Rose Park School was opened on the 30th of January 1893, when the Headmaster, Mr C. A. Wittber and 4 assistants had 294 pupils to teach between them.
The school, and surrounding suburb, is named after the Right Honourable Sir John Rose, who was chairman of the South Australia Company at the time the district was subdivided. The land was purchased for 800 pounds, and the original building constructed for 3,517 pounds by Messrs. Mattison and Cleave. The original building, currently the western half of the main building, was intended to house up to 500 students. By the end of the first year, 591 students had enrolled, with class sizes in excess of 60 being common.
The Eastern wing of the main building was added in 1899. The Potts building was completed in 1923, and extensively altered and updated in 1977. It is named after a former student, Renfrey Potts, who was a leading SA mathematician.
Across Gurney Reserve, the old St. Theodore’s Church was purchased in 1924 for 925 pounds, and was opened as a woodwork centre the following year. In 1939/40, a kitchen, laundry and ironing room were added in the back of the building, enabling the Domestic Arts Centre to open in 1940. It lasted until 1961. Woodwork, and then Art and Craft survived there until the late 1960s. The building was then used for Drama, Creative Dance and general indoor recreation.
The wooden Temporary Buildings on Grant Avenue were first erected in 1953, and have been demolished and rebuilt once since. The Centenary Hall was constructed in 1993.
Grassed play space has always been at a premium. Until the 1980s there was none! A parcel of land has since been purchased by the education department, referred to as ‘The Block’, which provides open space for play and sports. Gurney Reserve is for exclusive use by the school between 8.00 and 4.00 on school days, however it remains a community space and is publicly accessible at all other times.
Rose Park was a Demonstration School in the 1970s, allowing it to be one of the pioneers of team teaching in the State. In 1973, a two teacher mixed 6/7 class operated in the rear of the church building. The classes moved to the main church open space area in 1977.
Our school motto, VINCIT QUI SE VINCIT, means ‘He conquers all who conquers himself’.