Maylands Bold Park Community School
A big thankyou to Tim Vidler from the Bold Park Community School and the
awesome team at the Maylands Heritage and Peninsula Association for this tour!
Constructed from 1900, the Maylands Presbyterian Church is thought to have been the first one in Maylands and has been described as an example of "Federation Revival Gothic Style".
Garry Gillard from Freotopia (previously Fremantle Stuff) recalls attending Sunday School here between 1949-1959, with the minister at the time being Arthur Burtenshaw. The Sunday School classes were conducted in the hall and Garry recalls playing the piano for the hymns.
Garry recalls a memory of, "a dark and mysterious stair internally linking the two (levels of the church hall) which was closed and never used."
Hopefully it was the stairs going down and into the basement at the rear of the church hall, which the Bold Park Community School are in the process of turning into an art studio. A further set of steps inside goes up, leading to a slightly higher basement level under the church hall floorboards. We have enough mysterious and rumours to debunk as it, without needing anymore!
In 1975, the church was sold to Margaret and Graham Hodgkin, who established the Kids Open Learning School. It was based on the premise that students had input into creating their curriculum, timetabling and tutoring in order to foster their alternative education, which differed to some degree to that of Montessori, Steiner and Waldorf. This was known as the Individual Education Programme and was designed to meet the Outcomes in each Learning Areas as described in the Curriculum Framework. Whilst the courses were registered, they weren't monitored by the Curriculum Council but still led to Graduating Certificates.
Students were kindergarten aged to 18 years and over. The school had close ties with the Fitzroy Community School in Melbourne, Sudbury Schools in the United States and Reggio Emilia Schools in Italy.
Bold Park Community School were formed in November 1998 by the staff and parents of the Bold Park Kindergarten, which was private and successful, operating from City Beach. The need for expanding the school's age group and opportunities saw the creation of the Bold Park Advisory Council involving parents, staff and community members. Much of the teaching philosophy was taken from the schools of Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy.
Originally located in Dodd Street in Wembley, where the Speech and Hearing Centre for Children WA (Inc) is located, they moved to the Powis Street side of the block. Whilst keeping the Wembley Campus for students aged 18 months to Year 9, Bold Park Community School were able to secure the old Maylands Presbyterian Church to establish their Maylands Campus from early 2021 for students in Years 10-12.