Attention: You are using an outdated browser, device or you do not have the latest version of JavaScript downloaded and so this website may not work as expected. Please download the latest software or switch device to avoid further issues.

News > From the Archives > From the Archives: Our Beginnings

From the Archives: Our Beginnings

Headmistress, Mrs Linck, with students on Founders' Day, 28 March 1922.
Headmistress, Mrs Linck, with students on Founders' Day, 28 March 1922.

On 27 March 2024, students and staff commemorated our Founders’ Day. We celebrated Arden’s 102nd birthday, and paid tribute to all the members of our community who have made, and continue to make, our School the place we know and love. This year we also introduced a Founders’ Day prayer that we hope will be said for many years to come.

What was our school like when it opened its doors for the first time as Presbyterian Ladies’ College Preparatory and Kindergarten Beecroft on 28 March 1922? A summary of our inaugural year is reprinted in the 9 February 1923 edition of The Messenger, the newspaper of the Presbyterian Church.

“The Rev. Dr. S. Angus presided at the prizegiving ceremony on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 13th, and also distributed the prizes. A musical programme and a display of physical culture and folk dancing was given by the pupils, and the Moderator (the Rev. A. S. McCook) delivered an address. From the report of the Principal, Mrs Linck, we extract the following interesting items: -

‘It is barely nine months since March the 28th when I opened the school in the Presbyterian Church hall, with 13 names on the roll. This number was more than doubled by the end of the second term, and has further increased to 31, our present number on the roll. I have every reason to expect that number to be considerably augmented next term.

‘Numbers are not everything, nor are they especially in an old-established school, the most important thing, but they are a sign and at our stage the rapid increase is significant.

‘While not fully equipped at the time of opening, additions have been made to the school furniture from time to time, and, although we are far from having all we would like, we have at least all that is strictly necessary for efficient working.

‘Our curriculum ranges from Kindergarten to the standard of the Qualifying Certificates, which, however, we do not touch, and our Syllabus follows closely the Primary Syllabus of the Education Depot. Elementary Science and Nature Study, particularly that of Australian plant and insect life, are encouraged and we already have some ardent collectors beginning to make it a problem where to put their collections.

‘Our school has come into being at a very important time. It is the renaissance of education – the age of enquiry and adjusting values, and there are great changes in the view-point and methods of educating. Schools now really exist for the pupils, and if we would bring them up to have ideals, it is the first duty of the schools to find the route by which the ideal can be reduced. This is also the age of specialists; every child as a bent for something – our business is to discover it and give all needful help we can.

‘One used to hear a great deal about the healthy competition of a form [grade]. If competition means the striving of one girl to aid another to reach a common end it is well; but the word competition often means the striving against another, with the object of preventing that other from reaching the goal – a better word is co-operation, and one of the greatest changes in educational methods is co-operative work in schools, where pupils are grouped not by subjects but by aptitudes, each group taking a particular branch of study, the results to be co-ordinated, and the final result appearing as the work of the whole form.

‘There is another change – punishment as a penalty, formerly the chief aid to discipline, is now found to damage and hamper the highest form of discipline, and is largely done away with. It is a cheap and easy way. For a school to carry on without punishment all sorts of things must be done. We have to set ourselves to create conditions, such that grave faults will not be committed.

‘Punishment as a corrective will probably exist as long as children are children. If a girl does wrong she is given something to work at, something to occupy her, in which, if possible, she is interested, and trouble and care are taken to see that she does it.

‘With us as a school the year is, indeed, but at the Spring – our day at its morn, and what little has been done in any direction cannot be measured against that which remains to do; but we look forward unafraid believing in the fundamental goodness of children and the greatness of our work.’”

Have your say

This website is powered by