In 1910, the University Practising School opened its doors in a redundant primary school building in Lygon Street, Carlton. The name of the School underlined its principal function, which was to play a key role in the training of secondary teachers at the University of Melbourne. Because of this, the staff members were specially chosen as excellent practitioners.
The name of the School was not the name that its founders had wanted. They wanted to call it "The University High School", but, as it happened, that name was already in use by a small private school which closed in 1912. This left the way open for our School to adopt the name it now bears.
The School soon outgrew the premises in Lygon Street, but it was not until the 1920s and consideration of several alternative sites that the move to Story Street, Parkville, became possible. The large block of land, now shared by UHS and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, had been Melbourne's horse and pig market. By the 1920's an increasingly motorised city no longer need a large horse market and the pig market was moved elsewhere.
The large red brick building in Story Street was ready for occupation at the end of 1929 and the School moved in with some ceremony. Facilities other than basic classrooms were lacking - a situation which encouraged school administrators, School Councils and ex-students to strive over the years to correct.
A hundred years on, the University High School is a thriving centre of excellence, providing a broadly-based education to students from a diversity of backgrounds (as, indeed, it always has). It cares for children from the local area, students from all over Melbourne with special musical talents and students who benefit from its pioneering work in the education of gifted children. Obviously, the School's Centenary needs to be marked with enthusiasm and style. A new history will be written and a number of events will be planned to enable as many former students as possible to participate.
The School Council has contracted with Dr Carolyn Rasmussen to write a new comprehensive history of UHS to mark our Centenary. Dr Rasmussen taught briefly at UHS before embarking on a successful career as a professional historian. It is anticipated that copies of the book will be available for purchase before the year is out.