Morningside State School

Name: Morningside State School

Time: 1923 - Current

Epoch: Early 20th Century

Category: State Primary School

Institution Category: Education

Institution Group: Primary

Coordinates: -27.4644166666667, 153.065888333333

Street Address: 67 Pashen St, Morningside

Suburb: Morningside

Sector: State

Local Study Area: Bulimba-Balmoral-Hawthorne-Morningside

Study Stage: MBSH Stage 3 Local Study Areas

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The Infants School opened in May 1923, using an existing building until a purpose-built school was constructed. This was completed in 1926, in Pashen Street. Enrolments rapidly outgrew the new, wooden building and so wings were added in 1928 and again in 1930. The continuing rise in the area’s population saw the need for further expansion but the Great Depression (1929-39) hampered available funding. The Queensland Government initated a relief workers scheme to provide both jobs and community infrastructure acros the state. So the School gained its distinctive, two-storey brick wing in 1937. The School has provided nearly 100 years of education to Morningside and surrounds. Although Queensland education was influenced by the earlier establishment of National and Normal school system primary education was shaped by the Department of Public Instruction under the Education Act of 1875, whereby:

Primary education for children aged from 6 to 12 was to be compulsory.(This provision was not fully implemented until 1900.)

Education was to be secular, i.e. under the control of the State. (Inconformity with this policy, all assistance to non-vested schools was withdrawn in 1880. This provision occasioned considerable ill-feeling among Roman Catholics and some Anglicans.)

Primary education was to be free.

A Department of Public Instruction was established to administer the Act.

The colonial curriculum drew on reading, writing, and arithmetic (the ‘3Rs), with object lessons (‘show and tell’ lessons), drill and gymnastics, and vocal music were supposed to be taught, but in practice these relatively new subjects were often ignored or poorly taught. Geography, needlework, grammar, history and mechanics were also included in the curriculum at various levels. While some of these subjects were included for their practical usefulness, the main criterion for inclusion of subjects in the curriculum was not their practical value, but their value in disciplining (‘sharpening’) mental faculties such as ‘memory’ and ‘reasoning’.

By 1905, when important syllabus changes were made, the value of subjects was increasingly assessed in terms of their everyday usefulness, and ‘learning by doing’ was stressed. The child rather than the teacher, was becoming the centre of the learning process, at least in theory. These changes in the philosophy of education, combined with attempts to mould the content and methods of teaching to the peculiar geographic conditions of Queensland, were major influences on education for the next six decades.

Geographic Description 1: Inside The Green Belt

Geographic Description 2: Brisbane River

Geographic Description 3: Flood Gullies; Ridgelines (Short); Hills


Bulimba District Historical Society Inc; Brisbane City Council, Heritage Register Summary, ; Entry extracted from Queensland Department of Education document, Primary Education, undated.

Image Citations

Group from Morningside State School, 8 November 1933. Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 3875