Hallett Cove East Primary School was officially opened on July 22, 1991 by the Minister of Education, Hon Mr Rob Lucas. The first AGM was held on November 26th with 10 positions being available on the School Council. The first chairperson of School Council was Gary Rusling.
The unique design of Hallett Cove East, labelled a village design, was a real feature as the Sunday Mail (March 22, 1992) stated:
“Apart from the connecting walkways, there’s little to indicate the cluster of houses set between paved courtyards, lawns, landscaped gardens and silver birch saplings, is a school. The design is the shape of things to come in education as the design moves away from the forbidding double storey buildings of the past”
Hallett Cove East was the first school to have houses that contain 2 classrooms, a kitchen converted to a wet area, 2 toilets and a carport.
It was also reported in the Southern Times in June 1991 that the life of the school would be about 15 years and then the houses and land would probably be sold for subdivision.
Hallett Cove East was designed so that classrooms could be changed back into houses as the age profile of the Hallett Cove area changed.
When HCEPS first opened its doors in 1991, there were 49 enrolments and 9 buildings. The pavilion was in fact just that. It had one main wall, two small adjacent walls and a roof but no rear wall. Eventually the pavilion was enclosed to make it suitable to use as a gymnasium.
The school emblem that shows a lighthouse, rocks and the waves breaking onto the shore was designed by a year 5 student, Madeline Faber in 1992 and is representative of the local lighthouse – a historic coastal feature of Hallett Cove.
Each building at Hallett Cove East was named after sea birds or famous ships: Albatross, Pelican, Cormorant, Seagull, Egret, Ibis, Sandpiper, Penguin, Osprey, Heron, Gannet, Plover, Kestrel, Buffalo, Falie and Endeavour.
The school oval was still being developed when the school opened and the canteen was started in 1992 when there were enough students to make it worthwhile. A mobile library came to HCEPS in the early days while the school was building its resources.
When the balloons were released to celebrate the first birthday in 1992, the school enrolments had swollen to 281 students. Each balloon contained a seed so that it would land and the seed would germinate. A wonderful, large cake was baked for the whole school to enjoy and celebrate this special occasion. By the new millennium there were over 600 students.
Another large celebration took place to celebrate the tenth birthday of Hallett Cove East School on July 22nd 2001. With speeches and a special assembly, this birthday was indeed a special occasion. A wonderful model of the school was made as a special treat. Each classroom was a cake that each class could take away and share with their classmates.
Principals over the years have included David Rusk, Jeff Wait, Yvonne Paul, Rod Nancarrow, Di Barry, Robin Anderson, Ian Filer, Graeme Hambley, Tony Kirkman and Anne Rathjen.
With such a short but rich history, the future of Hallett Cove East is as bright as the lighthouse that has become its signature.