Brookfield School

Name: Brookfield School

Time: 1874 - Current

Epoch: Late 19th Century

Category: State Primary School

Institution Category: Education

Institution Group: Primary

Coordinates: -27.4944716666667, 152.913555

Street Address: 36 Boscombe Rd, Brookfield

Suburb: Brookfield

Sector: State

Local Study Area: Upper Brookfield-Brookfield

Study Stage: MBNH Stage 6 Local Study Areas

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Brookfield State School began as a Provisional School that operated from 1871 in a community-built hall on the site of the present Brookfield Uniting Church. The vested Brookfield State School was opened in Boscombe Road in 1874 and also served Upper Brookfield and Kenmore. As a rural school it qualified for a teacher’s residence. Around the turn of last century the headmaster was also expected to handle mail. The present school has about 500 students and a reputation for high achievement. 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 (Inconformity with this policy, all assistance to non-vested schools was withdrawn in 1880.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: Moggill Creek Geographic Description 3: Flood Gullies; Hills (Large); Valley

Citations

Brisbane City Council, Heritage Register Summary, https://heritage.brisbane.qld.gov.au/heritage_register/placeDetail.do?action=read&placeId=377&fullDetail=true&navParam=startBasic ; Entry extracted from Queensland Department of Education document, Primary Education, undated.

Image Citations

Brookfield School, teacher's residence and playsged c. 1890. Image: Brookfield State School.