Blackheath Public School

A community-based school offering an outstanding education.

Telephone02 4787 8253

About our school

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Maps end here

Blackheath Snow

School closed

For the first time in many years the school was closed as were schools between Mount Victoria and Leura.

The Blue Mountains Gazette wrote "There were lots of snowballs being thrown, snowmen built and the boogie boards were out this moring at Blackheath as kids went in search of the steepest hill they could slide down.

The Great Western Highway looked like a goat track, barely distinguishable, with only a few vehicles travelling on the roads locally while the highway remained closed.

Snow was up to 20cm deep in parts of Blackheath and one snowman proudly stood bang in the middle of the usually busy Govetts Leap Rd and Great Western Highway intersection, the few cars on the road navigating their way around the magnificent fellow." 

1889 class photo

Brief History of Blackheath School

In December 1884 the parents of Blackheath applied to the Department of Education for the establishment of a public school in the village. The application was approved on the recommendation of one of the department's inspectors, Alexander Lobban, and he and residents decided on a two acre site bisected by Leichhardt Street. Two acres was the standard size of a school site, although it was less usual to have a street passing through one. The site that was chosen was part of the eastern edge of the Blackheath Stockade, which was established in 1844 and was in operation until 1849.

A small weatherboard classroom building was erected to the design of Alexander Lobban, large enough to accomodate up to forty pupils. After Alexander McLennan was appointed as the school's teacher it opened on 13th July 1885, and by the end of that week no less than twenty children were enrolled. By the end of the year numbers had increased to forty two.

Alexander Lobban quickly realised that the building was inadequate, so at the end of 1886 recommended that it be enlarged to twice its size, and the works were completed in the middle of 1887. Other improvements that were carried out in the ensuing years included the erection of a fence to keep the children of holiday makers away from the building while classes were in progress (1886), installation of a school bell (1888) and the construction of a teacher's residence on the land on the northern side of Leichhardt Street, which was completed in 1889.

It was fortuitous that Jacob Garrard, the state's Minister for Education from 1894 to 1898, happened to own a 'villa residence' at Blackheath. The Blackheath Improvement Association began to agitate for the construction of a new building to replace the existing classroom block. Although the local inspector supported these moves, the Department's Chief Inspector disagreed and recommended repairs but Minister Garrard soon ordered the construction of a new brick building.

The new building was ready for occupation by August 1896, and contained two classroowm. The original school building was adapted for use as a weathershed and was subsequently turned back into classrooms, then was finally demolished in 1959.

Around the same time the new building was underway the school acquired a new headmaster, Walter Laws, who was extremely active in the affairs of the town as well as those of the school between 1895 and 1926. He was prominent in the Blackheath Progress Association and the School of Arts, as well as the campaign to secure the Blackheath Municipal Council.

Proposals to expand the 1896 building were put forward as early as 1912, although nothing came of this suggestion. However, it was clearly too small by the early 1920's and so an additional classroom was added to the northern side of the building during 1922 and 1923, and the early building was modified during 1927. An additional classroom was added in 1934 on the northern side of the 1923 addition, along with an enclosed corridor extending along the western side of the two additions.

In 1947, as a result of increasing enrolments, a portable classroom was erected in the school grounds and the original timber building was later put into service as a classroom before demolition in 1959. Since then expansion has been accomodated by additional construction - an assembly hall in 1959, a kindergarten room in 1964, a two storey administration, library and classroom block in 1975 and a new hall and other works during the 1990's. 


1922 class photo

1946 class photo