Lake Macquarie History

History of Barnsley Primary School

Barnsley School opened for 29 pupils on December 22, 1865. The original building was a low-pitched bark hut, 24 X12 foot with a dirt floor, one table and a few seats. Between 25 and 30 children attended school in this hut. A new school was built in 1866 with money partly raised by residents, but was not much of an improvement. Barnsley School continued to have a very insecure future due to settlement in the district and coal mining developments.

photo: the old school at barnsley

It could also be difficult to get the children to school during periods of heavy rain and on poor roads. When attendance dropped below 15 the school closed as that was the required student enrolment. Each of the schools closed and opened over the years due to lack of attendance. In 1872, a new weatherboard school was built with chimney, doors, and windows and included a small residence near-by. Even though this building was such an improvement it was still unlined and eaten by white-ants. So a new building was once again required. A building at Fassifern was acquired which was able to accommodate 100 pupils. This was re-erected at Barnsley and completed in 1892. When this building began to deteriorate a new larger (3 room), modern building was erected in a more central location. It was officially opened in 1911 with 113 students. Initially the school was called Teralba but this was very confusing as Teralba Station was only 4 miles away. The suggestion was made to call it Central Wallsend or Barnsley after a coal mining subdivision. Barnsley was the name chosen and officially applied in 1891. The school survived and thrived through many hardships.


New South Wales. Dept. of Education. Division of Research and Planning 1965, Barnsley Public School, 1865-1892, Barnsley Public School], [Barnsley, N. S.W

1965. Barnsley Public School centenary 1865-1965 : Souvenir programme, The School], [Barnsley, NSW]

Halbert, Gareth J., 1977-, (designer.) & Barnsley Public School P&C Association 2015, Barnsley Public School commemorative book celebrating 150 years : 1865 - 2015, First edition, Barnsey, NSW Barnsley Public School P&C Association

Barnsley Public School 1995, From bark to timber to brick : the history of Barnsley Public School 130 years 1865 to 1995, The School], [Barnsley, NSW],