The school had 874 students at the start of 1960. Cusinenaire kits were very popular during this time and the school purchased 24 of them. They were used as a mathematical teaching tool and helped students learn about counting, sequences, algebra and fractions among others. The football team won the premiership of the Yarraville and District Sports Association.
For some reason vandals kept stealing the rope from the flagpole during 1960. In fact it was stolen seven times!
In 1961 enrolments had reached 850 and all the classrooms were being used. Mr Ravenscroft was again the head teacher (headmaster). It was in 1961 that students in the first two years of school who showed potential could be chosen to skip a whole grade.
As shown in the image below, students were required to bring several items with them to school. These items included pencils, paper, rulers, glue and an apron or smock.
The school has always had a strong social conscious and that was evident back in 1961. The school fundraised to provide funds for housing for aboriginal girls and boys.
It is interesting to note that even back in 1961 open fires were still being used to heat the school. You can imagine the smoke and mess that would have resulted. By 1964 though the school had been fitted with gas heating.
In 1961 825 children were enrolled and yard duty was mentioned for the first time in the inspectors report. Spending on library books equated to 230 pounds, which is equal to close to $9000 today. One hundred and ten pounds ($4400 today) was spent on playground equipment and a further 110 pounds ($4400 today) was spent on maps and artwork.
The school football team won the local premiership once again in 1962. The District Inspector noted that ‘the head teacher’s yearly reports are full, kindly and very informative and are written on a comparative basis. The suggestions made for improvement are sound and practical and are made to assist the class teachers. He takes a leading part in district activities and furthers public relations very capably’.
The school either purchased or was donated a number of small trees in 1962 and students were encouraged to take them home and plant them. Many of them would still be in our local area today.
One aspect that was concerning the school in 1963 was the school crossing. This was manned by the headmaster, his senior assistant and a junior constable. Some children surveyed the traffic and it revealed that vehicles were going past once every five seconds. A news article from that time quoted the headmaster, Mr Ravenscroft, as saying;
'I saw kiddies waiting for 10 minutes before they could get across the road, and I saw an elderly woman slip over, such was her hurry to escape the traffic'.
On the 14th August 1963 the entire school community was shocked to learn of the sudden and unexpected death of Mr Ravenscroft (Headmaster). He had attended the school that same day and had been a very well respected and well liked member of staff. Senior pupils and teachers lined Somerville Road as a final tribute as his funeral procession passed slowly by the school. For the remainder of the year Mr H.J Briggs took charge as acting headmaster until the appointment of Mr Gilligan for the beginning of 1964.
By 1964 approximately 800 students were enrolled in the school. Grades ranged from 33 to 46 pupils, which is almost double what we have today. One grade was given the task of caring for the schools garden. This tradition still runs today with active involvement of a gardening club at lunchtime for students. It was recommended that the single sex classes in the upper school that had been running since 1919 be discontinued. Religious education classes that had been running since 1919 were still continuing and fundraising allowed the school to present the Footscray District Hospital with a centrifuge, which is used in blood and other fluid testing.
The toilets at the school had long been either inadequate or in need of repair. It was noted that in 1964 one student was leaning against the toilet wall when it suddenly collapsed!
The District Inspector noted in 1964 that ‘A good team spirit is evident among the staff members and this contributes largely to the excellent tone throughout the school'. The Head Teacher (Mr Gilligan) provides sound, professional leadership in his school. He trusts his teachers and encourages variety in instructional methods and progress reporting. Among the immediate aims of the school are the extension of each child to capacity and the necessity to give every child the ability to read’.
By 1965 enrolments had dropped slightly to 760 students. The house system was operating in sport and the teams were Green, Gold, Blue and Red. Marching was still occurring regularly and a team of four students were selected to play the bass drum and three side drums.
Swimming lessons in the 1960s were held at the Footscray Swimming Pool. It may have been the warmer months of the year but the pool wasn’t heated and it was outside. Needless to say the water was very cold on most days and was quite a shock to the system when first jumping in.
One of the highlights of the 1965 school year was a Back to Kingsville celebration. It was officially opened by Mr Jack Gainey, a former Kingsville staff member, an MBE and a council member for Elsternwick. An estimated 700 ex pupils attended along with guests. The idea of the event was to raise funds to build a new library.
In 1966 each student contributed 2 pennies to purchase a plaque in memorial of the late headmaster James Ravenscroft. Unfortunately this plaque was lost in 1990. New gymnastic equipment was also purchased in 1966 and this included several long thick ropes for climbing and swinging.
The mothers club, which had long been active in fundraising for the school, held a bazaar in 1966 with crazy bikes and horses. The profit was $462 which is equal to $3500 today. A trophy case was erected in the foyer and the shield for the House competitions were displayed in it alongside several other trophies.
Enrolments had continued to decline in 1967 and only 646 pupils attended the school. Interestingly this is a similar amount to the number of students we have in 2019.
After many years of needing a central library, it was finally completed in 1967. There had been many difficulties, especially in the initial planning and building stages, but the school was incredibly happy with the end result. It was a wooden structure built only metres from the main building. A librarian, Mrs Heesh, was appointed in March 1967, to teach three days a week.
Melbourne was in the grip of a severe drought in 1967. The water shortage and restrictions were terrible and the situation became so bad that children in the yard were instructed not to use the drinking taps unless they were very thirsty. There is some debate on whether that was effective or not!
During this time the school colours were red and yellow. School jumpers were worn with ties.
Several children from Kingsville attended the opening of the pedestrian overpass over Geelong Road in 1968. This overpass is still there. The girls basketball team won the district competition this year and reached the second semi-final of the zone competition. The football team lost only one game for the entire season.
In October 1968 one of the teachers, Mrs Tripp, celebrated 26 years of teaching at Kingsville. During that time Mrs Tripp taught hundreds of pupils. A farewell event was held for her on October 23rd at the local church hall.
By 1969 there were 611 students across 18 classes with the biggest class containing 43 students. The highlight of 1969 was the school’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. The Governor of Victoria, Sir Rohan Delacombe, opened the proceedings, which included a gymnastic display and a night time pageant which traced the history of Victoria and the school. The Victoria Police Band and the Hyde Street Band, plus marching girls, performed, while there was also a display of school memorabilia.
Images showing the 50th Anniversary celebrations, showing the Governor of Victoria, Sir Rohan Delecombe, visiting the school.