Orange Public School

Deeds Not Words

Telephone02 6362 6369

About our school

Students of Orange Public School benefit from the diversity provided by our large enrolment and from the many and varied opportunities offered by our experienced and dedicated staff. The pursuit of personal best underpins all we do and high expectations are held for all students. While achievement in literacy and numeracy is our focus, comprehensive curriculum coverage ensures students enjoy a balanced educational program. The school offers all students the opportunity to participate in choir, band, musical productions, sporting teams, public speaking, competitions and excursions. Participation in community activities includes the ANZAC Day march, Orange Show, Vietnam Veterans Commemoration, National Aborigines and Torres Strait Islander street parade and Orange Eisteddfod. Students this year have continued their desire to help others by raising $3200 for charities including Stewart House.

The History of Orange Public School

Orange Public School began at about the same time as Lister and Tom were trying to find gold at Ophir 150 years ago.

At that time Orange was just a small but quickly growing village and when residents held a public meeting and raised funds, work began on a school. It opened in December 1852 in Anson Street (on the site of the current K-mart car park near Old Town Hall) with 37 students under the teachership of Mr T.G. Kenman and his wife. The school was known as The National School.

However, just 12 years later in 1864, the school outgrew this site and a new site of one acre was purchased and a new school building and teacher's residence were erected. The school numbers kept growing and in 1875 the local Inspector of Schools reported that the existing school building was far too small and it was decided to divide the school into two departments. The building was enlarged at a cost of 1145 Pounds (approx. $2290) and a seperate Infants Department established in 1877 with 91 pupils. The following year the Primary School was divided into Boys and Girls Departments.

Despite these measures, by 1878 the rapid increase in the Primary school enrolments forced a further move and two acres  of land was purchased from Mr. W.T. Evans in December 1878 on the present site at the corner of Kite and Sale Streets, and the new buildings commenced. The foundation stone of the new school was laid by Sir Henry Parkes on the 30th October, 1880. By 1882 there were 673 pupils enrolled. The initial building cost 8440 Pounds. An additional acre of land was acquired in 1916.

Continued growth caused extensive alterations and additions to be made in 1907. In 1910 enrolments forced a new Infants building, to accommodate 300 pupils, to be erected. This is the current site of the Orange Cultural Centre in Sale Street.

Super primary classes for secondary school aged students, were established in 1909 but initially the classes were housed in the old Lands Office building in Byng Street. Students numbers in 1921 saw two classes (90 students) housed in the Presbyterian School Hall and by 1925 new work was commissioned on four new classrooms, entrance porch, staircase , hat and staff rooms to accommodate 192 students as well as a new Cookery Instruction building, containing cookery room, Instructors' and change room, hall and pantry.

After Orange High School was established in 1912, some secondary classes were transferred but in 1922 Agricultural Science classes for boys and domestic classes for girls were set up and a special secondary department came into being to cope with courses for Rural Schools. In 1925 there were 85 boys enrolled in the Super primary classes. In 1928, six new classrooms were added to the Girls School as additions to the Rural School. The school was known as the Rural School until 1961 when its named changed to Orange Public School. Super primary classes continued until 1956 when all secondary classes were transfer to Orange High School.

By 1955 infant enrolments had to be limited to 500 pupils and two classes were housed in the assembly hall. As lack of space on that site prevented the additional classrooms being erected, a new Infants school was built on the corner of Torpy  and Anson Streets in 1966.

The 1970's saw a new Adminstration/Library building constructed on the Kiet Street site along with a two story building housing classrooms, canteen, toilets and store rooms. This building is linked with the existing classrooms along Sale Street which were added in the 1930's.

After years of additions and alterations, the original school was restored in 1995. The work inlcuded lead light windows which replaced plain glass in the arched windows on the eastern wall. These windows were made and installed by Mr. Joe Steventon, a parent of an OPS student.