Pambula Public School

Strong in Mind, Strong in Body

Telephone02 6495 6006

About our school

Our school is committed to providing a quality educational program for each student in our care.

The major features of our curriculum and culture are:

  • strong student welfare and support programs
  • high level academic expectations and outcomes in literacy, numeracy and creative and practical arts
  • a commitment to encouraging active parental and community involvement in school programs.

Pambula Public School is shrouded in history.

Pambula Public School history

1849 - 1867

Pambula Public School was first called Pambula National School and was originally located on the Pambula River Flats. It was the seventh public school in the state which opened on July 23rd, 1849. The school's first temporary teacher was Mr J Grealy. The first school building was a hut supplied by Mr J Walker.

The first permanent school was built of brick and shingles and was opened in November 1849. There were two small rooms which separated the 18 girls from the 19 boys. The first permanent teacher was Mr Henry Fowler who was appointed in September 1849. The school fees were two pence per child but no more than six pence per week for each family.

In May 1851 the first of many floods hit Pambula school, causing water to rise 16 inches (40cm) over the school floor. There was much damage caused over the years, requiring a new site for the school.

Pambula National School closed a number of times in the first twenty years because of fluctuating numbers, diphtheria and scarlet fever outbreaks and also harvesting season. Many more floods occurred between 1862 and 1866.

'The building is sometimes surrounded by floods to a height of three feet.'

Attendance was often poor because children were needed to work on farms. B.W. Hilton recognised the need for children to work on farms so he began night classes.

In 1866 Pambula National School changed its name to Pambula Public School. In September 1867 the school moved to the centre of town. They moved back to the original school or in a room rented by the parents.

1872 - 1907

The original school building was sold in 1870 and in 1872 the second school was constructed. In 1885 a second classroom was constructed to make it a two teacher school. In 1895 Robert Ashworth started a library at the school. The community wanted a new school due to poor conditions but additions were built instead.

During the 1930's transport to school was horse back riding, bike riding, walking and some hitched rides with the mail bus.The P&C also funded a bus to Bega High. In 1939 the school had their first Sports day which included tunnel ball, under and over, foot races, high jumps, step and jump, relays and long distance races.

In 1971, the old Lochiel school building was relocated to Pambula Public School to be used as a spare classroom and storage area. Below is a picture of the building standing in the Pambula School grounds in 2006. A second plaque commemorated 100 years of schooling in Lochiel in 1969. 

1979 - present

In 1979, the Year of the Child, a new school was built at the present site. The Principal then was Frank Maher. In 1999, the school celebrated its sesquicentenary (150th birthday). A replica of the original bell was cast for the occasion.

In 2003 the principal was Mr Ongley.

In 2006 Pambula Public School had 12 classes and 350 students and the principal was Mr Mark Thomson.

This website identifies some of the ANZACs who came from the South East of NSW and continues the historical journey of our school and community. An interesting read:

Related content