Trinity Gardens School, built on the traditional lands of the Kaurna Plains people, was opened in 1899 as the Wellington Road School, fondly called ‘Welly’ Road school.
The school was named after the major road it stood on, which is now known as Portrush Road. It was considered one of South Australia’s major schools outside the city of Adelaide with an initial cohort of 257 students (121 boys and 136 girls).
The first Principal was Mr John Moyes. Although discipline was often strictly enforced in this period using the cane, Mr Moyes did not believe in corporal punishment and instead retained order through encouraging students to act morally. Until the 1920s the principals of the school lived on-site in a residence on the corner of the school grounds. In the 1920s this building was converted to classrooms for the ‘infant school’. Today this building is known as ‘the cottage’. The original classrooms were in Wellington building.
The Jones building which today houses the School Office and five classrooms was constructed in 1938 and 1939 to hold more of the growing infant school. Owing to the large number of students and limited space, class sizes could be as large as 40 students to each teacher. In 1944 some land was purchased from the neighbouring Devitt family and was converted to an oval and playing area for the children.
In the 1920s, enrolments grew rapidly and a new school was built in the neighbouring suburb of St Morris in 1926. As houses were built and migrant families arrived to settle in the area in the 1950s and early 60s, timber transportable classrooms were built at both schools.
In 1965 the school was renamed Trinity Gardens Primary School after the suburb in which it’s located. More classrooms were added in the 1970s, including an open plan classroom block and the Child Parent Centre, today the Early Learning Centre. Enrolments at this time decreased due to an aging population and Trinity Gardens Primary School and the St Morris School were amalgamated at the Trinity Gardens site in 1991. The school adopted the name of Devitt Avenue School at this time. The sale of the St Morris site enabled the Department of Education and Children’s Services to spend over $2 million between 1992 and 1994 on upgrading the school, with specific attention directed to the establishment of a unit for students with severe and multiple disabilities – the St Morris Unit.
The school celebrated its centenary in 1999 with a series of well attended events and produced a book entitled “Slate to Silicon” that documents the history of Wellington Road School and its transition to Devitt Ave School.
The school has a proud history and it is interesting to note that in times gone by the school boasted a wonderful vegetable garden; we currently make the same boast. In the late 1960s the school had 500 students and we are well over that number now. Some families currently enrolled are the third generation attending the school.
In the year 2000 the school community supported a change in name to Trinity Gardens School.
Our school now has more than 800 students and 120 staff spread over 34 classrooms including Mainstream, Steiner Stream, St Morris Disability Unit, Early Learning Centre and Children’s Centre.