Wallerawang Public School

Excellence, Innovation, Opportunity, Success

Telephone02 6355 1210


Our History

The first school in Wallerawang 1860-1881

In 1860, Wallerawang was the second town west of the Blue Mountains to establish a Public or National School. In November 1859, a petition was signed to apply to the Boards of National Education. Normally the Board would pay the teacher's salary, provide some textbooks and equipment and two thirds of the cost of school land, buildings and repairs. The remaining third to be raised by local subscription. However at Wallerawang a stone building with one large room, a kitchen, parlour and two upstairs bedrooms was provided as a school room and teacher's residence by Mrs James Walker. There were 19 boys and 20 girls enrolled at the end of the first year.

Mrs Walker was appointed Honorary Patroness of the school, the first and possibly the only time a woman was appointed as a Patroness during the term of the Board of National Education.

The first teacher was Mr Charles Thomson, a Scot who had come to Australia with his parents in 1839.

The second school in Wallerawang 1881-1995

Mrs Edwin Barton (Mrs James Walker's daughter) presented two and a half acres of land adjacent to the railway for the construction of a new school. Negotiations were completed in 1881 and the successful building tender was that of Mr G. Donald, who was the first Mayor of Lithgow. The school and residence were occupied on 20th May, 1882.

The school consisted of two classrooms. The building was solid brick with shingled roof and box framed windows. Inside, the rooms had cathedral ceilings, a gallery type floor (similar to a Tiered Learning area, but with long desks and forms on each level) and an open fireplace.

As attendance increased, a room was added in 1918, and in 1925 a plan was prepared for alterations to the school including replacing the shingle roof, taking up the gallery floor, replacing the long desks with dual desks, dividing the large room into two rooms with a partition wall and altering the windows in the large room.

In April 1928 two more acres were resumed by the Government, with the trustees of the Barton estate being paid twenty pounds ($40) in compensation.

In 1930 electricity was connected in the residence, and the school buildings in 1936. Another classroom was built in 1935.

By 1959 enrolments reached 400. Classrooms had been brought in from Angus Place in 1949, Glen Davis in 1953, and new rooms were built in 1954 (for Kindergarten) and in 1958. A second room was brought in from Angus Place in 1969/70, and then a timber building from Sodwalls in July 1984.

The old Wallerawang School is now known as Black Gold Country Cabins. It was purchased by Robert and Linda Cluff in 1994 and transformed into affordable cabin and motel accommodation.

The school today

The present school was occupied in May 1995. It is located adjacent to Barton Avenue, in the southern corner of a site that rises to the west and overlooks Lake Wallace. Facilities are housed in two storey blocks, with separate Tiered Learning and Hall/Canteen structures at ground level. Also at ground level are the Administration, Library, Toilets, two classrooms and the Covered Outdoor Learning Area. The remaining eight classrooms are on the first floor. The school also has a Special Programs Room and two demountable classrooms.

In 2010 the school held a very successful celebration of its Sesqui Centenary.

The original school bell is located in the centre of the playground as a focal point of the courtyard. In the late 1800’s Charles Halliday was awarded the Department of Education contract to manufacture and supply public school bells across NSW. Our school bell is one of the original bells. It was moved across 3 different school sites. It represented the start and end of the school day, recess and lunch breaks and special occasions across generations of families. Cast in bronze and wrought iron, the bell has stood pride of place for over 150 years. In 2021, our school bell was restored by the original company and 6th generation descendent of Charles Halliday and his team, keeping the Australian tradition of the old school bell alive.