Ripponlea State School No. 4087 was opened on 3 July 1922, with ten teachers and approximately 400 pupils in grades prep to eight.
The playground was separated by gender, with boys on the oval and girls on the basketball court. Boys and girls also sat on separate sides of the classroom.
Fundraising and social events were organised by the School Committee, and from 1925, also by the Mothers’ Club.
The school installed cutting-edge educational technology including a ‘wireless’ intercom system for broadcasting lessons (1935) and a film projector and screen (1939).
In 1939, Grades 3 to 6 students began competing as ‘Blue’ and ‘White’ houses for a sports shield.
With the threat of war, Caulfield City Council requisitioned the school staff room as a First Aid Post and the school office as headquarters for the local Air Raid Precaution Wardens. By May 1942, parents had dug slit trenches on the boys’ playground (the oval) that could accommodate 600 children in the event of an air raid.
After WWII improvements to the school buildings and grounds continued with the opening of a library (1950), canteen (1952) and First Aid room (1956).
The Mothers’ Club and School Committee had been saving toward building a memorial hall, however the Department considered halls non-essential. Instead, the Memorial Craft Centre was built.
Student excursions and camps were introduced.
In 1972, Ripponlea Primary School celebrated its 50th anniversary.
Ripponlea Kindergarten was established on the school site.
Before and After School care (known as 'ROSH') began operating in 1988.
The Parents’ Association carried out a five-year grounds development plan, including installation of new equipment for the senior and junior playgrounds, construction of a fitness track on the oval and expansion of facilities for the increasingly popular ROSH program.
Families increasingly chose to wear school uniform. T-shirts and windcheaters monogrammed with the school logo were introduced in the 1980s, and school bags, bomber jackets and hooded windcheaters rolled out in the 1990s.
In 2008 the school used the Commonwealth ‘Building Better Schools’ grant to create an Early Learning Centre and relocate and remodel the Administration area, Staffroom, Principal’s office and Assistant Principal’s office.
The Victorian Government’s ‘National Schools’ Pride’ grant was used to fund rebuilding the oval into a multi-sport space with a synthetic surface.
2010 and beyond
In 2010, the Commonwealth Government’s ‘Building for the 21st Century’ project, saw the construction of a new multipurpose hall (the Barrbunin), Art room and Canteen. The new building was opened for student use in April 2011. The Ripper Art show (August 2011) was the first community event held in the new facility.
The school community celebrated its 90th Birthday with a ‘Back to RPS Fete’ in May 2012. The multipurpose hall, Art room and Canteen were officially opened by Aunty Fay Stewart-Muir, Boon Wurrung elder, and named Barrbunin meaning ‘happy place’.
The front of school entry ramp was built, VOIP phone communication between all buildings and rooms was installed and the Productive Garden was created.
In 2014 School Council outsourced ROSH to Camp Australia after 25 years of self-management (TheirCare took over in 2020).
Following a comprehensive brand development project, a new school logo and school motto (care, create, connect) were launched - a distillation of Ripponlea Primary School’s values and personality.
In 2019 a new senior playground was built, major classroom updates were completed and the Productive Garden was updated.
Some extracts taken from 'Ripponlea Primary School 1922 - 2012: a brief history of the first 90 years'.