Primary Teachers

Explore, Discover, Create!

Discover a world of stories, history and information at the State Library of Western Australia.

The Education Centre at the State Library is an exciting space for students to engage with our collection, investigate Western Australian history and get creative with technology and storytelling.

Our Education Team have devised and facilitate a diverse range of programmes suitable from Foundation through to Year12.

Our programmes support the Australian Curriculum and run for approximately 1 hour. Excursions to the State Library are FREE of charge and must be booked at least two weeks in advance.

Foundation - Year 2

Find it @ The Library

What can be found at the State Library?  What treasures does it hold?

Become a detective and embark on a journey of discovery around the State Library.  Explore our collections of newspapers, photographs, maps, ephemeral items and much more!  Find out the secrets from our past and seek out hidden clues around the library using your own treasure map!

Australian Curriculum Links:  History and Geography

Fun with Fairy Tales

A box of Fairy Tale props, a digital camera and a wealth of imagination is all you need to have Fun With Fairy Tales. Explore the features of a great narrative as you recreate classic stories.  Be inspired by examples of digital story books and the tales from the Busythings e-resource.  What will you create with your photos when you are back in your own classroom?

Australian Curiculum Links:  English and Technology

Then and Now

What was life like in the past?

Discover the State Library's pictorial collection.  Find out why the State Library collects photographs and what they tell us about our history.  Use the images from our collection to create a timeline  of Perth in the form of a vintage-style postcard souvenir to take home.  This is a fun hands-on activity comparing children's lives today and in the past.

Australian Curriculum Link: History

Year 3 - Year 6

Books and More

What do you do on a day out in Perth? Did children in the past enjoy the same experiences around Perth that you do now?  How have these changed over time?  Delve into a history box to find out the variety of resources the State Library collects and how they tell us about our past in this fun, hands-on workshop.

Australian Curriculum Link: History

Digging Up The Past: The Colonial Years

What are the facts behind the fiction?  How do authors research their narratives?  Digging Up The Past helps you develop your research skills as you do some "digital digging" to uncover the historical facts from photographs, biographies and newspapers that have influenced Western Australian fiction based on our early colonial years.

Australian Curriculum Links:  History and English

NEW! Digging Up The Past: World War 1

What are the facts behind the fiction? How do authors research their narratives? Digging Up The Past helps you develop your research skills as you do some "digital digging" to uncover the historical facts from photographs, biographies and newspapers that have influenced Western Australian fiction based on World War 1 events.

Australian Curriculum Links: History and English

NEW! Sourcing The Swan River Colony

How can the information from a tombstone unlock the history of our State?

This exciting and informative workshop, in partnership with the National Trust of Western Australia, starts at the East Perth Cemetery where you explore the grave sites of our Swan River Colonists.  Then move on to the State Library to develop the research skills to delve deeper into these colonist's lives.  By sourcing and exploring key primary sources from our collection, develop a deeper understanding of early colonial life in Western Australia and the people who impacted on it.

Australian Curriculum Link: History

NOTE:  There may be an admission cost incured for your tour of East Perth Cemetery.

NEW! Suitcases: Stories of Migration

Discover some of the reasons people have migrated to Western Australia over time.  Open a suitcase and use the items inside to piece together one person's migration story.  Create an application for residency.  Will you be allowed to stay in Australia?

Australian Curriculum Link: History

Year 7 - Year 10

Beyond Books

Delve into the collections at the State Library.  Tour the library and explore newspapers, maps ephemera and more!  This fun, hands-on program helps you discover what the State Library holds, ways to search for what you want and how to access it.

Australian Curriculum Links: History and English

Facts for Fiction

Explore stories of 20th Century movement of people.  Discover an author's secret creative inspiration. Develop information literacy skills to find primary and secondary source material to use as your own inspiration for future projects.

Australian Curriculum Links: History and English

NEW! Western Australian Perspectives On War

How has the war been reported over the years?  How have our views on war changed over time?  Look closely at Western Australian newspapers, photographs and ephemera and piece together our past.  Explore how war has impacted our State and shaped our place in the World.

This workshop can be adapted for students studying World War 1, World War 2, Korean or Vietnam conflicts.

Australian Curriculum Links: History and English

Additional Information 

AudreyBookings & Enquiries

For further information please contact the Education Officer on (08) 9427 3202 or email

Programs must be booked two weeks in advance.

We strongly encourage all school groups to contact the library prior to their visit, even if they do not require a facilitated experience.

Self-Guided Visits

Please contact our Education Officer to make a booking, telephone 94273202 or email

School groups are welcome to visit the library for self-guided experiences.  Familiarise your students with resources for life-long learning and bring them into their State Library.   We do request you let us know you are coming so we can ensure there are no clashes with other groups and we have adequate resources available for your use.

The Place (Years K - 3)

The Place is a dedicated space for students and families to play, learn and engage with books, puzzles, puppets, games, electronic resources, original picture book artwork, and unique sculptures. Why not complement your next excursion to the Perth Cultural Centre with a visit to The Place.

The Place is open daily, located on the Mezzanine Level and is free of charge.

Special Events and Exhibitions

The State Library is regularly involved in a number of special events for school groups, including; Children's Book Week, Make Your Own Story Book Exhibition,  Special author and illustrator events, NAIDOC week, and Indigenous Literacy Day activities.

Keep updated on all State Library events and activities by joining us on facebook.



Unlock your students potential by exploring the extensive range of resources including a guide to publications by Aboriginal authors and illustrators, digitised items, and access to over 150 databases, all available at the State Library.

Subscription Databases

Subscription databases allow teachers and students to access a wide range of credited resources not freely available on the web, simply by putting in their public library card number. The following resources have been subscribed to by the State Library of Western Australia. Encourage students to join their public library for free access to these resources from home or their public library.

Please be aware that access to online databases from other than a library or home, that is, schools and universities, is not permitted under the licence agreements held between the Library and Vendors.

Junior and middle primary

TumbleBooks LogoTumbleBooks is an extensive collection of animated, talking picture books and novels with options to read-along with or without sound. Access is easy with this step by step guide.  Suitable for K-5 and ESL students and a great resource for reluctant readers.

This subscription service has been provided through Better Beginnings.

Intrepica is a comprehensive literacy resource that covers Pre-Reading, Phonics, Vocabulary, Spelling, Reading, Comprehension and Grammar. Activities are interactive, fun and engaging, promoting students' willingness to learn while facilitating their literacy development. 

The program is an incentive based program where students earn credit for every exercise completed. Credit points can be used to purchase clothing and accessories for their avatar or used to play cool digital games in the 'Arcade'.  Intrepica provides a safe and controlled learning environment where interaction between students is controlled.

This unique progressive reading and learning experience is suitable for children in years 1- 5. Follow the steps in this easy guide to discover a new reading experience. This subscription service has been provided through Better Beginnings.


To access this resource, you will need to be a member of your local Public Library and have your card ready.

Middle and upper primary

Pandora is a unique digital archive that has been capturing websites and digital objects since 1996. Students can gain an overview of changes in website design and content, and compare historical accounts.

Explore the extensive selection of online Encyclopedias and Dictionaries* by Oxford, MacquarieNet, Britannica, WorldBook, and the Australian Dictionary of Biography. These resources include photographs, maps, animations, audio clips, videos and links to student friendly websites and journals.

*To access some of these resources, you will need to be a member of your local Public Library and have your card ready.

Upper primary

The Australian Dictionary of Biography provides students with a diverse range of information on over 10,000 biographies of historically significant Australians. Searchable by name, occupation or author this database is easy to navigate and is useful as a credible starting place for students to commence research.

Web Resources

Three sensational sites from the National Library of Australia. Suitable for students in years 4- 7.  


A comprehensive guide to publications by Aboriginal authors and illustrators. Suitable for readers in years K-2, 3-5, 6-7. Most resources listed are available through your local Public Library, some resources available on-site, or exclusively at the State Library.

Back to top

Share this page   share on Facebook share on Twitter share on stumbleupon

Page last updated: Tuesday 15 September 2015

printer friendly