BY KOBEE LITTLE, HEAD OF CURRICULUM, WYNNUM WEST STATE SCHOOL
This year marks a major milestone for Wynnum West State School as it celebrates the school’s 100th-year centenary on 15 May.
After lobbying the government for four years, from 1917 to 1921, Wynnum West State School was opened on 15 May 1922, with approximately 70 student enrolments in the first year. The land on which the school stands was purchased for £170 in 1918. An estimated £1142 was spent on the construction of one classroom for 60 students.
Past student and current staff member for nearly 25 years, Mrs Kerri Olsen (pictured) said, “Back in 1976, I remember my Year 5 class had 38 students in it. We had no digital devices like they do today, and our weekly music lesson consisted of songs from artists such as Neil Diamond and The Beatles being played through the loudspeaker into our classroom, which I loved!”.
Mrs Olsen said one thing that hasn’t changed since she was a student at Wynnum West was that the students still look forward to participating in the Interschool Sports Competition. “That was a real thrill,” she said.
These days, the Interschool Sports Program offers a variety of sports and activities, including Yoga classes in which the classes are instructed by Mrs Olsen herself.
Principal Ben Turner said over the 100 years, the community has experienced many momentous changes and challenges. In 2009, Wynnum West was fortunate enough to be a part of the State Schools of Tomorrow Project, which saw dramatic changes to our infrastructure. “Our classrooms have been purpose-designed and built to incorporate flexible learning spaces and technology usage,” Mr Turner said. The school now has a multipurpose hall, an outdoor basketball court, and many other facilities available for students and community use.
The last couple of years have certainly seen schools challenged with the trials and tribulations of COVID-19.
“The partnership between school staff and parents was once again called upon as we navigated how home learning would work. COVID-19 redefined how school life in the 21st Century could be adapted, and once again, the resilience and strength of the community proved to be undeniably robust,” Mr Turner said.
Today, the school has close to 400 students enrolled and takes pride in the long tradition of serving its community.
“Our community absolutely love being involved in our school. We have seen generations of families enrolled over the years, which is a real testament to the school,” said Mr Turner.
“The school treasures community involvement and is proud of the individual care given to each and every student. We run a Play Group two days a week, a Kindy and High School transition program, and hold many school events that our community are a part of.”
The school will be holding a special parade on Friday 13 May, and will be open to anyone wishing to attend. Later in the year, the school will hold a day of celebration, inviting the community to enjoy a fun-filled day at school. Details regarding this day will be advertised next term via their Facebook page, website and newsletter. Happy 100 years, Wynnum West!