In 1908, when Camberwell Grammar first moved to the Burke Hill site, the School established a Preparatory School for its youngest students, known as ‘the Tinies’, in the School residence. Demand for schooling in the early years continued to grow and, according to School Historian and Archivist, Dr David Bird, once the School moved to Mont Albert Road, a Preparatory School building was constructed at the front of the property in 1936 which began to take on students under the age of six. 

By 1944, then Headmaster Henry Tonkin insisted to the Council with some urgency that extra accommodation was needed on-site, particularly a Kindergarten room as space to accommodate the younger students was becoming a concerning issue, with the School forced to utilise a ‘playroom’ in neighbouring Kingussie and another room at Frognall, a RAAF station, in Mont Albert Road. 

With the arrival of Headmaster Michael Searle in 1950, an arrangement was struck with the St Barnabas Anglican Church in Balwyn Road to accommodate a new Camberwell Grammar Kindergarten off-site, firstly in the Church Hall and then in a separate classroom from 1952. 

The youngest members of the School remained off-site until 1961 and a new wing for the expanding Preparatory School was constructed at Mont Albert Road. This new wing included facilities for the Kinders, or now Prep class, who were finally moved on-site from Balwyn Road. With the creation of Norge Junior School in 1984, the Prep class was finally suitably accommodated as an indispensable component of this section of the School. 

Fast-track a decade later, and in 1994 the four-year-old Pre-Preparatory Centre was opened in Norge, with teachers Kaye McDougall and Kim Kishazi leading the class. The learning program in the Pre-Preparatory Centre is broad and balanced, combining a rich play experience with a range of guided learning activities that encourage the boys to develop at their own pace, adding another integral year level to the educational development of students entering Camberwell Grammar’s Junior School. 

From our youngest in Pre-Prep, we encourage each and every student to embark on a lifelong learning journey and seek to foster this love of learning through knowing and nurturing them, from the critical and formative years in Norge through to their final Year 12.

‘From the time our youngest boys romp into Pre-Prep on that first day they are urged to explore their expanding world, to ask questions, and solve problems together. These are indeed ‘the wonder years’: “I wonder what would happen if…”, “I wonder why…”. Through their inquiry and their play, the boys learn those vital finding out skills as well as learning how to live and work together. For the boys and their families, a mighty journey has begun!’ says Mr Howard Kelly, Head of Junior School.