PRIMARY AND SECONDARY
The "Make-Do Period", 1788 - 1840
The earliest record of a teacher in the Seven Hills - Toongabbie area is in a document in the Colonial Secretary's letters of 1816. In it, Charles Wiltshire asks to be appointed the Teacher and Instructor in the Seven Hills area by"indulging him with the Benefit to help support him·", mentioning that"about a month ago the Schoolmaster that instructed the children at Toongabbie went away from thence'. His letter is accompanied by a petition signed by 12 local settlers (William Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Daniel Brian, Owen Martin, James Ridley, David Cadoman, Edward Barnard, John Liquerish, William Adaway, John Good, David Jennions and Matthew Pearce, Esq.) [Col Sec: pp 98-100].
The next mention of schools in the Blacktown area was the Native Institution, which moved from Parramatta to the corner of Richmond Road and Rooty Hill Road South in 1823. This was then known as the Black Town. The school was set up to educate and civilise Aboriginal children, and was one of the first attempts at assimilation of the Aboriginal people. The school was not a great success, and closed in 1829, leaving behind as part of its legacy, the naming of Blacktown.
Government documents indicate that a school was proposed for the Prospect area as early as 1825 [Brook: 13]. The Prospect and Seven Hills School is listed as existing in the colony before September 1827, and a report for the period May 1 to December 31, 1826 show that of a total enrolment of 14, the average attendance was 11. [HRA: 53-4]
In August 1828 the Church and Schools Corporation authorized the construction of a schoolhouse in Seven Hills. Bricks, which had been intended for the Prospect School, were used in the construction of this school. By 1830, there were 28 pupils in attendance.
The first Catholic school appears to have been established at Prospect in 1845, with an enrolment of 55 children. The teacher was John McFaddin. It is not known where this school was, but after the completion of St Brigid's Church at Prospect in 1855, the school was located at the church. This school continued to operate until 1867 when the Prospect Primary School was established [Tromp].
The Government Steps In 1848 - 1880
With the increased involvement of the Government in education, the first government school in the area was opened in 1861, known as Colyton Public School. This government school replaced a private school which had operated in Colyton during the 1850s with an average attendance of 30 pupils. The National School opened and was transferred in 1864 to a building on the site of the present Colyton Hotel. Over the next 20 years, the school was flooded on numerous occasions, leading an inspector to report in 1881 that the buildings were 'so dilapidated to be beyond repair·'. [Dept. Education]. A new 2 hectare site was chosen, and the school has remained there since. After the Public Schools Act of 1866, many more schools opened in the Blacktown area.
Government Schools 1850 - 1899
Colyton Primary - 1861
Wallgrove Primary (renamed Eastern Creek Primary in 1931) - 1866
Prospect Primary (closed 1988) - 1867
Blacktown Primary (closed 1990) - 1871
Vineyard Primary - 1872
Rooty Hill Primary (renamed Plumpton Primary in 1919) - 1875
Riverstone Primary - 1883
Seven Hills Primary (renamed Seven Hills North in 1954) - 1883
Marsden Park Primary - 1889
The Meadows Primary (Seven Hills) - 1890
Blacktown Public School.
building dates from 1877. It still stands in Flushcombe Road, Blacktown today,
and is listed as a Heritage item with Blacktown City Council. The school
closed in 1990.
The Introduction of Compulsory Education 1880 - 1945
The growth in population in the Blacktown area during this time was not great and this is reflected in the establishment of schools in the area - only 3 government schools and two Catholic schools were opened.
Schools 1890 - 1945
The Post-War Period 1945 - 2000
The post World War II period saw an influx of population in the Blacktown area. The large Housing Commission subdivisions of firstly Lalor Park and then the Mount Druitt satellite suburbs provided affordable housing to many people. The population growth was enormous, and 16 government schools were opened in the period 1967 - 1975 in the Mount Druitt area alone.
The first secondary schools were established in this period. Prior to this, children had to travel west to Penrith or east to Westmead and Parramatta to continue their education.
There has been a recent trend towards the establishment of smaller independent and non-secular schools in the area.
The planned development of the North-West Sector (land between Parklea and Riverstone) will undoubtedly result in more schools being built to accommodate the expected population growth. This demand has already been met in part by the relocation and renaming of the Parklea School to Glenwood.
There has also been a change in policy regarding the structure of High schools - both government and Catholic. Catholic Senior Schools are expanding to encompass years 7 to 10, while there has been a government Senior High School established at Quakers Hill and an amalgamation of high schools in the Mount Druitt area to form Chifley College.
An opportunity for an educational co-operative venture came with the decommissioning of the HMAS Nirimba site at Quakers Hill. It is now the site of an Education Precinct, comprising campuses of the University of Western Sydney, the Western Sydney Institute of TAFE and Senior High Schools, both government (Wyndham College) and Catholic (Terra Sancta)
Schools 1950 - 2000
St Johns Primary (Riverstone) -1950
Patrician Brothers" College (Blacktown) -1952
Seven Hills Primary -1954
Blacktown High (became Blacktown Boys" High and Blacktown Girls" High in 1959) -1956
Blacktown West Primary -1957
Blacktown North Primary -1957
Seven Hills West Primary -1958
Lalor Park Primary -1959
Marayong Primary -1959
Blacktown South Primary -1959
Quakers Hill East Primary (to relocate to Acacia Gardens in 2001) -1959
Seven Hills High -1959
Bert Oldfield Primary (Seven Hills) -1959
Lynwood Park Primary (Blacktown) -1960
St Bernadette's Primary (Lalor Park) -1960
Vardys Road Primary (Seven Hills) -1960
Marayong Heights Primary -1961
Mount Druitt Primary -1961
Mount Druitt High (to become part of Chifley College) -1961
Marayong South Primary -1962
Our Lady of Lourdes Primary (Seven Hills) -1962
Riverstone High -1962
Rooty Hill High -1962
St Agnes High (Rooty Hill) (became part of Christ Catholic College in 1999) -1962
St Michaels Primary (Blacktown) -1962
Walters Road Primary (Blacktown) -1963
Mitchell High (Blacktown) -1964
Doonside High -1964
Nagle Girls High (Blacktown) -1965
St Andrew's Primary (Marayong) -1965
Grantham High (Seven Hills) -1966
Tyndale Christian (Blacktown) -1966
Whalan Primary -1967
Shelley Primary (Blacktown) -1967
Mountain View Adventist School (Doonside) -1968
Tregear Primary -1968
Niland Special School (Blackett) -1969
Lethbridge Park Primary -1969
Holy Family High (Marayong) (became part of St Andrews College in 1998) -1969
Coreen Special School (Blacktown) -1970
Emerton Primary -1970
Blackett Primary -1971
Metella Road Primary (Toongabbie) -1972
Whalan High (to become part of Chifley College) -1972
Noumea Primary (Shalvey) -1972
Dawson Primary (Dharruk) -1972
Evans High (Blacktown) -1972
Hebersham Primary -1972
Willmot Primary -1973
Madang Avenue Primary (Whalan) -1973
Shalvey High (to become part of Chifley College) -1974
Shalvey Primary -1974
Halinda Special School (Whalan) -1974
Bidwill Primary -1975
Parklea Primary (reopened in Glenwood in 1999) -1976
Plumpton High -1976
Crawford Primary (Doonside) -1977
Bidwill High (to become part of Chifley College) - 1977
Bethel Christian Academy (Mount Druitt) - 1979
Good Shepherd Primary (Plumpton) - 1979
Coverdale Christian School (Riverstone) 1980
John Paul II High (Marayong) (became part of St Andrews College in 1998) - 1980
Kings Langley Primary - 1981
Toongabbie Christian Community School - 1981
Sacred Heart Primary (Mount Druitt) - 1983
St John Vianney's Primary (Doonside) - 1986
Minchinbury Primary - 1988
William Dean Primary (Dean Park) - 1988
Mary Immaculate Primary (Quakers Hill) - 1991
St Francis of Assisi Primary (Glendenning) - 1991
Quakers Hill High (a Nirimba Collegiate School) - 1992
Barnier Primary (Quakers Hill) -1993
Glendenning Primary -1993
Loyola College (Rooty Hill) (became part of Christ Catholic College in 1999) - 1993
Clare Catholic College (Hassall Grove) (became part of Christ Catholic College in 1999) - 1994
Terra Sancta College (Schofields) -1996
King Abdul Aziz College (Rooty Hill) -1997
Richard Johnson Anglican School (Oakhurst) -1997
St Joseph's Primary (Schofields) -1997
St Andrews College (2 campuses at Marayong) -1998
Allowera Christian School (Riverstone) -1999
Holy Cross Primary (Glenwood) - 1999
Wyndham College (Nirimba Collegiate) (Quakers Hill) - 1999
There is a campus of the University of Western Sydney at the Nirimba Education Precinct, Quakers Hill (formerly HMAS Nirimba). Courses started at this campus in 1996.
Brook, Jack"When the bark blew off: the first Church and school at Prospect' in Blacktown and District Historical Society Quarterly Journal: V (2) August 1984, pp11 -28.
Colonial Secretary's Papers. Reel 6046; 4/1736, pp97 - 100.
Department of Education."History of Colyton Public School'. Letter from Director of Secondary Education to Headmaster, Colyton Public School, 18 March 1958.
Fletcher, J and Burnswoods, J (1988) Government Schools of New South Wales since 1848 Sydney: N.S.W. Dept. Education.
Historical Records of Australia (1922) Series 1, Volume XIV. Sydney: Library Committee of the Commonwealth Parliament.
Tromp, Pamela (c.1979)"Faith of our fathers, living still': a Catholic history of Prospect - Blacktown - Blacktown South, 1788 - 1979. Blacktown South: St Michael's Church.