Jolimont Primary School


City of Subiaco

Place Number



657 Hay St Subiaco

Location Details

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1905, Constructed from 1945

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 24 Sep 2002 Some Significance (Level 3)

Statement of Significance

Jolimont Primary School is of cultural heritage significance:  For the provision of education and community facilities to the Jolimont community since 1905.  The collection of buildings demonstrates a range of styles that illustrate the evolution of teaching practice since 1906.  The place has historic value for its association with periods of rapid development and settlement in the Jolimont area; the early 1900s and the post-World War Two era.

Physical Description

The original sections of the school constructed in 1905 and 1906 are virtually obscured from the front elevation but remnant fabric can be seen along the south elevation of the north range. The original school comprised two classrooms of brick and iron construction which were incorporated into the 1948 campaign of works which saw the school turning into a larger multi-roomed ‘L’ shape structure. The corrugated galvanised iron roof of the original classrooms was replaced with a terracotta tiled roof which also saw the lowering of the ridge line and the lowering of the brick elevations to comfortably accommodate the new roof. The school now presents as a single storey range of brick and tile buildings with planted gardens to the Hay Street frontage, play area/quadrangle to the central area, a small area of bushland to the south and playing fields to the east. The Kindergarten has been established in a series of metal transportables to the west of the school with its own play facilities and landscaping. The school is situated within an attractive residential environment. The additions and alterations of the 1948 works were far reaching with only a small amount of fabric remaining visible from the original schoolrooms. At the time, part of the north elevation of the original rooms was still visible but following the construction of the additional administration wing in 2005, nothing of the original school buildings can be seen from the Hay Street frontage. On the south elevation, the brick panels below the window sills laid in stretcher bond are original as is the brick plinth below laid in English bond. The remainder of the brickwork is original but as it has been rendered to match the rest of the enlarged school, it is no longer possible to define this work. The windows in the south elevation were replaced in the same campaign ofworks as the height of the openings had to be reduced. The replacement 1948 windows remain extant. The same campaign of works also saw the construction of an administration wing to the front of the building (at the western end) which projected northwards from the original school rooms. A new entry feature was constructed at the time of face brick construction with a parapet wall projecting above the eaves line. The front elevation of the eastern part of the old school was still visible though alterations were made to the windows and render was applied to the upper section of the elevation. The 1948 range contains higher level timber framed sash windows positioned within the rendered section of the elevation, creating a regular rhythm along the façade. The range terminates at the eastern end with a rendered wall with a porthole window. The ground level drops away towards the east but much of the changing in levels is obscured by the planting in front of the classrooms. The western range of the school was also constructed in 1948, extending from the south elevation of the north block. The plans indicate that this range only extended to the windows to the south of the first set of double doors. The school was extended again in 1955 adding to the western range and creating the southern range of classrooms. Both these sections continue the architectural style of the earlier buildings of single storey ranges with a limited palette of materials and colours. Verandahs are constructed to both ranges overlooking the quadrangle. The canopies are formed by the continuation of the roof at the same pitch, supported on brick columns with a concrete deck. The majority of the verandahs to both sections are open but to account for the change in ground level, the central section of verandah to the south range has a metal balustrade and set of five concrete steps at the western end. These three early building campaigns resulted in the present character of the school being developed. The original school rooms were of brick construction with a corrugated galvanised roof. Although the roofing material has been altered, the subsequent buildings were similar to the original rooms being of brick construction and of the same single storey scale resulting in a coherent and unified school. The brickwork is now a combination of facebrick and render, tied together with a traditional terracotta roof. The windows to the north range are predominantly timber framed sash windows. Tall multi-paned sash windows are positioned directly under the eaves and provide rhythm to the south elevation of the north range, the style of which is also reflected in the windows to the two administration wings. The smaller windows to the north elevation are similar in style to the larger windows, being horizontally divided into 2-over-2 sashes, positioned directly under the eaves but terminate at a higher level above the brick dado line. Windows to the west and south ranges are a combination of timber framed and metal framed openings. All the openings are positioned directly under the eaves. The windows on the elevations overlooking the quadrangle are smaller openings than those found in the earlier buildings whilst those on the external facades are taller. Although the south range continues the brick and rendered style of the other sections of the school, the north and south elevations present with different levels of each. The internal elevation looking north over the quadrangle has a higher degree of face brickwork with a shallower depth of rendered brickwork. The high level windows sit directly under the eaves with the sills forming a continuous rendered band above the brickwork. The south elevation of this range presents with a higher level of rendered walling with taller windows which are again positioned directly under the eaves with the sills sitting at the point where the render stops. A covered assembly area, a resource centre and new classrooms have been constructed subsequently to the above phases. Although these additions present with a more contemporary style but still continue the rendered brick and tiled form within the quadrangle but beyond the southern range, the new buildings are of block construction with red colorbond roofs. These classrooms formed part of the BER project introduced throughout the state in c.2009/2010. Following the construction of the covered assembly area, the original school bell was moved and re-erected in front of the new building. There is a uniformity to the school site that has been enhanced by the various phases of development which have been undertaken in a sympathetic manner ensuring that the school remains as a single storey development. The later buildings of c.2010 are distinctly different from the main phases of the school development which enables them to be read as new development whilst contributing to the palette of colours of the remainder of the school.


The Jolimont area was first subdivided for settlement in 1891 by surveyor J.L. Darcy Irvine who suggested the name ‘Jolimont’ after his home suburb in Melbourne. The lots were taken up quickly as the population of the wider Perth metropolitan area grew rapidly with the gold discoveries in the 1880s and 1890s. With the small blocks, cheap prices and earth roads the lots were generally taken up by low income workers, many of whom built their own timber homes. The small community formed the Jolimont Progress Association in the late 1890s and one of their first projects was to petition the Education Department for a school. The Subiaco Road Board, formed in 1897, supported the application in March 1899 and in mid-1899, the Education Department approved the construction of a school at a site to be chosen. After some debate on the final site, Reserve 9759 on Swan Lot 2240 was allocated for the future school site. It was however another six years, in July 1905, that a contract for the erection of the school was let to contractor J. Lake for £450. The simple brick and iron single roomed classroom was completed in September 1905 to a standard design prepared by the Public Works Department of WA. The school opened on 9 October 1905 with an enrolment of 15 children. The head teacher was Mr Carrington Frederick Cooper who found lodging in Jersey Street. By June 1906 the school had an average attendance of 62 children and a new classroom was approved for construction. A duplicate of the classroom was built adjoining the existing by contractor F. L. Gurr for £349. Separate pan toilets were built for boys and girls and these wereemptied by the Subiaco night soil contractor. The school grounds had no play equipment and in the early years one of the tasks for the boys was the clearing of the land around the school. In 1906, 24 trees were planted on Arbor Day and their survival was problematic given that water for the site was initially only available from a 1000 gallon tank and stock from neighbouring properties regularly wandered onto the campus. The provision of mains water in 1909 enabled the annual plantings of trees to continue more confidently. Gardening was a popular pastime and a learning experience for the students with frequent trips into the adjacent bushland and swamp for nature study. The undeveloped bushland did provide dangers of fire and the school children were often called on to help fight fires that threatened the school. The school population continued to grow in the years before World War One as the Jolimont area developed and in mid-1914 the average attendance was 112. The character of the area was strongly shaped at this time by the growth of light industry between Jolimont and the railway line. These industries provided work opportunities but also served to isolate the Jolimont community. Overcrowding at the school led to the installation of a ‘pavilion classroom’ on the north side of the existing classrooms in 1916. The pavilion classrooms were a common structure in Western Australian schools. The structure had light weight timber walls to dado height and canvas panels above that could be opened to enable ventilation. Internally the structures were often unlined making them cold in winter and hot in summer. A second pavilion classroom located on the north and a little to the east of the first was installed in 1919 by contractor Arthur Woolhouse. The layout of the buildings created a rough assembly area which was gravelled for exercises. The remainder of the school grounds were black sand or bush throughout the 1920s. A Jolimont Parents Association was formed in 1921 to assist with fundraising and improving the school grounds. In 1922, some of the buildings were connected to the electricity supply. In this instance, as in many other improvements, the Education Department met the costs and the work was undertaken by the Parents Association. The parents together were very active in this period in establishing better gardens for the school grounds. In 1924, Daglish Railway Station was opened and housing lots in the adjacent suburb of Daglish were taken up by young families. This development had an impact on the school numbers and the services provided in the community. Throughout the 1930s and during World War Two the numbers of school students remained relatively static at Jolimont Primary School. The lack of materials and labour meant there were few physical changes to the school and the condition of many of the buildings deteriorated particularly from white ant attack. One change was the removal of one of the pavilion classrooms to Perth Junior Technical School in 1930. The other major change to the school in this period was the construction of a toilet block in 1938 for the cost of £543 as a result of the connection to the deep sewerage system. In the post-World War Two period the population of the Jolimont area grew rapidly with the increase in migration, the ‘baby boom’ and the establishment of new industries in the area. There was an increase in school numbers and overcrowding in the classrooms led to an arrangement to lease the adjacent Jolimont Hall in 1946. In 1948, following constant requests from the school and Progress Association major additions were constructed at the school. The additions consisted of; two new classrooms, a Head Teacher’s office, staff room and a store, plus the modernising of the two original brick classrooms and the relocation of the pavilion classroom and the school bell. The corrugated iron roofs of the original classroom were replaced with tiles. The additions required the removal of some of the pine trees on the grounds which had been planted by the P & C Association in memory of the soldiers of World War One. By the time the new additions were complete in 1950 the school enrolments had grown to 287 so that students still needed to be accommodated in the hall. The construction of the nearby Floreat Park Primary School relieved the numbers however the hall continued to be used for folk dancing lessons. In 1950, a new toilet block was constructed for staff and students. In this year a school gardener was employed to maintain and develop the school grounds. Throughout the 1950s, Jolimont and the surrounding northern suburbs continued to grow and the demands on the school led to further additions in 1955. These additions consisted of three new classrooms on the southern side of the quadrangle. The pavilion classroom was dismantled and relocated to the west of the current buildings where it was ultimately used as the school art room. The cloakroom was converted to a library. Throughout the second half of the 20th century the numbers of students declined as other schools were built in the region and the demographic of the area changed. Particularly low numbers were experienced in the 1980s. An influx of new young families in the 1990s saw student numbers rise in the 1990s. In 1992/3, the school building was reroofed and later in 1993 a transportable classroom was erected for a pre-primary centre on the north side of the top oval. A similar structure was installed in 1999 adjacent to the pre-primary for kindergarten students. In 2000, an undercover assembly area, canteen and sports stores were constructed in the south east portion of the quadrangle. These new facilities made a considerable difference to the outdoor activities available to the staff and students. In 2001, a third pavilion classroom was installed on the western side of the existing transportable classrooms for a second kindergarten class. In 2005, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the school, a new library resource centre, and an administration area were constructed in addition to significant upgrades to the toilets and staff facilities. The new administration area was built on the main elevation and replicated the design of the 1948 main entry. In 2010, under the Building Education Revolution programme funded by the Commonwealth Government, a new building was constructed on the south side of the campus. This building consisted of two new senior classrooms, art room and music room. Since 2010, there have been minimal physical changes to the buildings on the site and the grounds continue to be improved and modified with significant contributions from the P & C Association.


Integrity - High Authenticity - Moderate. The original structures have been highly modified although the plan form remains and original brickwork is intact under a later render. Rarity/Representativeness - The place is not rare as an example of a metropolitan primary school that has developed over 100 years in response to the demands of the school community. Jolimont Primary School represents a typical metropolitan school of the early 20th century which has been added to and altered as requirements and teaching methods have evolved.

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use EDUCATIONAL Combined School
Present Use EDUCATIONAL Combined School

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Roof TILE Other Tile
Wall BRICK Common Brick

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Education & science

Creation Date

10 Mar 1997

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

13 Sep 2018


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.