Heritage Trail

Metcalfe Hall

Named in honour of former Junior School Headmistress Miss Marian Metcalfe (1925–51), Metcalfe Hall was opened in 1974.

Metcalfe Hall
Metcalfe Hall

Named in honour of former Junior School Headmistress Miss Marian Metcalfe (1925–51), Metcalfe Hall was formally opened on 23 November 1974.

Miss Metcalfe inspired her colleagues to adopt progressive teaching techniques, winning admiration from parents and continuing to foster Carey’s high reputation in the local community for its sound teaching and modern methods. Raised in a Methodist family and educated in England, Marian Metcalfe’s teaching certificates included one in music and another from the National Froebel Union. Named after German educator Friedrich Froebel, the Union trained preschool teachers to develop the child socially, academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually. This was to be achieved through physical movement, social participation, free self-expression and creativity. Marian Metcalfe had taught briefly at Clyde in East St Kilda, a school founded by respected educator Isabel Henderson, and then from 1919 at the Geelong Church of England Girls’ Grammar School.

One of Miss Metcalfe’s philosophies was to ‘do things with the minimum of fuss’. Despite her eccentricities, Marian Metcalfe continuously pressed School Council for more space, extra classrooms and better facilities, and in 1936 encouraged the formation of a Junior School Mothers’ Association to support her and their children’s education. It thrived from the moment it was established.

Marian Metcalfe died on 9 September 1980 aged 90. 

In 2009, ‘Building the Education Revolution’ funding enabled Metcalfe Hall to be expanded significantly. A separate centre for the Prep grades was created in 2010, adjacent to the Hickman Building, in what was the former Year 3 building.

In 2012, when the Junior School numbered too many to be able to squash into the William Carey Chapel, a sacred space was created in Metcalfe Hall.

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Miss Marian Metcalfe (1890–1980)
Miss Marian Metcalfe (1890–1980)

Fun facts

‘I can hear her English accent still – was always known as “Mettie” and had a special place for Jewish students.’

– Tony McCutcheon, School Captain (1951)

Alfred Mellor, Foundation student (1933) recalled that Marian Metcalfe’s thick Yorkshire accent initially puzzled small boys, who found it ironic that one of her philosophies was to ‘do things with the minimum of fuss’.

This is a stop on Carey's Heritage Trail.

Learn about the Heritage Trail here.

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