Montpellier Primary School is situated in the Geelong suburb of Highton, nestled between the Barrabool Hills and the Barwon River. We currently operate 25 classrooms with an enrolment of approximately 585 children. There are no composite grades. Our school atmosphere is caring, friendly and welcoming.
There is a tradition of academic excellence with children increasingly expected to take responsibility for their own learning, participate in decision making, work co-operatively, respect others and their belongings, to take pride in their best efforts and to be environmentally aware.
Students demonstrate a keen interest to learn, an ability to co-operate and support each other and a positive approach to life in general. As a consequence the tone of the school is consistently positive.
Our Staff are dedicated, highly professional, approachable and supportive. Each demonstrates a strong commitment to the school and individualised care for students is a high priority. The school community takes great pride in the school's facilities, which provide an aesthetic learning environment.
We offer and broad and exciting curriculum. Please take the time to explore our website - we welcome you to our Community.
Highton was originally called Highett's Town after John Highett, who as well as farming interests, owned a flour mill on the banks of the Barwon River in the mid 1800's.
It is believed the name was applied to the area by Edwin Hooper, the proprietor of the Montpellier Hotel which stood on the top of the hill, north above the school in an area known as Montpellier Park (the ruins of the cellars can still be found there today). The Hotel was originally a homestead built by John Highett and was taken over by Hooper to create the Montpellier Hotel, Picnic Gardens and Pleasure Ground. There was a ferry to carry people across the river from Camden Road in neighbouring Newtown.
The area was called Montpellier after a City in the South of France near the Mediterranean Sea, which was famous for its wine growing industry. In 1858 the school site was surrounded by vineyards, more than 50 acres being on the slopes leading to the Barwon River and extending through the Barrabool Hills from Pollocksford to Waurn Ponds.
In July 1968, the District Inspector of Schools, Mr W J Young and a committee of Headmasters from Bellaire, Belmont, Highton, Oberon and Roslyn schools meet to re-zone the district. The original Montpellier boundary was defined as the area north of Mt Pleasant Road.
In 1969 for the first time Primary Schools were given a pupil free preparation day and the staff of the new Montpellier State Primary School No 4972 met to plan for the year ahead.
Montpellier opened on Wednesday February 5th, 1969 with an enrolment of 198 students including 37 preps. The then modern six room brick veneer building was completed in 1968 and placed amongst a new residential area, which was once a vineyard.
The first parents association was formed in Room 6 on February 17th, 1969 with a total of 93 parents and our first School Council of 8 men on April 28th, the same year, thus beginning Montpellier's close association with our community which continues today.
HISTORY OF PRINCIPALS
1969-1972 - Bill Reed
1973-1975 - I.H Eason (F.Currie - Acting Principal Term 2, 1975)
1976-1982 - Jack Walsh (Brian Williams - Acting Principal 1979 and Term 2 1980. Brian Stonehouse - Acting Principal Term 2 1981 and Term 2 and 3 1982)
1983-1992 - Don Raynor (Purchased the school's first computer in 1984)
1993 - Robyn Gorman (Acting Principal)
1994 - Robyn Gorman, Lindsay Candy, Lee Bryant and Bill McCann (Acting Principals throughout the year)
1995-2001 - Bill McCann
2002-2013 - Russell Koehler (Chris Browne - Acting Principal Term 3 and 4 2011)
2014 - Chris Browne (Acting Principal Term 1)
2014 - Andrew Dalgleish (Commenced Term 2)