Stage 1 – History – The Past in the Present

Bournda North School in the 1900's
Photograph of the old Bournda North School

Program Overview

The Past in the Present program provides students with an opportunity to study local history. Students are able to explore, recognise and appreciate the history of Bournda National Park, by examining remains of the past and considering why they should be preserved.

Through examination of significant persons, buildings and sites in Bournda National Park students learn about how Bournda has changed over time, from pre-European times through the time of early settlers and farming to the formation of a National Park in 1992. Significant places explored on the day include Wallagoot Lake, the old Bournda Road which dates back to 1859 and the site of the first school in Bournda established in the early 1900’s.

Key Questions

  • What aspects of the past can you see today?
  • What do they tell us?
  • What remains of the past are important to the local community? Why?

Learning Experiences

Bournda National Park –Wallagoot Lake Walking Track

Students follow the walking track which connects Scotts Bay and the Hobart Beach Camping Ground, following the shore of Wallagoot Lake. During this walk students may encounter sites that relate to Aboriginal occupation of this area. e.g. middens. Students learn about the importance of midden sites for Aboriginal people today, and why all Aboriginal artefacts and sites are protected by law.  The emphasis is awareness and respect to help protect these special places.

Note: Bournda EEC aims to involve the Aboriginal community in programs with Aboriginal education content. Please enquire for further details.

History of a significant site in Bournda National Park – old Merimbula Bega Road and Bournda South School

Students take a step back in time to the 1850’s and learn about what Bournda would have been like then.  Students walk along the Bondi Lake track to the old Bournda Road and learn about when the road was first made in 1859 from diary extracts. The old Bournda School site is also explored through its location, old photographs and objects that would have been present at that time.

Time line / tangram game

Students learn about how Bournda has changed over time. From the time of Aboriginal people before Europeans arrived in Australia, to the time of the early settlers and farmland, to the forming of a National Park in 1992.  Students are given cards that represent different times in the history of Bournda National Park and then find their place on a time line marked on the ground. They then play the history tangram puzzle game to consolidate their learning.

Preparing for an Excursion

Post-visit material

Syllabus Outcomes

History K-6

HT1-2    identifies and describes significant people, events, places and sites in the local community over time

HT1-4    demonstrates skills of historical inquiry and communication

History Content

The history of a significant person, building, site or part of the natural environment in the local community and what it reveals about the past (ACHHK044)


  • brainstorm what aspects of the past can be seen at Bournda
  • identify a significant person, building, site or part of the natural environment at Bournda and discuss what they reveal about the past and why they are considered important
    investigate an aspect of local history

The importance today of an historical site of cultural or spiritual significance; for example, a community building, a landmark, a war memorial (ACHHK045)


  • identify an historical site or sites in the local community. Discuss their significance, why these sites have survived and the importance of preserving them
  • examine local or regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander sites, eg local national parks

Historical concepts and skills

Perspectives: people from the past will have different views shaped by their experiences, ep different points of view about a significant person or site in the local area.

Empathetic understanding: developing an understanding of another’s views, life and decisions made.

Significance: importance of an event, development of individual/group, eg the importance/significance of a local person or site

Differentiation for high potential and gifted students

Complexity – What if you had to build a road through the bush? Talk to a partner and come up with some of the challenges you might face. What tools or equipment might you have had available to solves some of your problems.

Higher order thinking – use De Bono’s ‘6 Thinking Hats’ to ask for a deeper analysis and justification of students’ responses to what it may have been like to build a road through the bush in the 1800’s.