the roof, which rises to a height of 28 feet from the ridge, contains a bronze bell, 100 pounds in weight and of a sonorous tone. The land on which the buildings stand is enclosed with a substantial stone fence 5 feet 8 inches high, with brick coping and piers. The entrances to the schools are furnished with elegant wrought-iron gates.  More than 3/4 of the acre are available for recreation purposes. There is a light iron fence between the respective parts appointed for the boys and girls and infants. The boys enter from Brown St and the girls an infants from Grove St.  The number of scholars on the roll is 1,200 . The average attendance is 950

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Dr Jeff Nicholas

This site is about both History & Biography

The Victorian Commons

Researching the House of Commons, 1832-1868

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