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Mount Waverley Primary School No. 3432 opened on 24 April 1906.
For the pioneering families of Mount Waverley life was hard and amusements were few. Mount Waverley was a rural area, the land on which homes now stand was being farmed as orchards, market gardens and dairy farms. Before the school was opened local children had to travel up to 5 kilometres each way to attend schools at Black Flat (now known as Glen Waverley), Tally Ho (now known as Burwood East) or Burwood.
During the early days of the school the highlight of the year for the children was the annual school picnic at Brighton or Hampton beach to which the children were transported in horse drawn wagons. Other highlights were the school concert and the fire crackers for the celebration of Empire Day.
Very little development took place in the district and the school population fluctuated between 30 and 60 pupils until about 1950. Over the next twenty years the district population soared which resulted in a rapidly increasing enrolment as well as the opening of a number of neighbouring schools – Amstel, Bayview, Essex Heights, Jordanville South, Pinewood, Sussex Heights, Syndal, Syndal South and Waverley North. By the mid 1990s the aging population had resulted in many of them being closed.
The Early Years
Initial efforts in 1900 to gain a local school were thwarted by the refusal of the Government to provide school buildings until a site was made available by local residents.
In January 1902 , Mr. John Peggie, who farmed land to the west of the present school site, donated .5 acre on Waverley Road as a school site. The steep slope of the land, together with the close proximity to a creek made the site unsuitable and the offer was refused.
In April 1905 an area of two acres was donated by Messrs. Albert and Charles Closter and Mr. John Peggie who owned adjoining farms in Stephensons and Waverley Roads. Many years later a great grandson of Mr. Peggie attended the school.
On 24 April 1906 the school opened with 35 pupils. The first Headmaster was Mr. Jonas Samuel Key who was assisted by Mrs. Forden as a sewing mistress. The school building comprised a timber room and porch. It was sited on level ground at the intersection of the property boundaries with access being provided by a right-of-way from Waverley Road. The right-of-way became known as ‘School Lane’.
Within twelve months enrolment had risen to 66 which entitled the school to a junior teacher, Miss Eileen Dillon.
By 1912 the school had grown sufficiently to warrant the erection of another room and an increase of staff to four. The staff consisted of the Head Teacher, William Bishop, one assistant and two junior teachers, Evelyn Brewer and Elizabeth Stewart.
Enrolments from 1952 to 1969
1952 – 137 | 1961 – 867
1953 – 184 | 1962 – 846
1954 – 231 | 1963 – 939
1955 – 296 | 1964 – 984
1956 – 338 | 1965 – 1017
1957 – 413 | 1966 – 1057
1958 – 565 | 1967 – 1096
1959 – 652 | 1968 – 1141
1960 – 749 | 1969 – 1114