Adapted from “CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS for Norwood Morialta High School” written by Panayoula Parha, Principal of NMHS 2003 – 2015.
Norwood District High School
Norwood District High School officially came into being on January 25 1910.
From 1910 – 1915 the school was located in Osmond Terrace, Norwood. A more spacious setting during the next forty seven years was Lossie Street, Kensington Park.
The formation of the first Old Scholars’ Association took place on July 24 1914. Through to 1920 there were dances, picnics and picture nights. The first Old Scholar ball took place in 1947 with over 300 present at the Norwood Town Hall. The Old Scholars’ Association still exists today and is playing an active part in the Centenary Celebrations in 2010.
1930 – Establishment of the workshop; and in 1940, during the war, workshop boys made equipment for the Air Raid Precautions Service. Mostly manufactured were 1062 air raid wardens’ gas rattles. Following the war many ex-service men participated in classes in the workshop studying chemistry and physics.
1947 – still at Lossie Street, the school name was changed to Norwood High School.
1950 saw record enrolments at the School and the establishment of the school canteen.
In 1952 the Debutante Ball was introduced and attended by many.
The new school moved to its current site in Magill in 1960. The move was completed in its entirety in 1962.
Since then the Senior Campus of the now Norwood Morialta High School has been located at Magill at the top of The Parade with the Middle Campus location on Morialta Road West, Rostrevor.
In the early sixties, a sports field and a turfed oval were constructed.
The German Exchange programme commenced in the 1970’s, as did the gradual phasing out of hats and gloves for the girls.
1977 was one of great importance in the history of Norwood High School. NHS was chosen as the only school in the state to be visited by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales. About 6000 students were present from Norwood and surrounding schools that assembled on the main oval. The Prince spoke to the congregation about the Silver Jubilee Celebrations and the Youth Programme.
1980 – Gymnasium was constructed on the south west corner occupying the site of the original basketball courts. Computers entered classrooms.
Morialta High School
Morialta’s history spans from 1975 until 1992 – a school which had a brief but exciting history. It was named Morialta High School because of its proximity to the well-known national park. In its short existence as a separate school Morialta catered for about 6000 students and over 500 staff members served there.
In 1975 the first enrolment of over 500 Year 8 and 9 students arrived, but at the beginning of the year, the school was not finished. The staff and students moved into majestic old Murray House, then known as Murray Park CAE.
Morialta’s philosophy was: “The school exists for children. It must be a place where children feel that teachers care.” The school code was expressed in the three Cs ⎯” Consideration, Cooperation and Courtesy” ⎯ respect for self, respect for others and respect for the community. There were no bells at Morialta, nor were there sirens blasting to punctuate the school day. It was an “open space” layout and students had a choice of modes of teaching and learning, known as The Autonomous Mode which offered forms of self-directed learning; The Open Mode offered forms of individual progression; The Formal Mode offered traditional, classroom approaches; and The Alternative Mode, housed in a Nissen Hut on the far side of the grounds, offered escape from the pressure of normal school routines and greater flexibility of subject choice for those who did not take kindly to the traditional classroom. These students were allowed to choose their teachers and the teachers had the right to accept or reject them ⎯ placed by bargaining.
Morialta established itself as a lighthouse school in the field of school-community programs. The Morialta Entertainment Group (MEG) reached out to the elderly in the Magill community in senior citizens clubs and homes for the aged.
The Morialta HS Choir, Jazz Choir and Limited Edition won major prizes in Eisteddfods in 3 States and toured Texas as part of the Jubilee 150 celebrations in 1986. The Drama and Music Departments joined forces for many years to produce musicals of very high quality, and a group of MHS and ex-students formed a professional company, Energy Connection.
1988 saw the internationalisation of MHS with fee-paying students in Years 11 & 12 and the formation of sister-school relationship with Takahashi Senior HS in Japan.
The Student Representative Council (SRC) students, elected by the student body, showed maturity, dignity and commitment to service on the School Council – a tradition kept to this day.
Morialta aroused interest in all states of Australia and a large number of visitors from those states and overseas were received throughout its existence.
Norwood Morialta High School
The current Norwood Morialta High School is an amalgamation of Norwood High School and Morialta High School, which occurred in 1993.
The staff and parents created a school which:
- combined the academic tradition of Norwood and the caring approach to education and creativity in the performing arts which were outstanding at Morialta.
- enabled the Norwood campus to develop senior schooling and flexible approaches to older students.
- enabled the Morialta campus to focus on new advances in middle schooling
- developed sub schools – created smaller ‘family’ units where students’ personal progress could be more readily monitored.
- increased enrolments across the combined school beyond the previous total of each individual school.
- enabled new concepts of leadership to be developed with staff.
- enabled the redevelopment of facilities.
Norwood Morialta High School is a dual campus high school of 1434 students (Years 8 to 13) and is located in the eastern suburbs of Adelaide. The school is one of the largest state secondary schools in South Australia and has a successful international program.
We offer a high quality teaching and learning environment and with students from over 82 different cultural and linguistic backgrounds, we can offer not just an Australian experience but a truly international one.
Our international programs include excellent English as a Second Language (ESL) and Language courses in Chinese, German, Greek, Italian and Japanese. The school is noted for high academic success and university entrance rankings.
Norwood Morialta High School is an internationally accredited school by the Council of International Schools (CIS) organisation. It signals to educators and parents that we are committed to continuous improvement and that we put ourselves up for scrutiny by a team of international educators every five years.
We are an International Baccalaureate school with the International Baccalaureate Middle Years program (IBMYP). Our parents and students are assured that we teach a holistic middle years curriculum which is founded on an enquiry approach to learning.
In order to understand the present we go to our past, and in order to influence the future, we go to both the past and the present. Our Centenary celebration allows us to reflect on the past challenges and achievements of students, staff and parents.
Over the past 100 years, education itself has changed dramatically, yet the spirit of endeavour, aiming high and being fair and decent have been hallmarks of Norwood Morialta High School.
The Centenary enables us to highlight the successes of all the students whose lives have been shaped and enriched by this prestigious school. In addition, it enables us to acknowledge the great teachers who have cultivated young minds and attitudes. Our graduates have distinguished themselves and contributed not only at high level in every sphere of life, whether this is in academic pursuits such as medicine and law, sports and the creative arts, but also as high achievers in voluntary and community based areas.
They have become fine citizens and are successful all over the world. Our school has always been diverse. It has been built on a foundation of respect and tradition and we hope that the current school values of Distinction, Diversity and Respect stand the test of time.