From ploughing lessons to lessons on iPads – a lot has certainly changed in the world of public schooling during the past 150 years.
And that evolution of education will be highlighted by two Newcastle schools this month as they celebrate their sesquicentenaries.
Past and presents students and teachers of Plattsburg Public School and Lambton Public School will be heading off on a trip down memory lane as their respective schools celebrate the 150th anniversary of their establishment in September 1865.
Both schools have a host of anniversary activities planned to commemorate their milestone moments, with Plattsburg kicking theirs off late last month with dinner and dancing at a 150th reunion event at South Leagues Club.
They will follow this up with a Spring Fair to Remember on Saturday, September 19 from 9am to 2pm. To be held within the school grounds at Wallsend, it will feature everything from market stalls and performances to camel rides, amusement rides, memorabilia, history presentation and classic cars.
The contents of a time capsule, buried in 1990 to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the school’s opening, will also be revealed at the Spring Fair. This will no doubt highlight just how much life at the school has changed even in the past 25 years. Ex-students and staff have also been encouraged to share stories of the way things were during their time at the school.
The end result of sharing experiences at the school will be the creation of a “Memories of Plattsburg” booklet to capture the anecdotal history of the educational institution.
Of course, no good anniversary celebration would be complete without matching memorabilia and Plattsburg has plenty, with everything from commemorative key rings to wine glasses on sale. Those who want to leave a permanent reminder of their time at the school within its grounds can also choose to have a paver engraved with their name.
These will form part of the paving around a specially constructed anniversary garden, which will be a focal point at the school for years to come. Commemorative Pavers will also feature in Lambton Public School’s celebrations. Orders for these closed in July to ensure they could be laid in a pathway in the school’s grounds prior to the four days of anniversary-themed fun this month.
The current crop of Lambton Public School staff and students will kick off the festivities on Thursday, September 10 with a “Back in Time” day, dressing up and taking part in activities replicating what the school was like in 1865.
The following day pupils will march through the streets of school. A commemorative dinner will be held at Wests Leagues Club that night, while market stalls, memorabilia, amusement rides and live performances will attract past and present pupils to the 150th anniversary fete on Saturday, September 12 from 10am to 3pm.
The school will throw open its gates to the public for one final anniversary activity on Sunday 13th with old photos and other memorabilia on display in the classrooms and the library between 10am and 12pm.
Lambton Public School Principal Jan Partridge said the school community was thrilled to be celebrating such an important milestone.
“A sesquicentennial is a wonderful achievement for a school and this is due to the community support received in so many ways throughout the years,” she said.
“The current students are very excited about the 150-year the amazing history of the past 150 years.”