Fort Street National School (also called Fort Street Model School)
Fort Street National School was established in 1849 at the old military hospital, which is now part of the National Trust Headquarters, a short walk south of the current school setting. It was one of the first public schools in Australia and known to locals in Sydney as "the school on the hill."
The school was proposed by the Board of National Education, which itself was established in 1848 to fund and run the first government schools in Australia. Under the leadership of William Wilkins in the 1850s, the school set the standard for public education in NSW for other schools to follow. Fort Street Training School adjoined and trained all NSW public school teachers.
From the 1850s, Fort Street Model School offered its older pupils a secondary education.
Fort Street Superior Public School
In 1881, Fort Street Model School was raised in status to become Fort Street Superior Public School. This meant the provision of better secondary education for older pupils.
Fort Street Public School
In 1911, three schools were formed from Fort Street Superior Public School: Fort Street Boys High School, Fort Street Girls High School and Fort Street Public School. All three schools existed on the one campus, in what is now the National Trust Headquarters.
In 1916, Fort Street Boys High School relocated to its present site on Parramatta Road, Petersham. In 1942, Fort Street Public School was rehoused to its present building, which has since been heritage listed for its unique style and charm. Throughout the 1970s, Fort Street Girls High School amalgamated with the boys to become Fort Street High School, leaving Fort Street Public School as the final piece of Fort Street to remain in The Rocks/Millers Point district.
Today, Fort Street Public School continues its legacy by teaching the leaders of tomorrow. The school is reflective of the city it represents - proudly modern, multicultural, friendly and aspirational. While Sydney has changed remarkably over the years, Fort Street's commitment to setting the benchmark for public education in NSW has remained the same.
Given its special place in the history of Sydney and Australia, many famous and prominent people, particularly from the fields of politics and law, have attended Fort Street throughout the years.
Sir Edmund Barton, who became Australia's first prime minister in 1901, received his formative education at Fort Street. He continued his secondary education at Sydney Grammar School.
Proud Fortians Sir Joseph Carruthers and Sir Bertram Stevens became Premiers of New South Wales.
Peter Dodds McCormick, a Scottish immigrant who penned Advance Australia Fair, was a teacher at Fort Street Model School. Mark Harris, one of our current teachers, used to tour with The Wiggles.