Latest News

Posted on in General

Portraits of our Kings and Queens were once commonplace in school classrooms. This photo is of  Queen Elizabeth II when she was christened in 1926. At this time she was known as Princess Elizabeth and was third in line for the throne, just like the new Prince George. Prince George of Cambridge was named after […]

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MAPDA award

Posted on in General

We are proud to have received a Highly Commended for our new website  in the small museums websites category of the Museums Australia Multimedia and Publication Design Awards 2013. Thank you to our designer Tom Maitland for designing our website to so well suit our needs. 2013 MAPDA Winners and Awardees

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Mothers, women, teachers

Posted on in General

The role of mothers hasn’t changed over time but the roles of women and laws relating to their employment have. It’s hard to believe that only 80 years ago the Married Women (Lecturers and Teachers) Act, NSW, 1932 was introduced. This meant that all married women teachers in NSW had to resign or be dismissed. […]

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When time stands still

Posted on in Visitors

An ex-student who was first enrolled at North Ryde Public School in 1937 recently visited. The 1910 room looked just as she remembered it. She told us their old teacher would fall asleep during class in the afternoon. So while the others kept watch another girl in the class would climb up and change the […]

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Playing ‘Fly’

Posted on in Activities

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

Posted on in Activities

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

Posted on in Activities

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

Posted on in Activities

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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A jelly pad duplicator

Posted on in Equipment

This young pupil is using a jelly pad (gelatine hectograph) at the NSW Schoolhouse Museum to print a map of Australia into his workbook. Before photocopiers, teachers reproduced worksheets for their students using a variety of inventive methods. If you were schooled in the 1960s you might remember the purple stencils with their distinctive metho […]

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