The families of Cardwell, who came as remote pioneers to Rockingham Bay from the early days of 1864, were concerned about the schooling of their children so before a school was started they were educating their children in a building donated by the Scott brothers. Arthur Scott and his brothers Walter and Charles were partners in the Valley of Lagoons station west of the ranges. The Scotts were instrumental in the original founding of Cardwell and played a significant role in the early development of the township. The Provisional School was opened officially on 1st October 1870, with Miss Marion D'Arcy as teacher and attendance was 16 students. The premises consisted of one small classroom with a curtain dividing it from the teacher's sitting room and bedroom. In 1886 the Department of Instruction acquired the land where the current school is located. The first one classroom school building was erected on this site, enrolments were about 40 students. James Crellin was appointed to the school in 1888, his wife and child were carried to the beach as the Cardwell Jetty had been damaged by a cyclone prior to his arrival. Another cyclone hit Cardwell in 1890 which lifted the classroom building off its stumps, class was then conducted for a short time on the verandah of Mr Crellin's house. This one classroom building was replaced in 1935 by the current two classroom A block, which still stands and is used as the senior classroom. The school was a major part of life in Cardwell, with the building being used for marriages and other events. There have been many interesting happenings in the life of the school, one of these was when teacher Peter O'Reilly brought his pet cassowary with him when he started in 1907. Rounders was fun for the students during this time until the cassowary swallowed the ball, it always turned up somewhere in the yard the following day.