School History

The Basin Primary School is situated in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges and in keeping with this environment, enjoys 13 acres of lawn covered school grounds in which the staff and children are provided a "Unique Environment for Learning".


The original building is still being utilised to this day, housing the office and administration component of the school. The Basin Primary School has been delivering quality education to the local and surrounding community for 120 yrs. Although we are proud of our history, we continually strive for advancement of our Programs, Resources, and Policies. Due to the expanse of our School Ground, our children excel at sports and are always competitive in all the activities in which they participate.

1879 Establishment and Opening


In March 1879, David Dobson, supported by local residents, petitioned the Board of Education for a School. The petition represented parents of 45 School age children unable to avail themselves of the surrounding schools, the closest being 4 to 5 miles distance.

However, no action followed, Mr Dobson again wrote to the Minister of Public Instruction as follows: "With regard to myself, I have six children; my oldest I send to School on horse back, but the others are quite neglected. It is a dreadful thing to see children running about almost wild."


William Chandler Junior offered one acre of land for the School situated on allotment which today would be near the corner of Simpson Road and Doongalla Road. This offer was accepted and Mr Chandler was paid 1 pound.


Erection of a wooden school took place in November 1880 to accommodate 40 children and a 3 roomed attached teachers residence. The

School was opened in December 1880.

The average attendance in 1881 was 27.


During 1883 the school was renamed "The Basin" previously named Dandenong Ranges School.


School Building in 1890

By the 1890's the schools attendance had declined with only 18 Children attending. A number of parents submitted a petition to the Minister of Education stating that the cause if the declining numbers being that the school house was placed in a remote and un accessible position in the mountain.


Pupils in 1892

In May 1893 a meeting was held to consider the proposal to move The Basin School to a site on the main road. The owner of suitable grounds, Mr J. J. Miller offered a block of 2 acres fro 25pounds.


In June 1899 The Basin School was closed due to the fact that there were only 13 pupils on the roll.

The school building was then used on Sundays by the Methodist Church Services which continued until 1901.


In June 1900 several members of the Ferntree Gully Board of Advice met with the Minister of Education to request that the building be removed about 1 and a half miles nearer to Melbourne as some of the children had to travel 4 or 5 miles to school.

Mr Chandler said that if the school was not moved the chances that it would be burnt down in the summer as it was surrounded by scrub.

The school was then moved to a 1 acre site on the corner of Mountain Hwy and Liverpool road.


In 1901 the school was opened on the current site.


Early in 1910 a steady increase in attendance had led to overcrowding at the school. By March that year there were 48 children on the roll.


In 1912 a shelter shed was erected by a working Bee.


The Pupils in 1912


In 1915 the school committee's pleas for additional land as an extra play area for the children resulted in the purchase of additional land costing 50pounds, when the adjacent block, owned by the Salvation Army was obtained in March 1915.


The present Football field was added in 1915.


During May 1925 a new wooden building was officially opened, costing 934 pounds 11 shillings and 6 pence.


In 1929 a tennis court was constructed at the school.


Average attendance at the school for June 1939 was 41 with a net enrollment of 72. By 1943 the net enrollment had reached 94.

School Building 1946 (Today still used as Offices and Staff Room)


A larger site, hence a one acre block, valued at 450pounds was purchased from The Salvation Army in June 1952.

Pending the erection of a new classroom, a prefabricated timber classroom to have 50 infants was occupied on February 1953.

In 1958 more new buildings were erected at the cost of 4,770pounds. They introduced a classroom, a staff room and a office.

In October 1962 two new light timber classrooms and a staff room were added to the school.

Reticulated water supply was connected during 1964.

Enrolments in 1966 stood at 546.


By 1967 an additional room had been added and a basketball court had been constructed to the stage of leveling.

In 1972 the library was built with an Education Department grant of $7,000 and a local contribution on $4,000. During that year two additional classrooms had been built and staff room modified.


In 1975 there were 460 Children attending the school and 13 classrooms were in use.

The art craft room was built and brought into use in 1976.


In 1977 the school enrolment was 497 and five portable classrooms were on site to accommodate the students and classes.

The school was given permission to use the gym in the Salvation Army Special School and barbed wire fences and dairy cows made a trip over to use the gym a most interesting one.


In 1979 4 well known district names were chosen for house teams at the school. These were Miller, Doongalla, Ferndale and Chandler. The Eastern Rosella was also chosen for the school emblem.


1980 was a big year for the school, celebrating its Centenary. Painting and renovations were completed, further adventure playground equipment was installed, the now unused Basin Boys Home Special School buildings were added to the schools buildings and portable classrooms were removed from the main site. Negotiations were well under way to purchase the land between the two sets of building and a netball court was constructed.


In 1985 the school was involved in Victoria's 150th year celebrations. A weather station was constructed and near the station a time capsule was embedded in concrete and buried. It contains a piece of work from every child at the school, a video and audio tapes, school council minutes of the period, photographs and school paraphernalia. The Capsule is due to be recovered and opened in 2035.


In 1995 four classrooms were placed on the land between the existing Junior and the senior buildings. The School now has 5 permanent buildings.


In the late 1990's the school adopted a policy of compulsory uniforms.


The school has had a full time Physical Education program for many years and excels in sporting events.

One of the schools greatest strengths has always been community involvements and the school continues to promote this by encouraging local organinsations to make full use of the grounds.


The school is fortunate to have one of the largest playgrounds in the State with large trees shading many of the school buildings.