On Monday, 14th May 1900, Gilles Street Public School opened to serve the local community in the south-east corner of Adelaide. It was named after Osmond Gilles, an early treasurer of the colony of South Australia. When the inspectors visited in July there were 588 students enrolled, this in a school designed for 500. Overcrowding continued to be a problem, so a new infant building was opened in 1919 followed by an extra primary school building in 1926. In 1918 the Glover Playground in the South Parklands was opened and was used by the school for 'open air exercises'.
From 1920 until 1961, there were two separate schools - the Gilles Street Practising School and the Gilles Street Infant Practising School. Both had an important role in teacher training as practising schools for student- teachers. This period also marked the start of other organisations using the buildings, such as the Correspondence School, Girls' Special Classes, the Deaf Blind Unit, the Language Centre and the Curriculum Unit.
At the start of 1962, the two schools were amalgamated into the present day Gilles Street Primary School. Following a review by the Government in 1994-5 and the closure of Sturt Street Primary School in 1996, the New Arrivals Program transferred to Gilles Street Primary School in 1997.
In 2004 Sturt Street re-opened as the Sturt Street Community School educating children from birth to Year 7.
Today Gilles Street Primary School has two components - the mainstream Reception to Year 7 school and an Intensive English Language Centre.
In 2015 we commemorated the ANZAC Centenary with Gilles Street Remembers. Gilles Street Remembers is the account of Gilles Street Primary School's project to honour the role former students and teachers of the school played in the First World War. We were fortunate to receive an Anzac Centenary Local Grant from the Department of Veteran's Affairs. As a result: