Willowfield No 1 School was opened on 18th February 1884 and closed in June 1927. It was situated in Ballarat Street. Willowfield National School No 2 was opened officially on 5th April 1913. The school building consisted of two storeys, with 4 classrooms on each storey. The first Principal was Mr D. Moore.
Canon Harding was rector of Willowfield Parish from 1900-1922. His interest in the welfare of children led to his last great work - the building of Willowfield No 2.
Due to a local need for a larger church and school, Canon Harding approached Lord Arthur Hill about a plot of land on the Cregagh Road. The Select Vestry of Willowfield Parish gave its support and the ground was secured. The first building open on the site was Dromore Street Hall on Saturday 25th February 1911. This was to be used for Divine Worship for Parishioners residing on the South side of the Parish.
After Canon Harding's death in 1922, the school was renamed Harding Memorial Primary School in his honour.
In 1932 it was decided to build a new wing to the school building, as the number of pupils on the register had risen.