Bald Hills State School

Name: Bald Hills State School

Time: 1866 - Current

Epoch: Late 19th Century

Category: State Primary School

Institution Category: Education

Institution Group: Primary

Coordinates: -27.3205283333333, 153.006583333333

Street Address: 2156 Gympie Rd, Bald Hills

Suburb: Bald Hills

Sector: State

Local Study Area: Bald Hills

Study Stage: MBNH Stage 12 Local Study Areas

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Bald Hills State School started admitting students on 30 April 1866 from the Bald Hills, South and North Pine, Cabbage Creek and Sandgate areas. A new school house officially opened on 24 September 1866. The aggregate attendance for the first year was 44 pupils and the first head teacher was John Young Walker. The original school building was transferred from the Gympie Road site about 1913 when a new school was built. The original wooden structure was then converted to a School of Arts but later pulled down. Bald Hills School was closed for remodelling in 1933 and then reopened in 1934. Further extensions were made in 1936. 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 (Inconformity with this policy, all assistance to non-vested schools was withdrawn in 1880.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: North Pine River; South Pine River; Bald Hills Creek

Geographic Description 3: Flood Plains (Major); Hills


Chermside & Districts Historical Society; Queensland State Archives Agency ID159, Bald Hills State School; Entry extracted from Queensland Department of Education document, Primary Education, undated.

Image Citations

Head Teacher’s Residence, Bald Hills State School, April 1951. Queensland State Archives, Digital Image ID 1632