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My day at Maroubra Public School ... in 1946

Stimulus #1: 
Classroom, Maroubra Public School, 1946, Sam Hood,

Text Type

  • Imaginative: composing a letter
  • Informative: editing task

Learning intentions

Students are learning to

  • Use a visual stimulus to develop a piece of creative writing
  • Compose a letter
  • Edit their own work and the work of their peers

Success criteria

Students will be successful when they can:

  • Compose a piece of creative writing based on a photograph
  • Use the correct structure and style to compose a letter
  • Give feedback to peers about their writing
  • Receive and act on feedback given by peers.

Background notes for teachers

A note about the exhibition Imagine a City, on which this Learning Activity is based, by Charles Pickett, the curator:

On 1 March 1816 Francis Greenway was appointed acting Civil Architect on a wage of three shillings a day. The British government had earlier rejected the request of NSW Governor Lachlan Macquarie to appoint a government architect, and insisted that Greenway’s job be temporary. Yet Greenway became the first of 23 NSW government architects whose collective tenure spans two centuries. While their titles and job descriptions have varied, their role has remained essentially the one pioneered by Francis Greenway. Lachlan Macquarie’s ambition was to make a handsome town of Sydney, a goal at odds with London’s insistence that the new colony be managed as a deterrent address offering only the most basic subsistence.

In contrast Greenway “considered it false economy to build on for the present day, and to erect works which, in a few years, would become perfectly useless… while at the same time they are neither suitable nor elegant, but rather a disgrace to the Colony and to the Mother Country…”

For 200 years, the government architect’s offices have followed Greenway’s ambition to design for the future and set the architectural standard for Sydney and NSW.

Student Activities

Time travelling

Students compose an imaginative text in response to a visual stimulus. They then edit a classmate’s work, before re-reading, reflecting on and re-writing their own text in response to edits made by their classmate. 

Number of set tasks: 1

NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum: English K-10

A student:

  • Composes, edits and present well-structured and coherent texts EN3-2A
  • Thinks imaginatively, creatively, interpretively and critically about information and ideas and identifies connections between texts when responding to and composing texts EN3-7C



Engage personally with texts

  • Understand and appreciate the way texts are shaped through exploring a range of language forms and features and ideas
  • Experiment and use aspects of composing that enhance learning and enjoyment

Respond to and compose texts

  • Compose imaginative and informative texts that show evidence of developed ideas
  • Experiment with text structures and language features and their effects in creating literary texts, for example, using imagery, sentence variation, metaphor and word choice
  • Reread and edit students’ own and others’ work using agreed criteria and explaining editing choices


Engage personally with texts

  • Interpret events, situations and characters in texts
  • Think imaginatively when engaging with texts, using prediction, for example, to imagine what happens to characters after the text

Respond to and compose texts

  • Create literary texts that adapt or combine aspects of texts students have experienced in innovative ways
  • Adapt aspects of print or media texts to create new texts by thinking creatively and imaginatively about character, setting, narrative voice, dialogue and events

In each year of Stage 3, students must study examples of:

  • Visual texts

Across the stage, the selection must give students experiences of:

  • Everyday and workplace texts

General capabilities:

  • Critical and creative thinking
  • Literacy