Nareena Hills Public School students peek back into 1988

Students Ben Christian, 7, Josh Newman, 6, and Rosie Finley, 7, prepare for the time capsule to be dug up.Picture: SYLVIA LIBER.

Students Ben Christian, 7, Josh Newman, 6, and Rosie Finley, 7, prepare for the time capsule to be dug up.Picture: SYLVIA LIBER.

There was an air of suspense at Nareena Hills Public School on Friday.

Current and past students and staff gathered in the far corner of the school's basketball court to dig up a time capsule buried in 1988 as part of Australia's bicentennial celebrations.

Year 1 students Josh Newman and Ben Christian thought the capsule would contain students' writing explaining what happened during class back then.

Rosie Finley, 7, speculated on what school would have been like 26 years ago.

"I think there was much more strict teachers," she said.

As the shovels were readied to begin the excavation, the assembly buzzed with excitement.

After only a few seconds of digging, the large metal cylinder was brought out of the ground. Former teachers worked to undo the screws tightly holding down the lid.

Students chanted "open it" and began a countdown for the capsule's opening.

They reached zero but the lid was stuck.

After a quick prising, the countdown began again - from five this time - and the contents were revealed.

First, the coin that all students were given to commemorate the bicentennial. Then various parts of the old school uniform: a hat, a dress and some tiny shorts.

Out came old photos, pages of writing and pieces of art work. A cassette tape, a relic to most of the current students, and bizarrely, an empty tube of toothpaste.

Students then added their own memorabilia to the tube, which is to be reburied - to tell the future what life was like at Nareena Hills in 2014.

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