On 8 July 1901, at the request of farmers
in the area, a small bush school was opened in the Runcorn-Sunnybank area where
two bush tracks crossed. It was named the Runcorn Provisional School - the word
"Provisional" denoted that the parents provided the building and
equipment while the Queensland Department of Public Instruction, (now named the
Department of Education), provided the teacher.
There were twenty-five children when the
school first opened who were taught by the principal, Miss Maud Fraser.
The main transport in the area was the daily train to and from the city, or
horse drawn vehicles. At that time there were no cars, no electricity, no
sewerage and no water supply. Pupils in those days mostly walked to school,
some from five miles away.
The district was a farming area, mostly
producing citrus fruit, pineapples and poultry.
In 1909, the school became Runcorn State
School when the Department of Public Instruction took over full responsibility
for the school. The Sunnybank area has fertile soil and good underground water
so farms flourished.
Runcorn State School grew quietly and
steadily over the next forty years. During the 1950's and 1960's, Runcorn was
well known in teaching circles as the Project Club school. Student teachers
from Kelvin Grove Teachers' College came out once a year - up to 250 at a time
- to see children at the school conduct meetings and give talks on how to run
forestry, pineapple, citrus and rose clubs. Until the 1950's Sunnybank
continued to be mainly a farming area. Many Brisbane people drove out on Sunday
afternoons to visit the farms to buy pawpaws, avocados, custard apples,
vegetables and flowers from roadside stalls.
During the late 1960's and l970's the
farms were finally swallowed by Brisbane's urban sprawl. This was a boom time
for property developers in the area; most farms were subdivided to make housing
estates. During this period, it was the fastest developing area in Queensland.
The school felt the pressure of this influx of people as it struggled to cope
with ever-growing numbers, reaching its peak enrolment of over 1100 in the
mid-1970's with many classes housed in temporary buildings.
Other schools such as those at Sunnybank
Hills, Warrigal and Runcorn Heights were built to relieve the crowding and the
enrolment at Runcorn gradually decreased.
A school swimming pool was built in 1980
and solar heating was added in more recent years. The pool is an integral part
of Runcorn's Health and Physical Education program as well as being the Runcorn
Swimming Club's home venue.
In 2010, with federal funding, a new Science block,
Library and Administration block were built.
Our Numbers remain between 430 and 450 but our
enthusiasm for learning and achieving are higher than ever.