Nundah State School

Nundah State School

Name: Nundah State School

Time: 1916 - Current

Epoch: Early 20th Century

Category: State Primary School

Institution Category: Education

Institution Group: Primary

Coordinates: -27.4021383333333, 153.057083333333

Street Address: 163 Buckland Rd, Nundah

Suburb: Nundah

Sector: State

Local Study Area: Chermside-Wavell Heights-Kedron-Nundah

Study Stage: MBNH Stage 11 Local Study Areas

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Nundah State School was opened on 2 October 1865 as the German Station National School. Mr John Nicholson, was the first head teacher, remained in charge until March 1868. Initially 62 children were enrolled at the school. Richard Suter and Annesley Wesley Voysey (Suter & Voysey) were the architects responsible for additions made to the school in 1873. By 1889 the enrolment had risen to 200. The school became known as the Nundah State School in 1896.In 1916, when the school enrolment approached 700, an infants wing was erected. This timber wing facing Buckland Road is still standing.The northern wing facing Boyd Road was the first brick section to be erected; it was opened in 1935. The wing facing Bage Street opened in 1941. The stepping stone from the original 1865 school has been inscribed and incorporated into the main entrance. The third wing facing Buckland Road was added in 1951. 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 (Inconformity with this policy, all assistance to non-vested schools was withdrawn in 1880.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: Outside The Green Belt

Geographic Description 2: Kedron Brook

Geographic Description 3: Flood Gullies; Hills


Department of Enviroment & Heritage Protection, Qld Heritage Register citation No.650033 ; From Pioneering Days—Nundah Northgate Virginia. Nundah & Districts Historical Society; Entry extracted from Queensland Department of Education document, Primary Education, undated.

Image Citations

Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd. (SLQ 2007). Children on the School Crossing at Nundah State School, 1962.