Deepdene Primary School opened in 1911. We currently have an enrolment of approximately 440 students. The school enjoys a reputation that excels in education through a friendly school community and a supportive learning environment.
A Brief History
The history of 'State School No. 3680 Deepdene' naturally reflects the development of the district as a residential area once on the outskirts of the city proper. During the period in which the district consisted of relatively large holdings, small farms, plant nurseries and the like, the primary education needs of the district were catered for by state schools in Balwyn, Auburn, Kew and Kew East.
Land subdivision in the first decade of the century afforded the opportunity for suburban development and the consequent demand for a school within the area. As a result of approaches made by the Deepdene Progress Association, a school opened on 23rd January 1911 under Head Teacher, Norman P. Dick. It functioned in Deepdene Congregational Church Hall situated in Gordon Street (then called Normanby Street) near the junction of King Street. Twenty-two boys and an unknown number of girls were the pupils. The hall was 40' x 20' with a small porch. Lease was £25 per year.
For four years classes were conducted in this leased building. Correspondence between Committee, Head Teacher, District Inspector and the Department indicate the problems posed by temporary accommodation: limited playing space, unsatisfactory water supply, insufficient toilet facilities and the preparation of the room for Sunday services. Complaints were usually accompanied by requests for a new building on the Department's site in Burke Road.
By early 1914, when attendance reached almost 100, requests for a school succeeded. Plans were prepared for a two room school to be erected on the present Burke road site at a cost of £780.The new school was completed in time to be occupied at the commencement of the 1915 school year. Head Teacher, William Thomas (1913-270) supervised the transfer to the new school and guided its development in the early years. These early years at Deepdene Primary saw eight grades of children in a two roomed building. However, as talking and moving around the room were not allowed, these cramped conditions were not noticed much by the children.
Pupils in the past lined up and marched into class to the sound of the kettledrum. The military precision insisted upon in the past is now relaxed, and nowadays to popular music amplified over a loud speaker.
'Being late' - sometimes because of a long walk in bad weather - resulted in strict punishment. Early students from east of Pretoria Street will remember a creek that ran from Whitehorse Road near where Meadow Grove is today, across Kitchener Street and under Gordon Street. They had to climb down the bank, jump the creek and up the other side.
The new brick building in 1922 was a great improvement. Teachers and children welcomed the spaciousness - the six rooms were enough for just one grade to each room plus a teachers' room and a head teacher's office. The folding glass doors between some of the rooms are still there today.