Smythesdale Market ShedsSnake Valley Campus School History
The school first commenced in 1854 as a Common School (No 574). A local committee had built a wooden building, at the ex-pense of £100, 30 feet by 20 feet, which saw 49 children in attendance. The building was on 3 acres of Crown Land adjoining the Police Camp Reserve, adjacent to the Church of England property and abutting onto the Smythesdale Rd.

On 10th September 1866, the Lord Bishop of Melbourne approved the vesting of the school to the Board of Education. There were 197 pupils at this time. The first teachers were William F. Vance and James C. Bartlett.

A new wooden addition with an infant’s gallery was proposed and built by January 1867. It had been estimated that in 1866, within 2 miles of the school there were 599 young residents; 200 boys, 150 girls and 159 infants under 8 years of age. The school was to meet a definite need in the town.

In 1873, the Inspector of Buildings, reported that the site was too small “and should be” augmented by acquiring an adjoining area of allotment 2 and unused land of the adjoining 1 (part of the Police Reserve).

Mr Templar’s hall was leased for 6/- week as an adjunct, to cater for the growing numbers. Night school was begun that year, 2 nights a week, one for backward children and one for older students.

In 1876 plans were prepared for additions to the school, one portion of the building to be built of brick and the old wooden building to be repaired. The local Mechanics Institute, was to be used by the school until building works were completed.

On the 5th March 1877, the new building as agreed to, was finished. The school reopened 19th March with a commemorative opening taking place on 7th June 1877.
The new brick building had accommodation for 100 students; the old wooden building could house 180. The average attendance in 1876 was 214.

After a long delay, the site was adequately fenced on 1879. The following year, additional land was acquired from the Police Re-serve, making the site now 5 acres.
In 1866, a new teacher was transferred to the school. His name was Thomas Flynn. His son John attended school for 4 ½ years. John later became a teacher with the Victorian Education Dept in 1898. He taught for 4 years before he started a Sunday School in a private house with 14 children attending on the first day.

He later became a Home Missionary for the Presbyterian Church. John was ordained as a Minister in 1911. John’s greatest achievement was the founding in 1920 of the Aerial Medical Services, which began as an air ambulance for people stricken with illness or injuries in the outback. The service then became known as The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia.
Another pupil to become famous, was poet Bernard O’Dowd who attended the Snake Valley School when his father was sta-tioned as a police officer in Snake Valley.

Towards the end of the century, the old wooden building was being used as a shelter shed and agitation for additional buildings began. In 1905 the District Inspector, described the school as consisting of 4 rooms, two brick, two wooden of which “one is in ruins”. It was the worst off building in his district. The old wooden building was demolished in 1910 and one room brick exten-sion was to be added to the existing brick building. Once again the Mechanics Institute was again leased. The new addition at a cost £800 was opened 14th February 1911.
In 1912, a shelter shed was erected under the £ for £ subsidy plan and the new school committee showed interest in the devel-opment of a school library.

A school residence was built in 1934 at a cost of £439. Head teacher Mr Leo Segrave was the first teacher to reside there. In the early 1990’s the house was removed to Chepstowe Rd, Snake Valley, where it is still located.

A range of renovations, internal and external, painting to the school and out buildings, and the additions of electrical services took place between 1943 and 1977.

In late November 1977, tenders were called for construction of 2 new learning areas, new staff and student toilet blocks, new septic system, renovation of the existing brick building and cyclic maintenance.

In August 1980, renovations costing approx.$100,000 were carried out at the school. A modular block was added to provide more classrooms and also an administration block and toilets.
In 1994, after much talk about a master plan, the new Directorate of School Education (DSE) announced that the Snake valley School had voluntarily amalgamated with other Primary schools at Smythesdale, Scarsdale and Ross Creek to form the Woady Yaloak Primary School. The Snake Valley school is now known as Woady Yaloak Primary School—Snake Valley Campus.

The current school was built in 2009 and officially opened 19th February 2010. The old modules were removed in 2009 and the original brick building is still used by the school and the community.