YEAR 6 - From Guildford to Gallipoli - Woodbridge

This course has been written to meet the requirements of the Australian Curriculum: History.
Skills are gained through historical inquiry of the development of Australia as a nation particularly in the 1990s.
The course is developed to suit students at Year 6 level.

Two versions of the course are offered. The first program focuses attention through
Historical Knowledge and Understandings; the second focuses attention through Historical Skills.

  Lest We Forget   Wilfred Harper


Woodbridge, with its iron lace work, parquetry, polished jarrah, tessellated tile floors, and many pieces of original furniture, is a rare surviving example of a grand 19th century home. The site on the banks of the Swan River, just east of the historic town of Guildford, was originally taken up by the colony’s first Governor, Captain James Stirling. By 1831, he had built a cottage there, a retreat from Government House. He named the site Woodbridge after the family home of his wife in Surrey, England. The property was purchased in 1883 by Charles Harper, farmer, politician and part owner of The West Australian newspaper. 

Charles and Fanny Harper had ten children who grew up at Woodbridge and went to school there. Their childhood is documented through primary source materials such as photographs, letters and articles. In 1914 two of the older boys, Gresley and Wilfred, signed up to join the 10th Light Horse. They trained in Cottesloe and Rockingham and left in February 1915 for Egypt. Their destination, originally expected to be France, was changed to Gallipoli. The letters they wrote home outlined their training, their journey and their eventual time as foot soldiers in Gallipoli. 


Experiences of Australian democracy and citizenship: investigating the stories of individuals or groups who advocated or fought for rights in twentieth-century Australia. 


Using the Harper family who lived at Woodbridgeas an example, students will study factors that led to the development of Australia as a nation, particularly after 1900. Students explore experiences of democracy and citizenship over time. Students understand the significance of Australia’s British heritage. 


Students will use the following KEY INQUIRY QUESTION to discover: 

·         How did Australian society change throughout the twentieth century? 

Through records and artefacts held at Woodbridge, students are introduced to the Harpers. They discover how life was for the family and how it changed in 1915 when the young men went away to war. They consider what life was like for the Western Australians who remained behind.

The content provides opportunities to develop historical understanding through key concepts including sources, continuity and change, cause and effect, perspectives, empathy and significance. These concepts will be investigated within the historical context of the Harper family of Woodbridge and will provide a focus for historical inquiries. 


The two strands of Historical Skills and Historical Knowledge and Understanding are interrelated and should be taught in an integrated way. 

This program allows students to develop historical skills appropriate to their age and ability.  

Download this information as a pdf (opens in new window)

As Historical Knowledge and Understanding (this website) or

As Historical Skills


Historical Skills:  


Sequence historical people and events  

Use historical terms and concepts  

Identify questions to inform an historical Inquiry  

Identify and locate a range of relevant sources  

Locate information related to inquiry questions in a range of sources 

Compare information from a range of sources 

Identify points of view in the past and present 

Develop texts, particularly narratives and descriptions, which incorporate source materials 

Use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written) and digital technologies 


Source: ACARA Australian Curriculum, Assessment and reporting Authority v 5


Woodbridge  Excursion  

An excursion to Woodbridge takes a half-day. 

The house can accommodate up to 60 students at any one time. For this age the suggested ratio is 1 adult to every 10 students.  

All student activities are conducted by National Trust of Australia (WA) Education Officers. 

If you are visiting close to ANZAC Day, you may like to use the grounds to hold an ANZAC Day service. Contact NTWA for details. 

If you require the Loan Box From Guildford to Gallipoli, please order at time of booking your excursion. 


Activities may include: 


1. Presentation:  From Guildford to Gallipoli  (approx 1 hour)   

2. Tour of Woodbridge  look for evidence of the family who lived there and how they lived, followed by Q&A (approx 1 hour) 

3. Rotation Activities  (approx.  30 minutes). Choose from: 

·           Reading and analysing primary source materials  

·           Analysing photographs and documents 

·           Role play activity to understand and communicate perspectives 

·           Learning about 10th Light Horse uniform and display   

A snack break can be accommodated (approx 15 minutes total) –  Total time approximately 2  ½  hours


Presentation ‘From Guildford to Gallipoli’ and tour of Woodbridge 

The presentation ‘From Guildford to Gallipoli’ is delivered by National Trust Education Presenters. It uses photographs from the archives of the Harper family, archival war documents, extracts from local newspapers and extracts from letters written by members of the Harper family (in their own hand) that are now held in the Battye Library. The presentation unfolds the story of the Harper Family, the original owners of Woodbridge and two of the sons who joined the 10th Light Horse Regiment and went to Gallipoli where they took part in the infamous charge at the Nek in August 1915. Wilfred, one of these Harper brothers, was the inspiration for Peter Weir’s film Gallipoli.

Following the presentation, students tour the house and grounds to view memorabilia from the family.


To make a booking:

Contact the National Trust Click to make a booking

Phone: 9321 6088