Mitcham Primary School has been established since 1888 and relocated to its present site on Mitcham Road, Mitcham in 1930. The school’s tradition of educational excellence is complemented by attractively presented treed surroundings on an extensive site in an outer eastern suburb of Melbourne. Currently the school has a population of approximately 435 students who proudly wear the traditional colours of green and white.
Mitcham derives its name from a place near Croydon in Surrey, England.
After a private school in the suburb of Mitcham, for 27 pupils proved inadequate, a State school was established and opened on August 24th 1888. However, it was not until July 1890 that children moved from a church hall to the school building - a 50ft x 20ft room. This school was originally located where Mitcham’s Coles Supermarket now stands, near the Whitehorse Road corner. In time, this one room became inadequate for the three teachers and 90 children in eight grades. Deputations to the Education Department in 1922 resulted in the purchase of land at the present site. A new brick building was opened on May 16th 1930 for children in the upper grades.
Seven rooms in the light timber construction (LTC) block were added in the late 1950's, later destroyed by fire. The Art/Craft room was completed in 1966. The “old” art room has been relocated and is in use again after being refurbished. In 1967, the junior classes of the school vacated the original Whitehorse Road site, and moved into 10 new brick rooms in the Tirana Street building west of the old senior school building block. The school library was constructed as a separate building in 1973. This building was converted into our current art room in 2002.
We relocated six classrooms from the Tirana Street building to the Mitcham Road end of the school in 2000.
These were converted to four classrooms in 2005. The building was named the Kathy Lawson Wing, in honour of Kathy Lawson’s outstanding contribution to the school over more than 40 years. The Administration and Staff facilities were constructed in 2001 (Stage 1). This was the commencement of a comprehensive redevelopment of the school. The Stage 2 project in 2002 allowed the construction of a new library, six new learning areas, a fantastic Information and Communications Technology centre, a new Art room and covered ways. In addition, there was strong community involvement which created a co-operative and enabled the construction of a Multi-Purpose Hall.
The Multi-Purpose Hall was named the Su Seng Hoh Multi-Purpose Hall in honour of the outstanding contribution made to Mitcham Primary School by Su Seng Hoh as School Council President and as a School Council over more than a decade. Learning opportunities for children at Mitcham Primary School are now the best ever.
Our Stage 3 project saw the rebuilding of the current junior school building, resealing of the car park and a number of other improvements.
This was completed by the start of the school year in 2005. In 2005, the school completely repaved all asphalt play spaces, constructed new paths and built two tennis courts. In 2009 we completed the construction of our magnificent Performing Arts Centre. This has provided outstanding opportunities for our children, including school productions, musical recitals, assemblies, our MOSCAR Film-making festival and many other performance opportunities.
A new initiative, a Montessori influenced classroom commenced in 2004, and was so successful that a second program commenced in 2005, a third class commenced in 2007, a fourth class commenced in 2008. We currently have four classes following the Montessori philosophy. In 2011, the federal government provided the opportunity for all primary schools to build new facilities, and Mitcham Primary School was extremely fortunate to build a new eight classroom block with an outdoor learning area and two large flexible learning spaces. This new facility has opened up an enormous number of learning opportunities for the children.
In 2013, we undertook further building work.
Gutting and rebuilding staff facilities, conference room, Media Studio and an outdoor Chess Centre. The School Council also saw the replacement of a roof structure in the main building and had the original building’s loadbearing structure completely replaced. The Buildings and Grounds Committee oversaw the development of a new sand pit, a Grounds Master Plan and a number of other projects which will add an extra dimension to the way we work and learn. New play equipment, shade structures, pavement and asphalting works have been undertaken.
It is the aim of Mitcham Primary School to continually improve the facilities for children and the staff to the highest possible standard and this year celebrated the resurfacing and conversion of one of our ovals into a synthetic turf soccer pitch and running track.