About


Welcome to Port Melbourne Primary School.

We are proud of our 130 year history in providing education in the Port Melbourne area. Port Melbourne Primary School is at the very heart of the Port Melbourne community and our Honour Boards carry names from a proud and rich history.

The school is situated on the corner of Graham and Clark Streets Port Melbourne, adjacent to the expansive Beacon Reserve and close to the sports fields at Murphy Reserve. Students have the opportunity to participate in a broad range of programs which support their classroom programs and allow them to have enriched learning experiences throughout their years here. We have caring and committed staff, who bring a variety of skills, interests and experience to enhance Port Melbourne Primary School. There is strong commitment to the development of the whole child.

We are sensitive to individual student abilities and circumstances. Our supportive environment encourages students to be enthusiastic learners. We value the contribution of our parent and wider community. Parents and teachers work together in partnership to ensure the best possible education for our children. The school has a rich educational past and looks toward an energetic and exciting future.

Principal Peter Martin

LEADERSHIP TEAM
Principal
Peter Martin
Assistant Principals
Katie Klajnblat
Jessica McPherson
Leading Teachers

Lucas Dredge
Kath White
Office Staff
Kaye – Business Manager
Jane – Reception
Helen – Office Manager
Juanita – Enrolment Manager
Ruth – First Aid
Specialist Team
Chris/Emily R – Visual Arts
Maria – Performing Arts
Annah/Stephen – Physical Education
Paul – LOTE (French)
CLASSROOM TEACHERS
Prep Team
Miss Emily – Prep A
Mr Peter – Prep B
Miss Nicole – Prep C
Miss Brittany – Prep D
Miss Emma – Prep E
Year 1 Team
Miss Alex – 1A
Miss Alysha – 1B
Miss Kristen – 1C
Miss Michelle / Miss Kate – 1D
Miss Elise – 1E
Year 2 Team
Miss Poppy – 2A
Miss Caitlin– 2B
Miss Kate – 2C
Miss Amy – 2D
Miss Victoria – 2E
Year 3/4 Team
Miss Katie – 3A
Miss Lindsay/Miss Trisha – 3B
Miss Candy – 3C
Miss Jodie – 3D
Mr Ash – 4A
Miss Maddy – 4B
Miss Candice – 4C
Miss Laura – 4D
Year 5/6 Team
Miss Kim – 5A
Mr Will – 5B
Mr Jason – 5C
Miss Sophie – 5D
Miss Caroline– 6A
Miss Melissa – 6B
Miss Sasha – 6C
Mr C – 5/6D
Literacy Support
Ms Keenan
Nicole – Library Technician

Support Staff
Greg– Integration Aide
Wendy – Integration Aide
Louisa – Integration Aide
Phoebe – Integration Aide
Tim – Integration Aide
Hilary – Integration Aide
Jacque – Integration Aide
Isabella – Integration Aide
Evelyn – Integration Aide
Giovani  – Integration Aide
Camille – Integration Aide
Amelia – Youth Worker

Sarah Wright – Psychologist

Emma Harvey – Speech Pathologist
Ross – Maintenance

Port Melbourne Primary School is situated about 3km west of the CBD and has a current enrolment of 745. Enrolments have fluctuated over the years but experienced sustained growth for ten years, increasing from 173 students in 2006 to 829 students in semester 2 2017. The opening of the Soiuth Melbourne (Ferrars St) Primary School in 2018 and the opening of South Melbourne Park PS in 2019 have reduced this enrolment pressure, and the opening a of a new school in Docklands in 2021 may further reduce this pressure . The majority of students reside in Port Melbourne and Garden City, although several families in South Melbourne and Southbank, which are no longer in the PMPS zone, are still enrolled here. The current zone is bounded by Pickles St, Ingles St, the Yarra and the Bay.

The original school building, constructed in 1890, was extensively renovated in 2008 to house the administration area as well as five open plan learning spaces. A new building incorporating a Library, an Art Room and six open plan learning spaces was completed in 2009, while a second building comprising a Multi-purpose Hall, a Music Room and two open-plan learning spaces was completed in 2010. Four multi-storey classroom blocks have been incorporated into the school facilities since 2011 and these are now grouped on the Walter St side of the school as D Block – our senior school. During 2018, a new gymnasium incorporating a competition standard netball/nbasketball court was constructed along the Clark St frontage of the school and in 2019 our existing Multipurpose Hall is being reconfigured as an Arts Hub. Later this year, the school will take delivery of a vintage tram which will be the centrepiece of a new passive play area near the school entrance

All classes are timetabled in open-plan learning spaces, with two teachers working collaboratively in each class pair to deliver a differentiated curriculum that ensures that the learning needs of ALL students are met. Teachers at each year level plan in collaborative teams with all members of each year level team sharing responsibility for the education of all the students at their year level. The team leaders meet regularly to share information across all year levels to ensure that the school functions as an effective Professional Learning Community. As enrolments have increased, the school has moved from a relatively low Student Family Occupation Index of about 0.80 to an index of about 0.28, with about 20% of families qualifying for support from the Camps & Excursions fund, and about 20% of students coming from Non-English Speaking Backgrounds.

The school is an active member of the Northern Lights cluster, a group of six local primary schools who work co-operatively to improve student learning outcomes in our area. Port Melbourne Primary School strives to provide an exciting, challenging and caring learning environment that motivates children, provides them with the opportunity to maximise their potential and equips them with the necessary skills, values and knowledge to become valued members of the community. At Port Melbourne Primary School, we appreciate the importance of the whole school environment and community – our people, buildings, grounds, and belongings. Implementing the following values underpins the culture of our school.

Curiosity – We want to learn, be creative and find out more about the world around us. We take chances and are open to new learning.

Kindness – We look after ourselves, others, and the environment. We demonstrate kindness by showing compassion, consideration, understanding and patience.

Courage – We strive to be courageous by taking risks, trying new things and being responsible for our actions. We stand up for ourselves and others.

Resilience – We are able to respond to challenging situations through reflection, engagement and perseverance using a growth mindset.

Click here to download the School History Booklet

Port Melbourne Primary School, state school number 2932, has traditionally been a focal point for the educational needs of the children of Port Melbourne. Established on the current site close to station pier on Port Phillip in 1889, it continues its long and proud practice of providing a broad quality education to meet the needs of our culturally diverse mix of students. Its historical aspect has resulted in a very strong community links spanning generations.

The current enrolment is 745 students and this is likely to decrease slightly over the coming years when a new primary school opens in Docklands. The school was originally known as ‘Graham Street Primary School’. It then became ‘Port Melbourne Primary School – Graham Street’. In the year of the schools’ centenary (1989), the school reverted to ‘Graham Street Primary School’. In 2000, once again, Council decided to change the name from ‘Graham Street Primary School’ to ‘Port Melbourne Primary School’. Each name change reflected the school asserting its identity in the area, and ensuring that it was clearly distinguished from the other schools in area. In the year of the schools centenary, 1989, a short history of the school was written by Sue Hodges (copies available from the office and the Port Melbourne Library), entitled ‘Graham Street Primary 1889-1989’. “The story of Graham Street State School is the story of Port Melbourne in general: of the hardship, struggle and tenacity which mark the town.

The need for a school west of the railway line was recognised as early as 1875, when a site of 2 acres and 16 perches for “Primary School No 2932” was mentioned in the Government Gazette.” “Graham Street Primary School was opened as an annexe to Nott Street (Primary School), on Monday May 6th 1889, by William Webster, M.P. Its opening followed two years of extensive lobbying by the Port Melbourne City Council, who argued that Nott Street’s enrolment of 1194 children was 200 over the limit and that a new school should be built to house the extra students”. The history recalls the many hardships faced by the school in the early decades of opening. Overcrowding marked the years between 1889 and 1920. The school also suffered because of its isolated location – 100 years ago the place looked very different from today ! Behind the area where the school stands today (west towards the beach), was nothing but flat sandy wastelands.

The school was subject to high winds and frequent sand-drifts. The students and teachers also suffered through the extremes of hot and cold with little comforts. And like many Victorian style schools, the building soon became dilapidated. Appeals for renovations and extensions are a constant theme of the school’s history. By 1918 the situation of the over-crowding and unsanitary conditions of the school reached crisis point. So from 1920, until today, the school enjoyed some major renovations and improvements to the facilities of the school. School routines were very different from today – and Port Melbourne Primary School students, mostly from working class families, often had a hard time at the sometimes ‘tough’ school. School hours were much longer, teachers could be mean, and gangs often dominated the playground. Each morning the students would salute the flag and swear allegiance to “King and Country”. Boys playing the bugle and tin drum would provide the music as the rest of the children marched to class ! Students were instructed in singing, drawing, arithmetic, music, needlework, grammar, dictation, writing and geography.

“Moral” lessons and “Military Drill” were also taught in 1892, and physical education did not become part of the curriculum until the early 1900’s – along with callisthenics, cricket and football. Slates, dusters, ink pens, were used in place of biro pens, pencils and computers of today. By 1920’s, students were ‘streamed’ into “academic” and “non-academic” groups, and remedial classes were offered at the school as one of the first in the state. The depression was felt badly by Port Melbourne working class families, and conditions at the school were pitiful. But it was not all doom and gloom. A great event was the visit by the Duke and Duchess of York to Port Melbourne in 1927. One ex-student remembers giving a gift to the “baby Betty” (the current Queen Elizabeth) – a wooden workbox inscribed “to the Princess Elizabeth – From the school children of Port Melbourne”. Another highlight of this era was the ‘greening’ of the school. In 1938 children planted cypress and poplar trees around the perimeter of the oval to keep the wind, sand and rain at bay. In the 1940’s each tree was named after a student. In 1988 this tradition was continued when children planted 20 peppercorn trees around the school.

The second half the twentieth century saw many more improvements to the school – especially a very prosperous decade of the 1950’s. New plantings and a cricket pitch were created, and the curriculum introduced a number of reforms. In the 1950’s and 1960’s the school also introduced a number of charitable programs, following on from the War Service efforts of the previous decade. These reforms had a positive effect on the school – the school became a happy place. The school also saw many improvements in the 1970’s decade of the ‘hippy generation’. School routines and lessons ‘loosened up’ – reflecting the freedom of the era. ‘Child-based’ learning was the central premise of the school’s syllabus. Past teachers and staff remember these highs as times of high morale at the school. The 1980’s and 1990’s saw the school experience continual improvements and changes – from the influx of multicultural students, the introduction of progressive philosophies about teaching and learning, and to the new curriculum of the 1990’s.

Because enrolments has decreased considerably, the Nott St (Port Melbourne) Primary School site was closed in the mid 90s and the students and staff were amalgamated with the Graham St PS school community. Other local primary schools in Dorcas St, Pickles St and Eastern Rd were also closed due to falling enrolments. The name of the amalgamated school in Graham St was later changed to Port Melbourne Primary School to better reflect the nature of the school community. In 2000 a Port Phillip Community Grant of $5,000 provided for an artist, Nicole De Gruchy, to help the students of the school create a “Hiss-story Snake” – a tiled look at the school’s history, on the west wall of the main school building. There was some urgency about the project as many local residents feared that the Graham St school site might also close.

The twenty first century has seen major change. Enrolments, which bottomed out at 122 in 2002, increased, slowly at first, but with gathering momentum. In 2002, a classroom block which was surplus to requirements was converted into the Port Melbourne Family Hub, and until 2012, accomodated an occasional care facility, playgroups, the school’s Before and After School Care Program, and consulting rooms for health professionals. With the growth in enrolments, the building was converted back into classrooms and a Student Welfare Centre for the 2013 school year, and was demolished in 2018 to make room for a new gymnasium.

As enrolments boomed, the original school building (“A” Block”) was completely refurbished in 2008, with internal walls demolished to create open plan learning spaces. Also in 2008/09, a new Library/Open Learning Space complex (“B” Block”) with seven new learning spaces and a new Art Room was completed along with a new multipurpose hall and two more open learning spaces (“C” Block). The new facilities were insufficient to house the burgeoning enrolments and, in recent years, four double storey relocatable buildings (each housing four classrooms) and two single storey relocatable buildings (each with two classrooms) were installed on what was formerly open space on the oval. The four double storey classrooms were relocated into a cluster on the Walter St side of the school in 2017 (“D Block), and a new gymnasium was constructed along the Clark St frontage in 2018. In 2019, the existing Multi-purpose Hall is being reconfigured as an Arts Hub. The State government has committed funds for an extension to C Block incorporating a new administration/student amenities wing and three addition double classroom spaces. When this project is completed, the two single storey relocatable buildings on the oval will be surplus to requirements and will be removed. At present, the school runs a “split timetable” with two recess and lunch breaks to reduce congestion on the oval. After the C Block extension is completed, the school will have sufficient playground space to revert to one recess and lunchtime.

In 2019, the school is hardly recognisable from the school that opened in 1889.

Our school council is a collective of parents, teachers, principal, staff and community representatives that supports and enhances our students learning. The current school council members are;

Annette Maloney: President: annette@socialmediaready.com.au

Stephene-Lynn Viljoen: Vice President: Stephviljoen1@yahoo.com.au

Simone Cresp: Public Relations/Marketing and BASC convenor: simcresp333@gmail.com

Peter Martin: Principal & Facilities convenor: martin.peter.s@edumail.vic.gov.au

Jessica McPherson: Acting Assistant Principal: mcpherson.jessica.j@edumail.vic.gov.au

Katie Klajnblat: Assistant Principal: klajnblat.katie.e@edumail.vic.gov.au

Victoria Mackey: Grants convenor: vj_cole@hotmail.com

Rohan Bentley: Local Road Safety convenor: rohan.bentley@gmail.com

Gareth Lewis: Treasurer and Finance convenor: Gareth.Lewis@anz.com

Bre McGrath: PFA delegate: Breanna@goodgermcgrath.com

Candice Skinner: Literacy Leader: Skinner.Candice.J@edumail.vic.gov.au

Thrilling news: School Council have met with the architects to review the latest schematic design of the modernisation of the main building and the upgrade of classrooms attached to C Block. The masterplan for these works, which has been on display in reception, were signed off in 2016. The Gymnasium and renovation of the Visual Art room and Performing Arts space was stage 1, we are very excited to now be progressing with stage 2.

F.A.Q.

Can’t find the answer you are looking for?

We have provided more answers to some of our most commonly asked questions on our FAQ page.

How do I apply for enrolment?

If you wish to enrol your child at PMPS, please fill in an Expression of Interest form and submit it via email to Juanita McKeefry. You will then be contacted on the e-mail address you provide requesting documentation and provided with an enrolment form.

What are the schools core values?

Curiosity – We want to learn, be creative and find out more about the world around us. We take chances and are open to new learning.

Kindness – We look after ourselves, others, and the environment. We demonstrate kindness by showing compassion, consideration, understanding and patience.

Courage – We strive to be courageous by taking risks, trying new things and being responsible for our actions. We stand up for ourselves and others.

Resilience – We are able to respond to challenging situations through reflection, engagement and perseverance using a growth mindset.

Can I attended a school council meeting?

School council meetings would normally be open to the school community. Visitors or observers can be present at a council meeting with the agreement of the principal and a decision of council. There may be times when, for the purpose of confidentiality or other reasons, a council meeting needs to be closed. The school council determines the need for a closed meeting. Please contact the school before attending a school council meeting. You can view the Victorian Education and Training website for further information on School Council Meetings.

How do I become a member of council?

To be a part of our council, you don’t need any particular qualifications or experience – we look for enthusiastic parents who want to help improve the learning outcomes and school environment for all students. Visit the Victorian Education and Training website for full coverage of the School Council Election process.

How long has the school been around?

Established on the current site close to station pier on Port Phillip in 1889, it continues its long and proud practice of providing a broad quality education to meet the needs of our culturally diverse mix of students. Its historical aspect has resulted in a very strong community links spanning generations.

Contact Us

415 Graham Street Port Melbourne VIC 3207

03 9646 1001