A new school for Hornsby

The purpose of this site is to provide information about the approved development application (SSD 10444) to establish a small community Preschool and K-2 Primary school at 1 Rosemead Road, Hornsby.

Blue Gum Community School Canberra  purchased 1 Rosemead Road in 2019. The purchase reflected the school's intention to re-imagine the stunning heritage listed home and gardens of Mount Errington as a small preschool and primary school for the children of the Hornsby community.

Situated on over 3600sqm, on a site with more than 230 stunning trees, and surrounded by established gardens, Blue Gum immediately recognised Mount Errington as an ideal place for children to play and learn together.


We want to breathe life into this beautiful home, opening it up to be enjoyed by the wider community, in a respectful and sensitive manner.

Maureen Hartung, Executive Director, Blue Gum Community School


House in 1947. Photograph by Ralph Hawkins

Original owners Oscar and Anne Roberts

Portrait of Oscar Garibaldi Roberts. Artist - George Lambert

Advertisement for land auction in 1896. Photo from the National Library of Australia

Mount Errington -1897

Mount Errington, built in 1897 for the Roberts family, is the chosen site for the proposed school. The home and gardens at 1 Rosemead Road are steeped in significance as one of the original homes of Hornsby.

The original features of the home, largely intact from its original build, were a major drawcard influencing the school’s decision to purchase the property. We love the history of the house, gardens and surrounding area.

The house in its current design is an ideal layout for a school, with no changes to the original footprint needed. All the amazing features will be celebrated, highlighted, protected, or restored.

We plan to honour the heritage visibly in shared stories from the children, signage, and in the maintenance of the property. What a joy it will be for the gates to be opened, not to another private resident, but to the community and children of the Hornsby Shire. 

Blue Gum also chooses to respectfully acknowledge the First Nation's Peoples - past, present, and emerging - as the traditional custodians of the land on which Mount Errington was built. May we care for the land, and for the people who meet in this place, in a manner that gives honour to our nation's first peoples.


IPC Grants Consent

On 9 March 2021 the IPC granted development consent to Blue Gum Community School to proceed with the proposal to establush a small, not-for-profit school in Hornsby, providing education for childen in Preschool (32 places for 3-5 year olds) and Primary School (Kindergaten, Year 1 and Year 2). You can read the official media release by clicking here

A huge thank you to the many neighbours, educators and other community members who have been sending us messages of support in various ways. We have included just a sampling of the letters of support, on this website, for your interest.

For those looking for answers to commonly asked questions about the proposal, you can find additional information on our FAQs page.

You can also follow the progress of the project through construction to opening on the Project Updates page of this website. Key contacts are also listed on this page.


What a joy it will be for children to be able to dwell and learn in a setting of such significance.

Jill McLachlan, NSW Education Director, Blue Gum Community School


Our Approach

Teaching and learning at Blue Gum Community School

Blue Gum adopts a personalised, strengths-based approach to education where every student can be successful. Our smallness is our strength. Students’ individual interests and passions drive their learning, opening up unlimited research possibilities.

At Blue Gum we invite children to pursue deep understandings and knowledge through questioning, research and collaborative projects. We see even our youngest children as citizens of the present - citizens with rights and responsibilities. 

We prefer to walk closely alongside students, instead of standing up the front, lending them strategies and skills along the way. Our approach recognises children as budding mathematicians, writers, scientists, artists, thinkers and more. We have a strong arts focus, integrating the arts as crucial languages for understanding and interpreting the world.

Blue Gum Community School highly values our Australian context, environment and inheritance, whilst also connecting globally – sharing with, and learning from, educators from around the world.


Meet Our Team


Jill McLachlan

Education Director
Blue Gum Community School Hornsby

Jill McLachlan is an experienced educator, author and influencer in early childhood, primary and special education. Through her business, The Curious Teacher and her co-authored book, Unearthing Why: Stories of thinking and learning with children, she has consulted to schools right across Australia. She is a local to the area, having lived in Normanhurst for the past 15 years. Jill is responsible for the proposal to establish a new preschool and primary school on the site of Mount Errington in Hornsby.


Maureen Hartung OAM

Executive Director
Blue Gum Community School

Maureen Hartung is the Founder and Executive Director of Blue Gum Community School in Canberra. She has been leading her team at Blue Gum Community School for the past 22 years. The school’s hands-on approach to learning offers children an opportunity to learn in ways, often talked about, but rarely practiced. In 2016 Maureen’s contribution to education was recognised with the Order of Australia Medal.


Get in Touch

Thank you for your interest in our plans to open a new Preschool and K-2 Primary School for Hornsby at the beginning of 2022. If you are interested in enrolling your child at Blue Gum in 2022 please click here to let us know and one of our team will be in touch. 

If your message is of a more general nature, or relates to your interest in working with Blue Gum, please fill in the form below.

1 Rosemead Road
Hornsby NSW 2077

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