Ink wells, fountain pens and the cane back in the classroom

22nd March 2017 5:00 AM
Coolum State School celebrates 100 years with a century old classroom.Jann Victor with students in the old classroom. Coolum State School celebrates 100 years with a century old classroom.Jann Victor with students in the old classroom. Warren Lynam

EVER wondered how school classrooms looked on the Sunshine Coast 100 years ago?

Wonder no more. Coolum State School has redesigned one of its classrooms to resemble a class from yesteryear ahead of its Centenary Celebrations.

School principal Pat Cavanagh said the class from 1917 would have had students sitting side by side in long desks, ink wells and fountain pens and a "long stool to sit on".

 

Coolum State School celebrates 100 years with a century old classroom.Jann Victor with students in the old classroom.
Coolum State School celebrates 100 years with a century old classroom.Jann Victor with students in the old classroom. Warren Lynam

And, oh yes, the cane would have been used for punishment back then.

Do kids need to learn about what school was like in the past?

This poll ended on 31 March 2017.

Current Results

Yes, it's our history.

76%

No, there's more important things they should be learning.

15%

They need to know how good they've got it these days.

7%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"There was strict discipline (in 1917) with no talking allowed," Mr Cavanagh said.

 

Coolum State School celebrates 100 years with a century old classroom.Jayda Allen gets a few tips from Jann Victor.
Coolum State School celebrates 100 years with a century old classroom.Jayda Allen gets a few tips from Jann Victor. Warren Lynam

The students were also required to do "rote learning" instead of gaining an understanding of basic principles.

 

Coolum State School celebrates 100 years with a century old classroom.
Coolum State School celebrates 100 years with a century old classroom. Warren Lynam

But in at least one area, the kids of today might have been envious of their students of yesteryear.

Mr Cavanagh said students didn't wear school uniforms. Many didn't even wear shoes.

"Children either rode a horse or walked to school," Mr Cavanagh said.

 

Coolum State School celebrates 100 years with a century old classroom.
Coolum State School celebrates 100 years with a century old classroom. Warren Lynam

Coolum State School will celebrate its official 100 year on April 1 with a range of festivities, including a Maypole routine and a lifting of a time capsule buried at the school 25 years earlier.

Mr Cavanagh said the celebration of a 100 years was a "significant milestone and achievement for the community of Coolum Beach and surrounding suburbs".

 

Coolum State School celebrates 100 years with a century old classroom.
Coolum State School celebrates 100 years with a century old classroom. Warren Lynam

The school has also put together a new song celebrating its achievements ahead of the celebrations, "hey, hey its Coolum State".

Interesting facts about Coolum State School:

The school of 1917 had 11 students under the lead of Ellen Chapman. The school of 2017 has 1029 students.

The first school building was constructed by voluntary labour near the intersection of South Coolum Road and Toolga Street.

In 1947, there were over 40 pupils and "crowding became a problem". The numbers declined again in the early 1950s were there was even talk of possible closure with numbers dwindling to 15.

In 1956, Coolum lit up, literally, the electricity coming to the town and the nature of Coolum changed from a farming community to a beach and resort-style community.

In January 1956, the school classroom was moved from its site to its existing site at the corner of Yandina Road and South Coolum Road.

When the Golden Jubilee was celebrated on April 2, 1967, there were 47 pupils enrolled.

Pre-school was started on February 17, 1975 by the Anglican church.

By 1992, the school had 800 students and 100 pre-schoolers overseen by 43 teachers, five administration staff and six aides.