Year 2: Small town, big history


Small Town, BIG History is a full-day Education Program at Dunwich, North Stradbroke Island, which links with both the History and Geography curriculum. This unique and hands-on learning experience inspires students to be ‘Champions for the Bay’ as they explore the history of this significant site in the local community and discover what these special places reveal about the past and how this connects to the present.

Prior to the program Moreton Bay Environmental Education Centre (MBEEC) teachers visit the students at school to recruit them as history detectives. Their mission is to be part of a team of schools who explore, uncover and report on the history and special places of Moreton Bay, with their particular mission focused on a very old place called Dunwich, where history’s mysteries are yet to be uncovered.

On the day of the program, students travel by boat to Dunwich and visit three significant sites - One Mile, Polka Point and North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum. A variety of sources are interrogated by students as they build their understandings. These sources include an Indigenous cultural presentation by a local Quandamooka person, investigation of various historic sites and a study of objects and photographs from the past. Students reflect on concepts old and new; past and present; as well as significant places and Indigenous connection to these places.

Following the program, students showcase their historical understanding through the construction of a sequenced timeline.

Curriculum Intent

Humanities and Social Sciences

Inquiry and Skills

  • Collect data and information from observations and identify information and data from sources provided (ACHASSI035)
  • Sort and record information and data, including location, in tables and on plans and labelled maps (ACHASSI036)
  • Sequence familiar objects and events (ACHASSI037)


  • Compare objects from the past with those from the present and consider how places have changed over time (ACHASSI039)


  • The history of a significant person, building, site and/or part of the natural environment in the local community and what it reveals about the past (ACHASSK044)
  • The importance today of a historical site of cultural or spiritual significance in the local area, and why it should be preserved (ACHASSK045)
  • How changing technology affected people’s lives (at home and in the ways they worked, travelled, communicated and played in the past) (ACHASSK046)


  • The idea that places are parts of Earth’s surface that have been named by people, and how places can be defined at a variety of scales (ACHASSK048)
  • The ways in which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples maintain special connections to particular Country/Place (ACHASSK049)

Cross Curriculum Priorities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities maintain a special connection to and responsibility for Country/Place

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples live in Australia as first peoples of Country or Place and demonstrate resilience in responding to historic and contemporary impacts of colonisation

The significant contributions of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in the present and past are acknowledged locally, nationally and globally

General Capabilities

Critical and creative thinking- pose questions, identify and clarify information and ideas, organise and process information

Personal and social capability- appreciate diverse perspectives

Intercultural understanding- explore and compare cultural knowledge, beliefs and practices, Investigate culture and cultural identity

C2C Unit 1 and 2 HASS – ‘Present connections to places’ and ‘Impacts of technology over time’

Last reviewed 21 January 2019
Last updated 21 January 2019