Charlestown Public School

Excellence Success Opportunity

Telephone02 4943 4063 or 02 4943 4137

Emailcharlestow-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au

About our school

Charlestown Public School is centrally located in the township of Charlestown, very close to the business and shopping precinct. The school is small, caring and family centred, providing a quality education for all in an innovative environment. Outstanding programs provide opportunities for all students to ensure they achieve their potential. The school has modern facilities with a Computer Lab, Interactive White Boards in every room, a hall and a modern canteen.


Our school has strong partnerships with the P&C and School Council who work tirelessly to enhance our students' learning experiences and environment.

Charlestown PS is a part of the Whitebridge Community of Schools which has exemplary integrated programs for talented and gifted students as well as outstanding programs in leadership, literacy, numeracy and technology for students in Years 5 to 8.

Our school

  • Nurtures and encourages each and every student to be their best.
  • Supports achievement in sport, art, public speaking and academic aptitude.
  • Maintains and promotes excellent behavioural standards.
  • Creates a positive school-life experience and readiness for high school.
  • Utilises high-technology teaching resources.
  • Has an active and effective P & C and parent run canteen..
  • Involves the school community in continual review and improvements.
  • Collaborates with Charlies Angels Playgroup (on-site and volunteer-run).
  • Sustains a major environmental focus resulting in broad community connections, beautiful school gardens, learning and much more!

Our history

125th anniversary

On Friday, 30 April 2004, Charlestown Public School held a great day to celebrate its 125th anniversary.

Lessons began at our school on 27 April 1879. Many of our past pupils attended the celebrations at our school, highlighted by the cutting of our Anniversary cake by 92 year old Mr Ron Chesterfield, helped by two pupils from our infants.

The school had its beginnings on the land adjacent to our present school, bordered by Pacific Highway, Frederick and Smith Streets. The Waratah Coal Company had opened a mine and established the township and in 1879 there were 52 school aged children in the village in need of education. (This was 3 years prior to Public Instruction Act that led to free education.)

The land, obtained from the coal company, Lot 270 in the Parish of Kahibah, County of Northumberland, was officially proclaimed for a Public School on 27 September 1875. By March 1879 there was still no building but after pressure from local councillors, the school opened in a rented room on 25 April.

Fees were set at sixpence a week per child (quite a fee in 1879).

It was not until October 1879 that the school moved to its brand new building on what is now the corner of Pacific Highway and Frederick Street.

First teachers

The first teacher at Charlestown Public School was Mr Carl Schumacher, who was joined by Mr Jim Paterson – a pupil teacher – in 1880. A teacher's salary in those days was $24 – $36 per year!

In 1901 the new school was badly damaged by a severe hail storm. School numbers dropped and by 1911 there was a real chance of the school closing, but the appointment of Maggie Smith as assistant teacher in 1913 changed all this. The high quality of teaching resulted in older classes being introduced to the school in 1914.

The Great War came and went and by 1924 the school population had reached 331 pupils in 7 classes (in 2001 there were 331 in 9, in 2011 160 in 7).

In 1927 the Department extended the school easterly to include what is now the present site but allowing a strip of land 100 links wide that was to become Smith Street.

In 1936 the school was bombed when sections of a passing plane fell on the school within feet of students. Nobody was hurt!

The school grew steadily and saw off another World War and in 1957 the current buildings were opened.

In 1998, the original site was vacated and our infants department joined the primary on the 1927 site. The school council formed in 1991 was responsible for negotiations for the beautiful new hall and grounds that were opened in 1999.

The school in 2001 had an enrolment of 331 pupils with 9 classes. All its rooms are fully air conditioned and have a comprehensive computer network.

Over the past 131 years many thousands of students have passed through Charlestown Public School. Many of our early students have streets named after them or their family; Dickinson, Frederick, Smith and Rundle are but a few.

Local identities such as Councillor Gordon Hughes, the Pickering and Hughes families have all left our school to become prominent citizens.