The Collaroy Plateau public school is situated on the hill of a small Northern beaches suburb. The photographs within the archives show a rich affiliation with the beach community and the local Collaroy plateau area. The principal, Suzanne Trisic, has kindly welcomed me into the school to participate, observe lessons, and even do some teachers aid work to support Mr. Ben Duce who helps students with learning difficulties such as Aspergers and Diabetes. The school is filled with the sound of children’s laughter and buzzing energy as they swarm around us before the start of school wanting to give hi 5’s.
Volunteering at this school has been an excellent environment to experience, as I am a pre-service high school teacher. Any opportunity to work in a school even if it has only been for about 20 hours has been a great opportunity. I began conversing with Suzanne about conducting a history project for the school. She was very pleased and we began to talk about the logistics of creating the project. Suzanne showed me some of the photographs, newspaper articles and archives that the school had. This was excellent to look through some primary sources that displayed the wide ranging – dynamic nature of the school. Newspaper clippings displayed former members of the school participating in local surf club events. The archives even contained articles on alumni such as Rod McQueen who coached the Australian Wallabies.
The articles were not exclusive to the success stories of alumni, the photographs told a richer story of a local school community that has developed a thoughtful and nurturing environment for local little ones to participate in the wonder and joy of learning about the world around us. The changes in the nature of pedagogy over time were evident as evidenced by the Corporal punishment book that gathered dust in the archive room. I also began to discuss the medium of production with Suzanne and she is going to get back to me. The desired presentation is likely to be a book or a website.