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Broxburn school

Monday 15 December 2014

I recently inspected the buildings collected in the Pioneer Village at Pittsworth on the Darling Downs, with my historian colleague Dr Thom Blake. One of the buildings is a one-teacher school from Broxburn near Pittsworth.

The school was built by the local community and opened as a pro­vi­sional school in 1898. Provisional schools were set up in places where there were few pupils, and were usually temporary structures. This building was a cut above the norm. It became a State School in 1909, and closed in 1959.

As Thom pointed out, provisional schools were ephemeral, and this is a rare and highly significant survivor. I’d be interested to hear of any others.

The Broxburn school, re-located to the Pittsworth Pioneer Village.

The Department of Education has published a short online history of Queensland provisional schools.

The single classroom is furnished with desks and other artefacts.

I was a pupil in a one-teacher-school back in the 1950s. I remember sitting on a form with five other kids at a desk like this. This room brought faded sensations back to my mind​—​the scrape of a slate pencil, the scratch of a pen nib in a copy book, the ritual of mixing ink powder and filling ink wells, the chanting of times-tables, the smell of warm school milk…

filed under Collecting + Conservation

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