Latest News

Thank you Bendigo Bank

Posted on in General

The Bendigo Bank, North Ryde Community Bank Branch, recently donated $1000 to the NSW Schoolhouse Museum. This donation helped pay for the reinstatement of the school lights in the 1910 classrooms. We thank them for their donation.

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School terms 1880s

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The school year was much longer in 1880. The Public Instruction Act of 1880 states that there were two ‘half-years’(semesters) with a two week mid-winter break and three weeks at Christmas. School grades were arranged differently to today with some grades extending over 18 months. The grades were 1st Class (three half-years), 2nd Class (three […]

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School days 1880s

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We had an email enquiry from 7 year old Mia who wondered if children used to go to school on Saturdays. In the 1880s the school days were Monday to Friday but the working week included Saturday. Sunday was a day of rest when many people would have attended church. From 1880 school was compulsory […]

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Wet day at school – teach flower arranging!

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We enjoy reading through the early NSW syllabuses in our collection as they show how schooling and society has changed. School flower, vegetable and agricultural plots were quite important in the past with whole sections of the syllabus providing detailed month-by-month instructions on plantings and maintenance. We loved this paragraph from the 1916 syllabus about […]

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Never too old for maypole dancing

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Each semester groups of UWS Master of Teaching students visit the Schoolhouse Museum to observe students participating in the Schoolhouse activities as part of their HSIE subject. It is always a pleasure to have these enthusiastic pre-service teachers. Our group last Monday was particularly engaged and enjoyed a jig around the maypole.

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Wash troughs, lavatories and WCs

Posted on in North Ryde PS History

Some of our young visitors are interested in ‘the facilities’ of North Ryde PS in the very early school days. The plans of the 1877 schoolroom show that the ‘lavatory’ was located along the closed end of the open veranda (which now faces the driveway). Lavatories in those days were wash areas whereas the toilet […]

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Empire Day 24th May

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Australia’s first Empire Day was celebrated on 24th May, 1905. It reminded Australians that they were part of the British Empire, and proud to be. In schools children listened to speeches, acted out plays about the Empire, marched and cheered. A maypole dance was a common feature of Empire Day celebrations, as shown in this […]

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School girls and mothers

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Up until the mid 1970s, needlework for girls was part of the NSW primary curriculum. This was part of the training of girls to train them in domestic skills  in preparation for managing their house and family. From 1913 home science courses were taught to girls in Superior Public Schools, some primary and evening schools. Domestic […]

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Maypole dancing and May Day

Posted on in Activities

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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Lest we forget

Posted on in General, North Ryde PS History

Since World War I, North Ryde Public School has had a Memorial Rose Garden. The rose garden has been located in different places within the school grounds over the years and was used as a focus for ANZAC Day services. This photo of the NRPS Red Cross was taken in in the rose garden in1930. […]

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