My History, Your History, Our History competition
Enter the NSW public schools history competition and research your school’s history to share with your school community.
The My History, Your History, Our History competition acknowledges 175 years since the establishment of public schools in NSW. More than 7,000 government schools have been opened and closed over the past 175 years of NSW public education. The many thousands of schools which have operated since 1848 form a significant part of the history of education in NSW.
The competition is one of many ways school communities can learn from our past, celebrate our achievements and embrace the future. The competition supports students to develop their understanding of history concepts and refine their historical skills.
NSW public schools are invited to create a website to showcase their history. Undertake research and investigate your school’s history on one or more of the research areas listed below.
You can present your research in one or more of the following formats:
Written content (between 200 to 1,000 words per article)
Visual content (series of photographs or original artwork)
Video (between 1 to 5 minutes per video)
Audio / podcast (up to 10 mins per podcast or audio piece)
Create your school history website using Google Sites or a similar platform to showcase and present your research.
Entries are now open and close on Friday 15 September 2023 (Week 9, Term 3).
Who can enter?
The competition is open to all NSW public schools. New or recently opened schools may like to research their local area or public education in NSW more broadly.
A teacher, principal or member of school staff needs to submit the school's history website via the online submission form on behalf of their school.
Individual students, a class or groups of students can undertake the research and develop the content and website.
How to create a submission
Step 1: Select a research area that you’d like to focus on. You may choose from some of the examples listed below or identify a different area that relates to the history of your school or local community. There is no limit to how many research areas you choose.
Step 2: Select one or more formats to present your research findings (written, visual, video or audio).
Step 3: Undertake research on your chosen area of focus. Refer to the support resources for help in finding sources of information.
Students may be inspired by school or local artefacts including newspaper articles, photographs, historic trophies, plaques, newsletters or yearbooks.
Step 4: Present your research findings through your selected format (written, visual, video or audio). Refer to the competition overview for length and time limits for each format. Be aware of copyright and privacy considerations for all content created for your website.
Step 5: Create your school history website and upload your content. This can be done using Google Sites or a similar platform.
Step 6: Submit your school history website via the online entry form. The submission form should be completed by a member of the school’s staff.
Ensure any students featured in content have appropriate parental permission to publish.
Entries close on Friday 15 September 2023 (Week 9, Term 3).
As a guide, you can focus on one or more of the following research areas. Each research area has examples of topics you can focus on. It is not compulsory to focus on the research areas listed below.
- History of school name
- School building architecture and changes over time
- School uniform changes
- Sporting house names
- Technology use at the school
- Past major celebrations
- Achievements in sport, arts or academic competitions
- Special local events the school is involved in
Cornerstone of the community
- Look back at broader community involvement and your school (for example, events or initiatives in the community)
- Profile a member of your local community who helps out at your school
Where are they now?
- Research former students or staff from the school and see what they’ve done since graduating school
Keeping it local
- Research local Aboriginal knowledge and custodians
- Newer schools may like to research changes to their local area resulting in a new school being built or if schools previously existed in the area but closed over time
- Changes to demographics and population over time
Submissions will be judged on:
- Research: The submission uses a range of different sources and information and includes a list of references or source material (worth 50% of score).
- Presentation: The submission presents information in a clear and logical order to effectively communicate its ideas. The content submitted is within the guidelines (word limit or time length) listed for each content type (worth 30% of score).
- Originality: The submission has an innovative approach to presenting the research to engage with the audience. The submission provides inspiration to audiences to further engage in the topic (worth 20% of score).
A website submission can contain different content formats and areas of research. Primary and secondary school awards may be presented for individual pieces of content and research such as:
- Written work
- Visual works
- Use of video
- Use of audio
- Secretary’s Choice award
Resources have been developed to support primary and secondary school students in their research. There are also resources from Technology 4 Learning to help create the content to present your research.
The following resources may be useful in conducting research about your local history.
The NSW Department of Education History of NSW government schools website includes historical information of the education system and Government schools operating since 1848. The School history database search provides information on more than 7,390 government schools in NSW. The Facts and figures section contains historical facts and figures on NSW government schools and the Photo gallery contains albums with photos of 19th and 20th century school buildings, celebrations, curriculum activities, classroom tools and equipment as well as junior farmers clubs.
The State Library of New South Wales has a large collection of resources related to the history of New South Wales. It includes books, journals, newspapers, maps, photographs, and archives that can be used to research local history. You can search the library's online catalogue to access digitised resources or visit in person to access materials and use research services.
The NSW Schoolhouse Museum of Public Education showcases the history of public education in New South Wales through educational artifacts and displays. You can visit the museum, attend events and workshops, use their online resources, or contact museum staff for assistance with research.
Local council websites often have historical information about local government decisions, planning and development changes, and local community events. This information can provide insights into the history of a specific area and how it has changed over time and can be valuable sources of historical data relevant to research.
Trove is a collaborative effort of many organisations, communities and individuals who work with the National Library to make Australian content easier to locate. There are more than 14 billion digitised records available via Trove. Help with understanding how to search the Trove database is available at Trove help searching.
Heritage NSW maintains a digitised database – the Heritage online library – and the Museum of History NSW (MHNSW) also has a digital archive – see how to use the state archives collection.
The Aboriginal Education Consultative Group website can provide historical information about the education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia, including the policies and practices that have shaped their experiences. This can be useful to study the history of Indigenous education and its impact on communities.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has historical population statistics, demographic information, and social and economic data. Researchers can use this information to track changes in population size.
Secondary school research support guide
Secondary schools and teachers can use the historical research support guide to support students participating in the My History, Your History, Our History competition. The guide includes resources designed to support secondary students to understand why and how to locate different sources for their local history investigation.
The Student Filmmaker series from Technology 4 Learning can be used by teachers to introduce students to video-making skills.
Schools Video (staff only) can be used by school staff only to create professionally edited video content. Using the Shootsta Hub for professional editing, schools upload raw footage and create a brief for the editor before receiving a professionally edited video that can be shared on social media and submitted as part of the project.
Audio or podcast creation
The Student Podcaster from Technology 4 Learning is a series of self-paced modules for teachers and students to develop their skills with capturing, recording, editing and sharing podcasts.
Creating your school history website
Learn how to create a Google site or explore similar platforms through Technology 4 Learning.
For more information on the My History, Your History, Our History competition, email email@example.com