Education Week 2023: It’s a wrap

Across the State, celebrations big and small marked the 175th year of public education.

Students at the beach. Students at the beach.
Image: Students at Moruya Public School combined NAIDOC and Education Week activities with a visit to the beach.

Magical experience

Moruya Public School took students on an excursion to the spectacular Bingie Dreaming Track on Yuin Country where migrating whales could be seen passing through.

The school combined Education Week with NAIDOC celebrations and was joined on the seaside walk by Moruya High students.

“It was one of those magical experiences,” Moruya Public School Principal Sarah Davis said.

“It was a wonderful experience for our school community to be together and supported to learn more about our history and culture and the lovely environment we live in.”

Students in historic costume. Students in historic costume.
Image: Snappy dressers at Undercliffe Public School in Sydney.

Time travel

Students at Undercliffe Public School on the land of the Eora Nation highlighted education through history by travelling back in time dressed in vintage tunics, pinafores, high socks, dapper suits and hats.

Principal Helen Missiris said families joined students for an assembly showcasing the history of education in NSW.

“We observed wonderful dramatic monologues and dance performances by our students and listened to stories and shared experiences of past students at Undercliffe from the 1930s,” she said.

A special edition of the school newspaper was produced to recognise the achievements, talents and interests of students, along with a photobook with archival photos showing the changes in education since the school opened in 1927.

A koala in a tree. A koala in a tree.
Image: 'Daisy' the koala was released back into the wild at Gum Flat Public School on Monday to start Education Week.

Fresh as a Daisy

Students at Gum Flat Public were treated to an extra special visitor during Education Week.

On Monday, a young koala was released back into the wild in the grounds of the school on Gamilaroi Country. The site was chosen as koalas are regularly spotted in the trees in and around Gum Flat Public, near Inverell.

The koala joey was rescued in February with her mother after they were struck by a car not far from Gum Flat. Unfortunately, the mother did not survive.

The students at Gum Flat Public were given the chance to choose a name for the joey, with ‘Daisy’ winning out.

Students cleaning a car Students cleaning a car
Image: The car wash has become an annual Education Week event at Baradine Central School.

Shine and sparkle

The streets of Baradine will be filled with clean cars after Baradine Central School marked Education Week with its annual car wash.

Family, friends and community members had a sneak peek into classrooms for the school’s open day, while students washed cars to raise money for an upcoming excursion to Tasmania.

The car wash has become an annual Education Week event in Baradine on Gamilaroi Country and is often booked out in 20 minutes.

Relieving Principal Matthew Edwards said the fundraiser had been a fun outlet for students to learn about money and budgeting – all while giving back to the community.

Students with artworks. Students with artworks.
Image: Students at Narromine Public School channelled the techniques of French painter Claude Monet.

Art in the Western Plains

Narromine Public School students tapped into their creative side to celebrate Education Week

Local artist Susie Rae ran a painting workshop where students created multi-coloured artworks inspired by the sprawling surrounds of the Western Plains.

Students at the school on Wiradjuri Country also channelled the techniques of French painter Claude Monet during the workshops.

Students on stage. Students on stage.
Image: Students performed in front of more than 1000 guests for the Lakeside Learning Community's annual Showcase at Irrawang High School.

Creative showcase

Irrawang High School celebrated Education Week with a performing arts showcase with the Lakeside Learning Community of Port Stephens.

The annual Showcase on Worimi Country, which also involved students from Wirreanda, Medowie, Grahamstown and Irrawang public schools, ran over two nights before an audience of 1,000 guests.

The Showcase was developed by Adele Robinson, Irrawang High’s Musical Director and Head Teacher Creative and Performing Arts, as a transition program for high school and primary school students to work together in a supportive performing arts environment.

Students looking at artworks. Students looking at artworks.
Image: Ashcroft Public School Preschool students created an art display for Education Week.

Big school for little kids

Children attending Ashcroft Public School Preschool on Darug Country in western Sydney are weekly visitors to the school where they will be spending the next seven years.

During Education Week the preschoolers created an artwork that was displayed at the school.

School principal and preschool director Poppy Loueizi said the 40 preschoolers were immersed in school life. They visit the school library and attend assemblies and sports carnivals. Next term they will visit Kindergarten classrooms.

“There’s nothing that we do that the preschoolers don’t do, they’re involved in absolutely everything the school does,” Ms Loueizi said.

“It’s about familiarising them so the transition to Kindergarten isn’t so stark or different.”

Students on stage with their hands in the air. Students on stage with their hands in the air.
Image: Macleay Valley public school students perform on stage at Melville High for the one-night-only music festival.

Macleay Valley rocks and rolls

In the birthplace of public education, Macleay Valley public schools hosted a one-night-only music festival on Dunghutti land to celebrate Education Week.

Ten public schools, including both high schools, sang, strummed and drummed in front of a large audience at Melville High School Community Hall.

Students performed various music styles, from The Beatles’ to some brass-heavy blues and a pre-teen take on AC/DC’s rock anthem, ‘Back in Black’.

A highlight was the school choirs combining to sing a heartfelt rendition of ‘From Little Things Big Things Grow,’ the Aboriginal rights anthem penned by Murri singer-songwriter Kev Carmody with Paul Kelly.

Students standing in front of a building. Students standing in front of a building.
Image: A photo of students and staff at Narrandera Public School taken in either 1883 or 1884. Photo: NSW Department of Education ©

Everyday excellence

As one of the oldest public schools in the Riverina region, Narrandera Public School on Wiradjuri Country is celebrating 150 years in 2023.

The school counts former NSW Governor Dame Marie Bashir among its alumni.

Principal Brent Fennessy said the school’s Education Week celebrations focused on what the school does so well every day, while recognising the past.

“We are building up to two big days of celebrations for our 150th anniversary with a good old-fashioned community barbecue and assembly on 21 and 22 September,” he said.

Mr Fennessy started his teaching career 14 years ago at the school and returned two years ago as principal.

Students wearing historic costume. Students wearing historic costume.
Image: Students at Pymble Public School dressed up in historic costume for Education Week.

Theatrical flourish

A local theatre company provided Pymble Public School with period costumes for an 1880s day for Education Week.

Students and staff dressed up in historic outfits, with teachers dressed free of charge by the Pymble Players Community Theatre Group.

Pymble Public School on Guringai Country opened in 1952, initially as an infants’ school.

Students dancing on stage. Students dancing on stage.
Image: Schools across the Blue Mountains were buzzing this week as parades, open days and concerts showed off the very best of public education.

Buzzing in the Blue Mountains

Ellison Public School threw its doors open to the community for a day full of performances, cake stalls and a book parade.

Principal Karina Page said the day was a true career highlight.

“The day was an absolute highlight of my 20+ years in education. To have so many people come together and be a part of the Ellison community was so humbling. I am so proud,” she said.

Mount Riverview Public School celebrated 175 years of public schools with an open day, letting students take the lead by putting their work on display and showing their parents and carers all they had learned this year.

Wentworth Falls Public School hosted a picnic lunch and cake stall to mark the occasion, along with a ‘Write a Book In a Day’ competition. Local author Guy Edmonds visited to provide tips, tricks and inspiration to students.

Choir performances, presentations from up and coming writers and entertainment from kindies were also show at Katoomba Public School’s special Education Week assembly, with parents, carers and student families invited into classrooms to see the first half of the year’s work.

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