The first school in Upper Plenty, built in 1872 was made of timber and was situated on the corner of Clarkes Road and the Wallan-Whittlesea Road. In 1902 Miss Victoria Smith was the head teacher and had her home shifted to the school as a teacher’s residence but on the 15thof January 1919 both the school and the house were destroyed by bushfire. Most of the old records were lost in the fire but the committee meeting records, which were kept in a local resident’s house were spared. The other survivor of the fire is the Cork tree. It was planted around 90 years ago, and is still standing strong and proud.
From 1919 to 1920 the children used the Upper Plenty Hall (The Shack) as a schoolroom and correspondence was granted to those who wanted it. On the 4thFebruary 1921 the new school was completed which is the same one that stands today, but from then on teachers had to live with local residents or rent homes for themselves. In 1924 a centenary was held at the school to commemorate the naming of Mount Disappointment which Hume and Hovell named when they could not see Port Phillip Bay from the 2601ft point. The celebrations lasted all day and ended with the unveiling of a plaque in memory of the event. This plaque remains in the school to this day.
In 1974 the school commemorated 100 years of teaching. Over 200 ex-teachers and pupils attended, finishing off the day with a barn dance in the Shack.
Today, the school that was built in 1921 still stands and is used as the uniform shop. Two new permanent buildings featuring seven modern classrooms, two central learning areas, three withdrawal rooms, inside toilets and disabled facilities, staffroom and administration block were completed at the end of 2009 and 2011 The first building was funded under Rural Replacement Program and the second under the Building Education Revolution program. Modern playground areas, sport shed, covered tennis court and a gazebo are features of the grounds that are constantly being upgraded and improved. The mud brick art room, which was built in 1986, is now used for community purposes and offers an enviable ambiance to our unique setting.
The School Circa 1905, with the original building prior to the 1913 bushfires.