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  Our History - Established 1894

In 1890, the people of Ross Hill took up a petition to request a primary school for their children. They claimed there were nearly 70 families containing up to 120 children. The initial promotors were W Fleming, J Walker, G Adams, and G Seagrott, but many people signed the petition, including storekeepers, a miller, surveyor, tobacconist, blacksmith, and numerous farmers. They were denied because there was already a school in Inverell and the "inconvenience felt by the Ross Hill residents is more imaginary than real."1891 Map of Inverell - with Proposed Ross Hill Public School Site

The undaunted residents of Ross Hill applied again during 1892. This time they applied only for an infants school, and with some political support from G Cruikshank, obtained reluctant approval from the department. The block of land was donated from the estate of Colin Ross, and G Seagrott won the tender to build the school for a cost of just under 400 pounds. The land was described as being almost clear of timber. The first single-roomed school building was completed at the end of 1893. In 1894 it was able to accomodate 65 infants children in a room facing Andrew Street. A two-rail split timber fence, Toilets and a weather-shed was included in the cost. This building is currently still in use as one of the infants rooms.

The first teacher and mistress was Elizabeth Richardson, who was appointed with an annual salary of 193 pounds. That year 52 children enrolled, and the average attendance was 41. She resigned two years later (presumably to get married). [Image: 1891 Map of Inverell showing proposed Ross Hill Public School site.]

Approval was granted for a full primary school in 1901, but the building was only available for occupation in mid 1903. The total enrolment jumped to 112 pupils. By 1909 a Parents & Citizens Association (P&C) was established, as a school inspector commented on the "lively and energetic" parents and citizens association. The P&C had already done much for the school including: fencing, planting trees and shrubs, providing 50 loads of gravel for a firmer playground, making a tennis court, starting a library, providing teaching aids, gardening tools, a clock, blinds, shelves, swings, dumb-bells and prizes for speech night. By 1913, the P&C had even organised the building of a Headmaster's house across the road from the school.

It is an interesting note: that Ross Hill Public School was established in 1894 by the Ross Hill community, and that some of these founding families are still present in our school today. Inverell, and the community in the Ross Hill area, has a significant impact on the values and direction of the school today. Further, our P&C is an active and a highly valued team supporting Ross Hill Public School.

Excellence, Innovation, Community

The information on this page was sourced from:

Wiedemann, E (Editor) (1994) The School On The Hill, A history of Ross Hill Public School 1894 - 1994. Published by the Ross Hill Public School Centenary Committee.

This publication of over 100 pages is available from the school library or the school office.

18th October, 2011

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