Living history a fun lesson for pupils

QUOITS, skittles and marbles replaced loom bands and iPads yesterday at Woodford Primary School as pupils and teachers celebrated the school’s 160th anniversary.

 Fingerknitting teacher Cathy Barling shows Woodford Primary School pupils how it's done.     140402AM10  Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Fingerknitting teacher Cathy Barling shows Woodford Primary School pupils how it's done. 140402AM10 Picture: ANGELA MILNE

Pupils enjoyed old-fashioned games in the morning before a special assembly with Warrnambool City mayor Michael Neoh in the afternoon.

Principal Daniel Watson said past pupils were invited back to attend the celebrations.

Teachers also joined in the fun, dressing up in long dresses, bonnets and top hats, reminiscent of an older era.

“We played games such as quoits and did chalk drawings and finger knitting,” Mr Watson said.

“The kids have never done it before.”

The pupils dressed up in attire that would have been worn from the 1800s to the 1980s.

Hippies, rock stars, 1920s flappers and ’70s disco costumes were among some of the outfits spotted. “We had a fashion parade as well,” Mr Watson said.

“We made it easier for the kids to dress up. Half of them are in 1800s attire and the other half are through the ages. It’s livened it up a bit.”

Established in 1854, the Woodford Primary school has served the Woodford and Bushfield communities for generations.

The school began with 14 students under the tuition of head teacher Abraham Lauder. 

The original school building included a classroom, library, sitting room and a kitchen.

In 1993 the school only had 36 pupils and faced a rocky future under the Kennett government.

Mr Watson said the school had now grown to 170 pupils, with many parents who attended the school now sending their own children. 

Refurbishments in the past 14 years have included new classrooms and facilities to the value of more than $2.5 million.

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