History of Katandra School

In 1959, the Education Department purchased Kilvington Baptist Girls’ Grammar School, conveniently situated near the Ormond Station, for a Special School to service the area. Head Teacher, Beryl D Hunter opened the school (Ormond Special School) in May 1959 when she enrolled 57 children in five groups.

The original school comprised a two story attic type structure and a wooden block of three small classrooms. In 1961, an adjoining house (Mahia) was purchased and extensively renovated, when additional facilities included two domestic rooms, an assembly hall and a speech therapy room. Next year 105 children in eight groups attended.

Adopting recommendations in the Scottish Report, Ormond Special School became a Junior Special School in 1965 when Head Teacher Mr Des English took charge. Previously children attended until 16 years of age; now on reaching the age of 12 years they transferred to a Special School at Moorabbin.

Major development projects in 1966 included the conversion of a disused shelter into a remedial gymnasium and the erection of a propagating house for the teaching of horticulture

Katandra staff 1969

Staff photo 1969

In 1971, the enrolment was 95 children, taught by 14 full time and two part time teachers.

In 1978 an adjoining solid brick house was purchased and serviced the school as a community /turorial block. The house now services two Junior Groups and the Homecrafts’ area. Over the years, the school has been very well supported by parents, local business firms and voluntary organisations such as Rotary, Apex and Lions. Playground equipment, a school wide computer network, school buses and a trampoline are just some examples of resources which have been donated to the school.

In 1992, Ormond Special School changed its name to Katandra School.