29 June 2023

Students travel back in time to learn school's history

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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South Wagga Public School Year 1 students and teachers

South Wagga Public School Year 1 students Cooper, Najib, Lincoln, Ivie, Katarina, Cecile, Asher, Nattharinee, Tessa, Harriet and Elyse dressed up for their history day with teachers Marina Buinac and Sophie Houghton. Photo: Shri Gayathirie Rajen.

A group of young Riverina students have stepped back in time to learn about their school’s history and the generations of change to family life in the region.

South Wagga Public School Year 1 students celebrated ‘History Day – Then and Now’ to conclude their history unit this month and students and staff dressed in period costumes and decorated the classroom with objects from the past.

Teacher Marina Buinac explained that last year’s event had been such a success that they had decided to continue the immersive tradition.

“It was a fun way to conclude the unit and build the connection to what they’re learning about,” Ms Buinac said.

“They see these (objects) as something we’ve used in the past and make the connection; what does the past, present and future mean?”

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Students had a special tour of the refurbished Museum of Riverina in the morning to look at all the objects on display and also got to experience some ‘living history’.

The school’s former principal, teachers and students joined the kids for a high tea to share their memories and discuss what has changed at the school in recent years and to play a few traditional games, like marbles.

Retired principal Ken Davis was invited by the current principal, Natasha Eyles, to celebrate the day with the students and was delighted to reconnect with his old school.

“History is a significant part of South Wagga,” Mr Davis said, sporting an old school bomber jacket.

“There is a special place in my heart for South Wagga. It’s something about the DNA of the school; once you’re here, it will be part of you forever.”

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It’s been 10 years since Mr Davis retired, and he said his fondest memories of the school were the students.

“It’s the kids; that’s why we teach them,” Mr Davis said.

“It’s because of what we can give to them and what we can do for them regarding their development and who they will become.”

Mr Davis couldn’t help plugging his old school that he said was “the best school in Wagga” and always had room for more students.

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