Activities News

Maypole dancing and May Day

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Maypole dancing is a tradition of the May Day celebrations in the Northern Hemisphere which celebrated the first day of spring. Children in NSW public schools performed maypole dancing from the 1870s to 1960s at sports carnivals, school picnics and special events such as Empire Day and the annual combined public schools display at the SCG. […]

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Playing ‘Fly’

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Fly was a game played in the playground using sticks found on the ground and is a great example of ‘making do’.  ‘Fly’ was the leader who ran through sticks laid out like the rungs of a ladder, making a long leap at the end. A stick was moved to the landing spot, creating ever increasing […]

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Bowling hoops

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Children used to play a game of bowling hoops in which they used a wooden stick to propel a hoop along the ground and keep it upright. Young students visiting the museum try this with a cane hoop and stick as part of their outdoor activities.

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Morning hands inspection

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Each morning prior to entering the schoolroom the teacher would inspect every child’s hands to ensure that they were clean enough to begin their schoolwork. As children often had to do chores to help out at home and then walk some distance to school, by the time they arrived their hands were grubby. They were […]

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Drill

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When students come to visit at the museum one of the activities they do is drill.   Military drill was used to instill discipline in schools. In the Report to the Minister of Public Instruction  1880, it was reported that due to the unsatisfactory progress of the teaching of military drill in public schools, “the […]

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Maypole dancing

Posted on in Activities

If you drive past,  you may notice the maypole set up in front of the museum. This is a favourite activity of many of the children who visit. Maypole dancing originated as part of the May Day celebrations in the Northern Hemisphere and celebrated the first day of spring. Children in NSW public schools performed […]

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