Cnr Forest and Hancock Streets

Wendouree, Victoria

History

Forest Street Primary School is situated in the northern section of Wendouree and is one of the many brick-veneer schools built on the fringe areas of provincial cities to meet the needs of rapidly developing estates. In 1960 Mr Earl Pearson, Ballarat’s Inspector of Schools, accompanied by Mr Joe Dudley, Head Teacher of Wendouree Primary School, made a survey of suitable sites in the Wendouree Riding of the Ballarat Shire. On the 6th, July 1961, the Education Department purchased an area of (five acres) off Forest Street. The contract of a six classroom school was let in December 1964, and construction was carried out through 1965.

Portable classrooms being located on the Forest St PS site in 1976.
One of the first grades at Forest St PS - a grade 6 class in 1968.
The building of the 'besser shed' and brick play wall in 1976.

The school opened in February 1966, with 180 pupils. The Head Master was M. W. F. Howard.

The school was originally known as Wendouree North State School, and there were no houses near the school at the time. It was built to relieve the pressure on nearby Wendouree, Wendouree West and Macarthur St Primary Schools who had rapid population expansions.

During the first eighteen months much pioneering work was carried out. Through the enthusiasm of the Head Teacher, the energies of the parent bodies and the cooperation of the Public Works Department, the school was rapidly equipped and the grounds attractively laid out, and lawns and trees planted. The official opening of the school was carried out on the 27th October 1967, the ceremony being performed by the then Director-General of Education, Mr. F.H. Brookes.

School population continued to increase and the erection of six additional classrooms were commenced. These were in use in August 1968.

In 1969 School House groups were formed. Many suggestions were made for the naming of the houses including historical names, aboriginal names, names of flora or fauna, lakes around Ballarat, royalty, Australian towns and more. Eventually the names of 3 American astronauts were chosen: Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins.

 In 1971 a contract was signed for a separate building for a canteen. In 1972, two further classrooms were constructed, during the Principalship of Mr. Alan Melrose. Then in October 1972, the school was re-classified as a Special Class School and Mr.David Geoghegan gained appointment as Principal. 

In February 1973, the enrolment was 510 pupils and continuing to increase . Work commenced on the sports oval. The oval was completed and new grass was sown during the Christmas break. With the large enrolments at Forest Street the school committee sought a new school to be build in the district. 1974 The enrolment was 567. 

Work commenced on the North wing and a verandah was added to the canteen. 1975 The school had an enrolment of 629 pupils and an upgrade with additional office and staff facilities, art room, and a modern freestanding library were commenced. The school consisted of 16 permanent classrooms, 2 relocatable classrooms, darkroom, multi purpose room, art room, craft room, library, 2 shelter sheds, 2 bicycle shelters, canteen and storage shed. 

A deputation was organised to Parliament House to see Mr. Lindsay Thompson regarding a new High Technical School in Forest Street. The construction of a kindergarten and Health Centre was commenced adjacent to the school in Forest Street. 

1976 Enrolment was 628. The Ministry of Education terminated the Men’s Committee on The 16th February with the introduction of School Councils. A new Council comprising of 8 citizens, 4 teachers, the Principal and 2 Mother’s Club representatives was formed. Their first meeting was held on the 15th March. 

The Principal addresses the first group of students at Forest St PS. Note the empty paddocks all around the school with no houses.
Official opening of the school in 1967.
Some of the first students attending Forest St PS.

The school received an additional portable and construction of a brick play wall and shed were completed. 

In 1977 enrolment was 757. The Education Department gave $1,250.00 on a $1.00 for $1.00 basis for a new adventure playground. Two classrooms were carpeted. The Hon. Mr. Lindsay Thompson, Deputy Premier officially opened the school library on Friday 25th March. The school crossing in Forest Street was completed. 

In 1978 enrolment was 815 children. A request was made to the Regional Office for a multi purpose room. In 1979 The attendance was 846 pupils, thus making it the largest primary school in Ballarat. A new portable classroom was sited at the school. 

In 1980 the neighbouring school Yuille Primary was opened significantly reducing numbers of pupils at Forest Street. In 1981 the number of pupils was down to 630 pupils. A multi purpose room suitable for physical education, concerts and meetings was erected during Term 2. 

The official school cloth badge bearing the school emblem and name was designed & made available to the school community. In 1982 there was a drop in the number of pupils to 596 and 29 staff. In 1985, the number of pupils dropped to 477. 

Mr Don Mariager retired after 10 years as the School’s Principal. In 1987 the Central Highlands Wimmera Regional Board of Education approved a request from the school to change its name from Ballarat Primary School No. 4936 to Forest Street Primary School No. 4936. 

In 1988 Mr Noel Thomas retired as Principal. Mr Peter Henry was appointed as the school’s new Principal. In 1989, an administrative portable was located in the front of the school to allow work to commence on the integration and sick bay area and the upgrade of the office and staff facilities. In 1990, pupil numbers were down to 376 with 20.5 teachers and 2 part time integration aides. 

The school purchased three MacIntosh computers and introduced class computer lessons. A compulsory school uniform policy was approved by the School Council and community. 

The upgraded Administration and staff facilities were completed in November, 1990.

1991 saw the 25th anniversary of the school.

The school had a large refurbishment program in 1997, with many classrooms and areas of the grounds being upgraded. Once completed, there was an official re-opening of the school. After a welcome by Principal Mr Peter Henry, Mr Michael Ronaldson MP and Mr Paul Jenkins MP conducted the official ceremonies.

2003 saw further refurbishments and upgrades, with the main area being the building of the gym. It was opened by Jacinta Allan (M.L.A) on the 12th September.

In the same year, the Ballarat Deaf Facility (formerly Ewing House) established facilities at Forest Street PS and nearby Ballarat Secondary College.

In 2006, Federal Government money was contributed to the building of playground equipment, multipurpose courts and shade structures around the school.

Today, Forest Street Primary School accommodates approximately 320 students.

Upcoming Events
  1. Grade 5/6 Camp

    November 25 - November 27
  2. Choir Performance

    November 28 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm
  3. Grade 3/4 Milo Cricket

    December 5
  4. Woolworths Blast Cricket – Grade 3/4

    December 5
  5. Sportsathon

    December 6