Preserved blackboard reveals old school maths

old school blackboard

A maths lesson dating back to 1961 has been found preserved on a blackboard at a public school in Sydney's south west.

The Year 5 and 6 lesson, kept hidden for more than half a century, was uncovered when Liverpool West Public School's general assistant, Wes White, removed a whiteboard secured over it.

Principal Kathy Powzun said the historical discovery was "pure delight" for the school and clearly showed the improvements made through teaching over the past 50 years. In the constant focus on student performance, educators often forget how far they had come in teaching and learning, she said.

"There was a bit of addition, a bit of subtraction, a bit of measurement - the content on the board was disjointed.

 "It was definitely a step back in time. Imperial to metrics - ounces, gallons, pounds, shillings, pence - the language of maths is very different today," she said.

"Even the handwriting was different. We expose children to foundation font whereas it was cursive writing."

Ms Powzun said the responses were diverse from the school's teaching staff made up of early career teachers to those who had been teaching for more than 20 years.

"Some staff marvelled over the shillings and pence - they live in an era where those words aren't even used."

Photo by Jan Bartram

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