History





HISTORY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SCHOOL

Information for this page has been obtained from a number of sources including old magazines, the school's original Admission Registers, the Education Department Gazette and Correspondence Registers, Government Records, newspapers and past staff and students. The following notes were taken from the Editorial in the February 5, 1953 issue of the Northern Suburbs Weekly (the precursor to the "Messenger").

'To cope for the greatly increased population in the Northern Suburbs, a High School for boys and girls will be open within a week or so on a 30-acre block of land recently purchased on Junction Road, east of Gepps Cross. It is estimated that it will have an enrolment of 200. It has not been possible to have the substantial brick building as originally intended. To meet the urgent, immediate need, four prefabricated timber classrooms with office and staff-room and the conveniences have been very speedily erected and it is hoped that they will be ready for occupancy in time for the opening of the school next week.

Under these relatively inauspicious conditions will the Enfield High School commence to function? Who can predict the extent of its growth and influence in the years to come?'

When Enfield High School opened in 1953 in its present site, but on the Eastern boundary, it was the first high school in the northern suburbs. Until then the only options were Adelaide High or Nailsworth Technical School. Even though the school was at Gepps Cross, it was called Enfield High School because it was in the Enfield Council area. Check out the anecdote 'Enfield High School at Gepps Cross' for another possible reason.
 

Students travelled from as far away as Virginia and Salisbury. These students came by train to Kilburn and then on to the school by bus or on foot! Rumour has it that some intrepid students even came all the way on horseback and tied their horses up to the water troughs on the Western side, where the main building is now.

There were two brick buildings, the old toilets and shelter areas, and two 'temporary' portable wooden buildings. One of these contained the staff room, headmaster's office, sickroom, library, a science laboratory and a canteen in the second unused science laboratory. The other building on the lower level contained four classrooms: each was painted in a different colour. The two wooden, buildings, with new cladding, and one of the brick toilets are still there!

On the first day on February 10, there were 95 students, 49 boys and 46 girls and a staff of six. There were only three classes: 1A had only boys and IB had only girls. Unusually for those times IC was a mixed class. Boys and girls came together for subjects like Latin or French. The headmaster, Mr Pyne, had one senior master, Mr Frick, one senior mistress, Mrs Peart, and four other teachers.

The school expected enough students to stay at school to make one Year 10 class in 1955: all the rest would have left for work. But in fact 48 students sat for the Intermediate Examination. Of these, 44 were original students.