By Cathy Jones
Wadham Preparatory School was a private, day, co-educational, preparatory school founded on Christian principles. The school was operated by Kathleen Wyndham from 1942 until 1956, when it was sold to Meriden Anglican School. Meriden continued to operate a school at this site until 1967. The school was located at 9 and 11 Wallis Avenue in Strathfield, but has since been demolished.
The featured image is an aerial of the site dated 1947 because I have not been able to locate other photos. Any copies of photographs or additional information about this school would be appreciated.
Kathleen Wyndham purchased the house ‘Telerah’ in Wallis Avenue from the Protestant Alliance Friendly Society in February 1942 for £1750. The house had previously been owned by George Christie, an accountant who previously had served as an Alderman on Strathfield Council from 1892-1898. Wyndham established the new school at ‘Telerah’, now named ‘Wadham’ in 1942 by Miss Kathleen Wyndham.
According to Scott Brandon Smith’s research, Wyndham was a local resident and was educated at Methodist Ladies College in Burwood. She studied at the Sydney Kindergarten Training College in Henrietta Street, Waverley and graduated in 1925. She became the director of the kindergarten and primary department at the Methodist Ladies College. In 1935 she undertook a seven months’ tour of England, Scotland and the Continent to study the latest methods practised in early childhood education. In 1942 she established Wadham Preparatory School in Strathfield. On 7 January 1956, aged 52, Wyndham married Harold Wenham Robinson in the chapel of Wesley College, University of Sydney. That year she sold Wadham to Meriden. Wyndham died aged 83 in 1988.
Wyndham’s elder brother was Sir Harold Wyndham CBE who was Director-General of Education in New South Wales between 1952 and 1968. He chaired the committee whose report (referred to as “The Wyndham Report”) led to the Education Act of 1961 which completely re-organised secondary education in the State. Her younger brother, Norman Wyndham OBE, became a surgeon, a FRCS and a major in the Australian Army in World War II.
The school was described in the 1949 NSW Government Gazette as ‘Wadham School, 9 Wallis Avenue Strathfield providing instruction for boys to the end of class 2 and girls to the end of class 5 (Miss K. Wyndham) (Day school).
In 1957, Wadham was purchased by Meriden, a neighbouring Anglican school, and was used as a sub-primary campus principally for girls, but also for nursery and kindergarten boys.
In 1967 Meriden closed the Wadham campus having purchased land for its entire junior school in Redmyre Road, Strathfield.
Department of Valuer General, Valuation List, Municipality of Strathfield
LIST OF NON-DEPARTMENTAL SCHOOLS CERTIFIED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE PUBLIC INSTRUCTION (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1916. (INCLUDED ARE SPECIAL CERTIFIED SCHOOLS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE PUBLIC INSTRUCTION (BLIND AND INFIRM CHILDREN) AMENDMENT ACT, 1944.) (1949, November 18). Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 – 2001), p. 3406. Retrieved March 11, 2019, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article225593678
‘Wadham Preparatory School’, Wikipedia viewed at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wadham_Preparatory_School on 11/3/2019