Year 5s Step Back In Time

Our Year 5 students have been studying history this term as part of Humanities & Social Sciences. One of the outcomes for this unit focuses on a significant person who contributed to shaping the Swan River Colony. The girls have been looking at Captain James Stirling in particular. The classes have also been examining the history and development of the Swan River Colony and what it was like for convicts, free settlers and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples during that time.

As part of their studies this week, the Year 5s enjoyed an opportunity for some hands-on learning at Woodbridge in Guildford. The girls learned that James Stirling built a cottage in this location in 1829, while Governor of Western Australia. In class, the girls have been learning about life during the period of development of the colony and how hard it was. The excursion highlighted for the girls what life was like then, compared to now.

The students toured the area where Captain Stirling took up land and built his original home. All that remains of Captain Stirling’s original cottage are the arched windows in the café that now sits on the land, alongside the grand house built by the Harper family in 1885. 

The girls also enjoyed a walking tour around Stirling Square and Guildford to see places of significance such as St Matthew’s Church (which has been built three times), the gaol, the courthouse, cottage homes and the Rose & Crown Hotel.

Here’s what some of the girls learnt during the excursion.

Leila Smith in 5.4 said she learned that two of the Harper sons fought in World War 1.

Alyanna Mejia from 5.5 said, “I learnt that the house was very historical. I enjoyed looking at all of the interesting things, I really liked the drawing room.”

Molly Smith in 5.3 said, “I found it interesting that the Harper family had a pearl industry. It was also interesting that the house had been many things, like a hospital and a school.”

Lara Bitner from 5.2 said, “I learnt about the Harper family and how many siblings there were. The house had a morning room which was fascinating, and the dining room had a lot of fancy stuff! In the living room, there was diamond art, and it was really big. The artist would have spent a lot of time doing that!”

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