Hagley Farm School Visitor Centre has delivered age appropriate, engaging and hands on activities to students for the last 40 years. Located approximately 20 minutes from Launceston, the Centre is situated on a working farm and qualified teachers facilitate activities aligned to the national curriculum which inform, reinforce and enrich classroom learning.
Hagley Farm School began as a small, one teacher primary school with a single classroom and has grown to become a large primary school complex situated on a working farm of 63 hectares.
The original school building was built in 1865 on two acres of land donated by the first Tasmanian born Premier and owner of the Quamby Estate Sir Richard Dry. Over the years the school grew larger and in 1931 Mr J.S. Maslin was appointed as principal. He set out to improve the scope of the school with an emphasis on rural education. In 1936 Hagley became an area school and in 1937 the school was extended to include grade 8.
The Education Department purchased 170 acres of land in 1939 for the purpose of establishing a school farm. This land was taken over by the school in 1940 and in 1941 sons of servicemen and ex-servicemen were accommodated in two cottages on the site. These students became known as ‘The Cottage Boys’ and through their education in rural practices the school farm thrived with a variety of farming enterprises. The boys along with the local community were also responsible for the building of the Hagley School swimming pool which is still in use today.
In 1976 after the cessation of the cottage boys scheme the Hagley Farm Environment Centre was established. In the early years the Centre was staffed by five full time teachers and catered for primary school aged camping groups, many for a week at a time, from all around the state. Day groups also visited and over the years the centre has built a reputation for providing engaging, hands on activities which support learning in the classroom.
Today’s Centre still caters for camping groups from around the state. Many visitors come for a day with improved transport enabling classes to travel from as far away as the northwest coast and return before the end of the school afternoon. Currently the Centre employs the equivalent of two full time staff who engage the children in a variety of activities selected by the visiting teachers.
Mrs. Chris Johns
Chris has been working at the Visitor Centre for four years after teaching in Hagley classrooms. She loves being able to work outside and her favourite time is when reluctant children find the courage to pat and feed our animals.