School Anniversary Events

Planning an Anniversary Event at your school

Many schools plan history events for significant anniversaries of their school’s founding.  These events are a great way to immerse students in history that is directly relevant to them and their communities.  We often have queries for ideas and support of these events, so we thought we’d share with you some of our tips for holding a great anniversary event.

History Days for Everyone

Is your school new or in between anniversaries?  You can still hold History Day events, perhaps to mark another significant date or just as a celebration of your broader community’s history.  You can use these ideas to put together a great day in which students, teachers, parents and the wider community can be involved.

Top Tips for Running a History or Anniversary Day

  • Have some live music and dancing – prior to television and radio, live music was an essential part of entertainment programs.  Your school band could learn some historic songs or invite a group in to perform.  Perhaps you can also have a caller, who can get everyone involved in some old-time dances.
  • Host a student-developed exhibition – work with your students to put together an exhibition relating to your school or community.  Explore your school’s archives and Town Council records, ask for documents from your local historical society, or have a look at sites like the Public Record Office of Victoria.  Then have students copy, research and display historical documents/artefacts with information.
  • Old School Activities – Create your own historical recreation of school from the past.  We have notes on 1850s school life, but you can research other eras, or have local community members talk about school in their time.  Rippon Lea Estate have a historic school incursion program available too.  Have students compare and contrast their schooling today with schooling in the past.
  • Old Toys and Games – Another great way for students to compare and contrast their lives today with those in the past.  There are many simple activities and games that can be recreated: quoits, marbles, knuckles, peg dolls, skipping, hop scotch, egg and spoon races… Some ideas of Victorian Era toys can be found here.
  • Living History Lessons – Invite past students or grandparents in to share some of their stories .  Perhaps ask them to bring in an everyday object or photo from their childhood that they could share with the students.
  • Bury and/or retrieve a time capsule – If you know your school has a time capsule you could retrieve it and put the contents on display.  Alternatively you could have your students create a new time capsule to be buried and opened in the future.  This Education Resource we produced last year gives some ideas for exploring local history and making a time capsule.

Can you share some ideas and links for history activities that have worked well in your school?

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