Lambert School was registered in 1975, funded by fees and the Choice and Diversity Commonwealth programme. The Commonwealth Programme supported the idea that parents should be able to choose the school that matched the family’s philosophy of education.
The school started in the home of Wilma Lambert with six children around the kitchen table. There was a strong belief in learning through play, the arts and spending time in the city and the outdoor environment. As well tolerance of difference, while enabling each child to work at their own rate to achieve excellence or consolidate basic learning. At this stage the learning was strongly supported and taught by the parents who were artists and academics. Language teaching has always been a strong focus. In the early days Italian and Japanese were featured. Indonesian was added later.
In 1979 Wilma and Neville took out a loan to finance the purchase of a cottage in New Town for the growing school which now employed two specialist teachers.
In 1984 Neville Lambert joined the school to set up secondary classes and the school rented the grand old hotel, The Ingomar, in the city. Neville had previously been Senior Teacher of English at Ogilvie High School. He had worked at Sydney University in Teacher Training while gaining his Master of Education and then in Tasmania in teacher education before his appointment as founding Vice Principal of Rokeby High School.
Wilma and Neville worked together as co-principals till Neville’s death in 2017. A team of ten teachers taught with them fulfilling the idea of teachers who were highly educated as well as passionately committed to teaching. For some years there was a limited grade 11 and 12 curriculum until it became apparent that their students excelled in the senior colleges.
Since Neville’s death in March 2017 Wilma has continued as teacher and Principal with Cheryl as infant teacher and was appointed Deputy Principal in 2016. In 2022 Nina Penfold was appointed Deputy Principal whilst Cheryl focussed on classroom teaching.
Learning outside the school walls has always been a strong aspect of the curriculum with camps to Maria Island, Bruny Island, Lake St Clair, Mt Field, Gumleaves, Tasman Peninsula and Freycinet National Park. Interstate we travel often to Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra for Civics, Science and Arts experiences. We have travelled twice to the Northern Territory for aboriginal and geographical studies. On our first visit we stayed on aboriginal land at Lilla near Kings Canyon. The elders were concerned that there had been no school in the area for many years. They believed that our students and teachers represented what they wanted for their children and asked Wilma to set up a branch of Lambert School. Watarrka School was founded in 2012 by Wilma and Neville supported by their family members. In 2013 Neville became ill and Watarrka School was taken over by local teachers. In 2019 Lambert School visited Watarrka School where we were welcomed by the elders and some of our original students. We were delighted to see the school flourishing.
Internationally we have travelled as a school to New Zealand, Japan, Italy and three times to China.
Ex-students from Lambert School work in universities, the arts, all professions and walks of life. The school takes equal pride in the boy who fulfilled his childhood dream to work in Geneva in the United Nations and the students who are working their ways through life’s many joys and hazards.