Our School - History
On Monday, 30th November, 1874 the Donald State School No.1465 opened its doors for the first time. It had taken the townspeople five years and after many setbacks, town meetings and fundraisers the school was finally established and the children of Donald had a school to call their own.
As Donald grew so did the school buildings and from its humble weatherboard beginnings in 1874 the school now boasts a very unique blend of old and new 'learning spaces' that combine the old likeable weatherboard structure with the new colourbond facilities. Every visitor comments how the Donald Primary School has a great positive atmosphere and unique feel to it.
In 1874 the school had two weatherboard classrooms and by the 1880's the school had grown to 4 rooms when the old triple brick red building was constructed. The original school classroom was located where the 'Big Shed' storeroom now stands. Due to the teachers having to walk between buildings and the population growth the original school was cut up and attached to the main school building. The orginal framework and some weatherboards are still in existence today such as the front office, entry way & staffroom.
In 1912 the school had the Witchipool West old state school building and residence moved to the Primary School site when the Donald State School became the Donald Higher Elementary School. The local fire brigade saved the day in 1955 after a fire started in the roof. This three room complex was used as woodwork, cookery, science and art room for many years until it was demolished in 2011 to make way for the new multipurpose centre and art room.
Thanks to the generous hard work of the school and Donald community the school was able to raise in excess of $150,000 to contribute to the construction of the 'Big Shed' Sports stadium opened in 2008. This effort was even more remarkable when you consider the district was still engulfed by a decade of drought. This space has over 1,000 square metres of undercover areas for the school and community to use and enjoy. The 'Big Shed' hosts annual Christmas concerts, graduations, visiting performers, sports training, special school and community events including CFA training, kindergym and fitness classes.
Other recent major projects have been the Georgie Ah Ling Vegetable Patch in 2007 and the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Project school kitchen in 2009. The school kitchen apart from providing a home for the kitchen garden program, caters for treat days, overnight school camps, the annual fete, community events and the Donald Art Show.
In 2013 the opening of new buildings resulted from a long battle with the Federal Government Building Education Revolution (B.E.R.) program. The end result of this battle was that the school toilet block received a much overdue upgrade and the school was able to design the new multipurpose centre and art room, using local tradesmen. The school buildings were opened as part of the Donald township's 150th Birthday Celebrations in April, 2013. These buildings are a huge asset to the school as they provide much needed modern flexible floor space and cater for an ever changing 'hands on' curriculum.
Fundraising went to a whole new level at the school in 2014 and 2015. The inaugral Donald Art Show was hosted by the school in the 'Big Shed', providing a gallery and competition that saw many talented local artists display their artwork and photography. This art show helped to both fund and inspire 'Donalicious', a beautiful hardback cook book professionally published using local content including many beautiful photographs and recipes. Funds raised from these two projects covered the cost of installing a cooling system to keep the 'Big Shed' at a comfortable temperature during Donald's long hot summers.
Overall everyone that work, visiits, assists, learns and plays at Donald Primary School feels a sense of pride in the place and its part in the community. From its early beginnings and some 150 years later The Donald Primary School and Donald community 'can do' spirit lives on and we have been very lucky to be a part of it.