By the 1950s, Western Australia experienced a period of rapid growth following World War II. Immigrants settled in the then-rural areas of Armadale, Kelmscott, Forrestdale and Bedfordale due to access to electricity, libraries, a public swimming pool and consistent employment – the Armadale brickworks. Armadale Primary School (then situated on the corner of Church Road and Third Road) provided schooling to many of the local children, and it became a priority to provide a secondary education to prepare students for the workforce.
Armadale Junior High School (1953 – 1954)
Established in 1953, Armadale Junior High School provided a secondary education to over nearly two hundred students. Whilst the school site was being built on South West Highway, students begun their learning in a cluster of four demountable classrooms on the site of Armadale Primary School. For the first time in Western Australian history, this allowed the high school curriculum to be delivered outside of the Perth City area. The student body consisted of students from Armadale, Serpentine/Jarrahdale, Byford, Oakford, Roleystone – even stretching as far as Queen’s Park. A public school bus company was formed in Bedfordale to service these communities, and was offered at no cost to families.
Armadale Junior High School was established to provide lessons in arithmetic, literacy and work-skills. With fourteen teachers, and only four demountable classrooms, conditions were often cramped – with sometimes upwards of forty-five students in each class. Whilst being housed at the temporary site on the corner of Church & Third Roads, students also travelled to Perth Modern School via train on a fortnightly basis to access specialist facilities – kitchens for cooking (girls), and wood/metalwork rooms for manual arts (boys).
Armadale High School (1955 – 1962)
By 1955, the school had been built at its present location – 169 South Western Highway, Armadale. The site was considered to be the most modern public school in Western Australia at the time – boasting state-of-the-art facilities and technologies. For the first time, classrooms had tiles and linoleum flooring – rather than wooden boards. Classrooms were spacious – offering in-built fireplaces, wide blackboards and storage. Manual arts and home economics had access to specialised equipment that allowed students to work ‘hands-on’ with their learning tools.
In 1957, all students took part in a tree-planting ceremony. Eucalyptus trees seedlings were used to keep in theme with the local flora. Students lined both roadways with seedlings from the top of the school down to the Sports Hall complex. These trees still stand today.
“Students in the years to come will make this garden into a magnificent show place, building on what we have begun. In this we will see, as we grow older, a visible link with the present and past”Carl Reider, Headmaster, 1957
Armadale Senior High School (1963 – Present)
New Name – New Logo, New Motto
“Every school has a motto; ours is an appropriate one. The word ‘STRIVE’ applies to all activities whether in the academic, sporting or cultural field. The success you achieve will be determined by the amount of effort you exert. Never be satisfied with less than your best”
— 1964 Yearbook
Armadale SHS is very proud of the staff who have advocated for our students, led change and ensured successful school operations since opening in 1953. You can view our Executive Roll here.