Maitland High School

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Maitland High School
Maitland High School logo.png
Hunter Region
East Maitland, New South Wales, 2323
Coordinates 32°44′57.6″S 151°35′43.6″E / 32.749333°S 151.595444°E / -32.749333; 151.595444Coordinates: 32°44′57.6″S 151°35′43.6″E / 32.749333°S 151.595444°E / -32.749333; 151.595444
Type Public, secondary, day school
Motto French: En Avant
(Go Forward)
Established 1884
Status Open
Principal Tim Weston
Deputy Principals Ms Graham
Mr Blackwell
Enrolment 786[1] (2011)
Campus type Suburban
Houses      Scobie-Hughes
Colour(s) Black and White

Maitland High School (MHS) is situated in Maitland, New South Wales, Australia on High Street. Established in 1884 and operated by the New South Wales Department of Education and Training, the school currently caters for approximately 800 students from Years 7 to 12, and is situated near its sister school, Maitland Grossmann High School.

The school offers a number of vocational education courses in years 10 to 12 relating to various industries, such as hospitality, retail and community services.[citation needed] In 2009, the efforts of the school were recognised by the Department of Education & Training a school achievement award citing the "consistent excellence in Vocational educational program delivery and quality Higher School Certificate educational outcomes".[2]

The school has adopted the colours of black and white, two of the northern region's three representative colours (black, white, red), and its mascot of a magpie, a popular and prolific bird of the area.[citation needed]

The Maitland High Old Boys and Ex-students Union regularly assists the school with donations and scholarships for students.[citation needed]


The Public Instruction Act 1880 (New South Wales) began a period described as the "great reforms".[3]:Chapter 12 In 1883 the first six state high schools were opened: for boys and for girls at Sydney, Bathurst and Goulburn.[3]:152[4] The following year, in 1884, Maitland Boys High and Girls High were opened.[3]:152[5] The four schools at Sydney and Maitland succeeded but the other High Schools failed to compete with established local private schools and the Superior Public Schools (which did not prepare students for matriculation); at the end of 1886, the two Goulburn schools and Bathurst Boys' High School closed.[3]:153–4 By 1885, the Minister of Public Instruction could report that Maitland Boys’ High School had an average quarterly enrolment of 48 boys and in 1890, 45 (by comparison, Sydney Boys' High had 183 (1885) and 250 (1890); Maitland Girls' High had 15 (1885) and 36 (1890)).[3]:153 Since the High Schools were to prepare students for matriculation, "the University Manual of Public Examinations provided the basis of instruction."[3]:153

The Maitland High Schools served more than just the Maitland community which, in 1888, was numbered at 9,000; boys and girls came by train from nearby Newcastle and its suburbs, which had 27,750 inhabitants in 1888.[3]:154[6] This arrangement continued until 1906 when Newcastle High School (Australia) opened, the first new state high school since the 1884 opening of the Maitland High Schools.[3]:185 To cater for other students, Maitland Boys’ High operated a boarding house;[3]:154 the boarding house closed in 1969 and the building was re-opened in 1978 as the R.J. Hinder Memorial Library, a collection which had been funded by the Old Boys' Association in honour of former headmaster.[7][8]

The founding headmaster was the capable John Waterhouse who was recruited from Newington College to guide the Boys' High School through its early years;[3]:154 the sister school was not so fortunate: "the first headmistress was dismissed, the second only lasted a short time. Annie Watson, who took over in 1886, proved capable."[3]:154

The move to Maitland East[edit]

On 6 June 1891, the foundation stone was laid for a new building for the "High School for Boys at Maitland East".[9][10] The building was completed in June 1892[11] and opened in July 1892.[12] It was described in a contemporary report as:

a High School that would serve the whole community from our coast line at Newcastle to the far interior ... . ... It ... possesses the means of access by rail-the structure being only a few yards from the Victoria-street railway platform ... .
Provision has been consequently made in the High School for future boarders in the residence. ... Boys who attend the school from many places along the railway line between Inverell on the north and Gosford on the south receive free passes by rail ... . ...
The school and residence for the teacher occupy a large area of land, and beyond the fence which surrounds the building is a fine enclosure in which boys may take recreation ; and provision has been made for the care of the horses on which many of the boys ride to school. It is a well-grassed paddock, that is set apart for horses to depasture in. ...
The buildings are situate near High-street, and are surrounded by a fence, the front being a picket fence, and the back is formed of sawn palings, six feet high. The residence is divided from the school buildings by a fence ; but the master and pupils can have easy access to each. There is a covered way eight feet wide, the roof being of iron, and supported on iron fluted columns. The rooms in the teacher's residence are lofty and well ventilated and lighted. Access to the ground to the teacher's residence is gained through a wicket gate facing High-street. In front there is a verandah enclosed by railing, having a pair of iron gates. The width of the verandah is six feet and the length is thirty-four feet. The balcony in front and side is fourteen feet in length, and is supported on iron columns with frieze work of a very pretty pattern and embellished with brackets. The door leading to the hall is very handsome. It has embossed glass panels, and fanlights also of embossed glass. After passing into the hall the drawing room is approached. Its dimensions are l8 feet by 14 feet, the ceiling being 12 feet high, finished in unique style, and it has been supplied with a marble mantel-piece, the hearth having hand-painted figures worked on it. It has a bow window.
Opposite the drawing room is the dining room, which is eighteen feet square, and is lighted in daytime by three spacious windows. In the centre of the apartment is a chandelier. Like all the other principal rooms it has a marble fireplace and fender with tiling. The skirting is twelve inches high. Passing on to that room is the master's study, 14 feet by 14 feet, with two large windows, and a fireplace, with French marble mantel-piece. A cornice and centre-piece give to it an attractive aspect, and a chandelier has also been supplied. Near to the staircase which gives access to the upper floor is a convenient store-room, 9 feet by 8 feet, with shelves, etc. The door opposite the staircase is embellished with embossed glass. On the right of the hall, after passing through a pair of well-furnished doors, the staircase is reached. It leads to the boys' dormitory, which is splendidly ventilated. On the right of the hall is the boarders' dining-room, 33 feet by 24 feet, having five large windows. It is twelve feet high. Near to it is a spacious kitchen, in which has been fitted up a Sam Weller cooking range. The apartment is also well ventilated. There is a scullery near to the kitchen, 14 feet square. Water of which there is always a plentiful supply available, has been laid on, and plunge and shower baths are supplied. Regard has also been had in the arrangement of the place to the profitable employment of the boys in hours not appointed for school duties by the building of a workshop. The boys' dining room is divided from the school house by the covered way before referred to eight feet wide. The school itself is a commodious structure, and is divided into two parts by a glass partition, the ceiling is fifteen feet high, is of Kauri pine relieved by cedar cornice mouldings, the beams of the principals being encased with cedar, from which are suspended five large sunlights. The building is very comfortably furnished. Leaving the schoolroom the hat lobby is found, and passing through the lavatory, situate close to it, the laboratory and workshops are seen. At the side of these is a large wooden building, which is to be set apart for the amusement of the boys. A gymnasium is to be erected. From the ceiling of the shed are suspended trapezes and Roman rings, horizontal and parallel bars, etc. There is also a buggy and saddle room in a handy situation, also a shelter shed with a paddock fenced off for horses. Connected with the main building are servants' room, 12 feet by 14 feet. Next to the latter room is a spare bedroom, 14 feet square, furnished with cornice and centre flower. Altogether the school and home-built of brick-are very comfortable, and when the grounds, which are now being laid out, are planted with flowers and shrubs, the surroundings will be very attractive.[11]

Co-education and new names[edit]

From Term 1, 1987, the Minister for Education directed that the former Maitland Boys High and the former Maitland Girls High were to be co-educational; he announced that the schools would be renamed Maitland High School and Evatt High School in honour of the Evatt family whome he described as "the finest family that Maitland has produced, arguably that Australia has produced".[13][14] The decision caused public controversy and the former Maitland Boys High School was renamed Maitland High School, and the former Maitland Girls High School was renamed Maitland Grossman High School[15] in honour of Jeanette Grossmann MA who was headmistress of Maitland Girls High school from 1890 to the end of 1913.[16]


Maitland High School utilises a house system where students are allocated to a house when they enter the school according to surname.[citation needed] There are four different houses in which students compete under for swimming and athletics carnivals:

  • Scobie-Hughes (red)
  • Waddy-Portus (blue)
  • McMullen (yellow)
  • Fraser (green)

Co-curricular activities[edit]

Performing Arts[edit]

Maitland High School has a number of dance and musical groups that practise regularly and perform at the school and in the local area. The school showcases the talent of the students at the yearly "MADD" (Music Art Drama Dance) night.[2]

Together with 2,500 other students from around the area,[17] students from Maitland High School participate regularly in the Hunter Schools Dance Festival.[2]

Students at the school also take part in the Starstruck event together with around 3,000 other students from around 140 schools in the Central Coast and Hunter regions.[18] Students from Maitland High School support the event in a number of ways, including as backing vocals, band musicians and production crew members.[2]

Students in the music program at the school have had some successes in various competitions, including student band "Powerage", who appeared on the Footy Show in 2005, and won the YouthRock competition in 2010.[19][20]


Maitland High School sends students to participate in a number of competitions in the area at various district and zone events. The school participates in athletics, cross country, swimming, rugby league, cricket and various other team and individual sports.[2]

The following Maitland Boys' High School were awarded "Blues" by the New South Wales Combined High Schools Sports Association under the system which operated from 1957 to 1980:[21]

Year Sport Schoolboy
1961 Athletics J Colbourne
1961 Athletics G Ryder
1976 Cricket Michael Cox
1976 Cricket R Allen

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "NSW Public Schools – Maitland High School". Enrolment Figures. New South Wales Department of Education and Training. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Maitland HS ASR 2009" (PDF). Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Barcan, Alan (1988). Two centuries of education in New South Wales. Kensington, New South Wales: New South Wales University Press. ISBN 0-86840-314-8. 
  4. ^ "Historical information". Oldest High Schools. New South Wales Department of Education and Training. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  5. ^ "Government Schools of NSW from 1848". Establishment Year. New South Wales Department of Education and Training. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  6. ^ Timothy A. Coghlan, New South Wales Statistician, A Statistical Account of the Seven Colonies of Australasia (1890, New South Wales Government Printer, Sydney) p 18
  7. ^ "HINDER MEMORIAL FUND.". The Sydney Morning Herald (National Library of Australia). 6 September 1919. p. 9. Retrieved 17 August 2011. 
  8. ^ Katelyn Bennison, Emma Squires and Indiah Waterson (27 August 2009). "125 Years of Fine Service". The Herald (Newcastle, New South Wales). p. 61. 
  9. ^ Paul Maguire, "School's Real Life History Lesson", The Newcastle Herald, 22 March 2001, p 5, "MAITLAND High School Foundation, the school's community support body, has paid $6800 for two historic relics. A mallet and silver trowel with an ivory handle, used when the school's East Maitland foundation stone was laid in 1891, were bought at a Sydney auction three months ago. They were presented to school principal David Hingston yesterday and will be put on display. ... An inscription engraved on the trowel reads: `Presented to the Honourable J.H. Carruthers on the occasion of his laying the Foundation Stone of the High School for Boys at Maitland East, 6th June, 1891'. The school was moved from central Maitland because land there was too expensive."
  10. ^ "Public High School for boys at East Maitland". The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW: National Library of Australia). 9 June 1891. p. 7. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  11. ^ a b "The Boys' High School at East Maitland.". The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW: National Library of Australia). 7 June 1892. p. 6. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  12. ^ "The Minister for Public Instruction at Maitland". The Sydney Morning Herald (National Library of Australia). 27 July 1892. p. 7. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  13. ^ Answer by Minister for Education to question on notice from Dr METHERELL, Hansard (Legislative Assembly) 48th Parliament of New South Wales, 17 September 1987 p 13840)
  14. ^ Minister for Education, Hansard (Legislative Assembly) 48th Parliament of New South Wales, 7 April 1987 at p 10162, "... There is to be a school in Maitland named after the finest family Maitland has produced: the Evatt family. ... We are talking about the finest family that Maitland has produced, arguably that Australia has produced. ... I am not naming Evatt High School after Dr Evatt, or Clive Evatt who was a former Minister for Education, though either would be enough in themselves to warrant the naming of a school: I am naming that high school after a family, a family that has been intimately associated with the early history of Maitland for a long time.".
  15. ^ Hansard (Legislative Council), 49th Parliament of New South Wales, 16 May 1990 pp 3413-4.
  16. ^ "JUBILEE YEAR.". The Sydney Morning Herald (National Library of Australia). 31 October 1933. p. 10. Retrieved 2 September 2011. 
  17. ^ Branley, Alison (30 June 2010). "Hunter Schools Dance Festival Set to Shimmy". The Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 27 March 2011. 
  18. ^ "Star Struck starts with a Bang". The Newcastle Herald. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  19. ^ "Maitland's Powerage powers home to win YouthRock (Media Release)" (PDF) (Press release). Motor Accidents Authority of NSW. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  20. ^ Carr, Matt (19 April 2010). "Maitland Band Powerage repeats Silverchair's Feat". The Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
  21. ^ Bill Collins, Max Aitken and Bob Cork, One hundred years of public school sport in New South Wales 1889-1989 (Sydney, ca. 1990, New South Wales Department of School Education, p180ff)

External links[edit]