History

Walton School

The first school in the suburb was established in February 1872 with the name Walton School.

A group of respected community people, headed by James Loudon, William Martin J.P., and James Howorth Junior, succeeded in opening the school after the number of children in the area warranted an Education Board School.

The school was initially located in the Walton Mission House in Green Island before being moved to a two roomed wooden building situated on Main South Road where the Fairfield store is now.

John Blair was appointed as the first teaching principal and began with a roll of 27 girls and 30 boys. Numbers in the district continued to grew rapidly. So much so that Mr Blair had an incredible 72 boys and 59 girls by 1874. It wasn't until 1876 that an assistant, Miss Ellen Jane Horne, was appointed.


Fairfield School

On January 1st 1951, fire destroyed Walton School. Children in the district continued their education in the school house over the next two years where somehow up to 130 pupils gathered together to learn with Mr. Donald Buchan as Acting Headmaster. Standing room was said to be at a premium in some rooms and officials acknowledged the competence of the teachers in such cramped and stressful conditions.

The Education Board purchased nearly 5 acres of land at the current site of Fairfield School at the end of Sickels Street. This school was opened on the 17th March, 1953 and the Headmaster was Mr. E. D. Farrant.

The school opened with 'an ample open playing area and a well-surfaced tennis court used for netball and physical education. Football and cricket areas also provide space for other games and athletic sports'.


Modern History

Over the years the school has experienced a series of growth points due to a variety of reasons.

In 1979 there was a new influx of students following the Abbotsford Landslide. Buildings installed following this event still existed as classrooms right up until 2016.

In the mid 90s a joint initiative between the Board of Trustees, the Parent Teacher Association, and the Fairfield community resulted in a new Fairfield School Hall being built in behind the school swimming pool. The hall is used regularly for sports practices and gatherings of the whole school for performances and assembly. The 2003 Fairfield Bypass on the Southern Motorway resulted in an increase in population in the suburb with several new subdivisions and housing developments. New enrolments continued and the roll at Fairfield School continued to increase. Several classroom blocks were added between 2004 and 2008 (Rooms 5, 9, 10, 11 and 12) to accommodate the extra children, including the Kotahitanga ('Unity and Togetherness') Tay Block (2004). This block originally housed the school library and the IT Suite, but wes repurposed in 2020 to unite the New Entrant and Year 1 children under one roof.

In 2017 the Akoranga ('Place of Teaching and Learning') Larson Block opened to the Year 7/8 Senior School. This dedicated space for the 'intermediate years' contains a four classroom block with a large communal space in the centre. 

A multi-million dollar refurbishment of the Main Block finally opened after lengthy delays. This space includes Rooms 1-5 and the school library. Flexible classroom spaces and breakout rooms allow for a more collaborative working culture between rooms. Relocating bag storage to the front of the building has created small spaces for small group or individual support. Currently Year 3/4 composite classrooms occupy this block, with a rebuilt room on the end housing a Year 5/6 class, and the library space at the rear. The office and administration area was also part of the redevelopment. This block was officially re-opened on the 3rd February, 2023. 

The Board of Trustees continues to invest in school property to provide the best possible environment for teaching and learning. Watch this space for the next project - redevelopment of the second original school block housing Rooms 6 & 7. 

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