Three Tamworth schools are celebrating their centenaries this year - Tamworth High School, Calrossy Anglican School and St Joseph's Primary, West Tamworth.
However, Kamilaroi children in the Peel Valley had been learning by watching, listening and copying their elders for thousands of years.
Tamworth in the mid-1840s consisted of the "company town" on the western side of the Peel River controlled by the Australian Agricultural Company and the "government town" on the eastern side.
The first school in Tamworth began in about 1849 when the Australian Agricultural Company sponsored a school for the children of its employees.
The primitive bark school "somewhere up the hill in West Tamworth", was probably Iocated near where the present Tamworth West Public School is now.
It was described as a rather flimsy structure, having a frame of bush timber, an earthen floor and bark roofing and bark walls.
The first teacher at this school was William Henry Porter, an Englishman who had trained as a solicitor.
In 1850 a brick building was constructed near the corner of Bridge and Ebsworth Streets using funds provided by the AA Company, the Church of England and the government.
This building known as the Denominational School.
It was "a small building which was used as a schoolroom, the teacher having small and inconvenient quarters attached."
There must have been much overcrowding as about seventy children were enrolled.
Late in 1851 William Porter was replaced by George Walker who after a short time was lured away to the Nundle goldfields, leaving his wife, Rebecca, to look after the school.
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People on the eastern side were anxious to have a school to cater for their children and in December 1851 a site for a school on the corner of Peel and Darling Streets was approved.
Unfortunately the builder, William Ayre, was unable to complete the school until late 1854 as labour and materials were in short supply because of the Nundle gold rush.
Tamworth's first government school, the National School (later Tamworth Public School) began lessons on l3th April, 1855 with 38 pupils (20 boys and l8 girls).
The teacher was John Crawford, an Englishman who had been trained in London. However, conditions were poor at the school.
Crawford wrote: "ln the schoolroom itself, there was nothing: no pen, desk or hook in addition there was no fence, closet or water."
The accommodation for Crawford his wife and six children was the closed-in back verandah of the school.
It was only fit for a good hen roost.John Crawford, teacher
Crawford commented: "It was only fit for a good hen roost".
On the western side, a new school building was erected in 1857.
It was a substantial sandstone structure with a four-roomed residence above.
This was used for school purposes until Tamworth West Public School opened in January 1883. The sandstone building still exists and many Tamworth residents would remember it as the Retreat Theatre.
By 1876 the government school in Darling Street was overcrowded and in a poor state of repair.
In July 1877 Tamworth Public School was relocated to a new building in Upper Street. The original school was purchased by the recently formed Tamworth Borough Council. It was refurbished and became the first council offices.