The Little Schools Trail, part of the Geegelup Heritage Trails, is a 212km drive featuring the sites of 25 ‘little schools’ which served the Bridgetown Greenbushes district for various lengths of time between 1903 and 1984.

One of the earliest records referring to education in the communities surrounding Bridgetown and Greenbushes was an application to the Education Department for a school by parents, dated November 11, 1902. In early 1903, the Inspector General of Schools, Mr C Jackson, recommended that a “sparsely peopled district school” be established.

The district’s first ‘little school’ was established south of Bridgetown, February 2, 1903. The opening of the Glenlynn School, in a room of a farmhouse near Sunnyside, marked the beginning of the district’s long association with ‘little schools’, which proliferated throughout the surrounding farming communities and townships.

Transport was difficult due to the distances between properties and settlements. Schools sprang up wherever the school aged population was high enough to warrant it. Other schools were formed in conjunction with the establishment of satellite industries such as timber felling.

One of the major concerns for parents, teachers and the Education Department was the maintenance of satisfactory pupil attendance figures. An average of 10 pupils aged between 6 and 14 years residing within 3miles (4.8km) of a school was required to warrant a full time school. If the numbers diminished permanently, a ‘little school’ could be reclassified as an Assisted School (functioning on a part time basis in conjunction with another school located close by, a little school could be closed) transferring the pupils to another school or students could take correspondence lessons at home (a Government initiative commencing in 1919).

The Little Schools sites featured on the trail are:
1. Greenbushes Mill School
2. Eleura School
3. Group 131 & 132 School
4. Eight Mile Well School
5. Boronia School
6. Scammell’s School
7. Winnejup School
8. Mossvale School
9. Tee Tree School
10. Old Hester School
11. Group 126 School
12. Hester School
13. Blackwood Park School
14. Parkville School (new)
15. Parkville School (original)
16. Kangaroo Gully School
17. Glenlynn School
18. Glenlynn-Sunnyside School
19. Glentullock School
20. Brooklyn School
21. Springside School
22. Yornup Primary School
23. Wandillup School
24. West Bridgetown School
25. Maranup Ford School

It is advisable to use the GPS location detailed in the brochure so the Little Schools sites can be easily located.