Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Term 3 Timetable

Welcome to Term 3! Here is our class timetable for this term.
There are quite a few changes this time around so please take note should you need to take your child out of school for a medical appointment or similar.

The key areas that I would like to bring your attention to would be:

- An increase in Visual Arts lessons as we have our school Art Show and Auction coming up.
- Public Speaking lessons so your child may participate confidently and successfully in the upcoming School and 'Sydney East K-6 Public Speaking Competition' for Botany Bay, Port Jackson & geographically close Network 8 schools.
- Room for the odd 'debating day' on Thursdays as the need arises (this also assists with our Public Speaking component).
- A Science Unit will be run within the COGS unit.

Thanks again for your support!


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Changing Education Paradigms

This animate was adapted from a talk given at the RSA by Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA's Benjamin Franklin award.
For more information on Sir Ken's work visit:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Child

Today I came across this website and you may find it helpful in your family life.

It is called and is an online tool to assist parents with various emotional challenges your child may face as they grow. It is a collection of articles, audio and blogposts so is a great starting point for a whole range of information about parenting (and teaching emotional literacy) - you can also sign up for regular e-newsletters.

It covers a whole A-Z of areas including anger, playground conflict, motivation, cultural difference, positive discipline techniques and empathy.

As a Teacher I will defnitely be taking the time to read through this website in more detail in the coming weeks!

Go Back To Where You Came From

I'm sure many of our class parents are aware of the SBS show 'Go Back To Where You Came From.'

'Go Back To Where You Came From' documents the provocative and compelling journey of six ordinary Australians tracing-in-reverse the steps of modern-day refugees to Australia.

Although challenging, I believe this show may be suitable for showing to some students (particularly in Year 6) with parent supervision. At times there is quite a lot of swearing, however, I believe the gravity and challenge of the issues and situations presented far outweighs the problems one might have with the language.

If you would like to visit the website to watch the three episodes in the series they are available here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Expanding Horizons

Our school has been involved with the NSW DET's 'Expanding Horizons' project for just over two years.

Part of this has been our school's attempt to develop a relationship with a sister school located in China. So far, we have had a few communication exchanges but there is still far to go.

There will be an Expanding Horizons concert taking place at The Sydney Opera House on Monday the 15th of August. Students from our school will be taking part, you can find out more here.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When Girls Bully Girls

I would like this post to focus on bullying that occurs between girls. I have been doing some reading recently and I'd like to introduce you to the idea of 'relational aggression.' I think this would be known more commonly to us as 'passive aggression.'

The reason I bring this up is because relational aggression tends to be most intense and apparent among girls in fifth through to the eighth grade - according to the National Association of School Psychologists (USA).

Acts of relational aggression can include:
- rumour spreading
- secret-divulging
- alliance-building
- backstabbing
- ignoring
- excluding from social groups and activities
- verbally insulting, and using hostile body language (i.e., eye-rolling and smirking)

These acts are very common - I'm sure we have all experienced them at some stage, regardless of our gender or age. What is more interesting to me (right now) is why students engage in this type of aggression. Typically the reasons include:
- jealousy
- need for attention
- anger
- fear of (or need for) competition.

The consequences on the victim of course, can be devastating, and should not need to be listed.

One reason girls choose this type of bullying rather than more direct acts of harassment is that the bully typically avoids being caught or held accountable. Girls who appear the most innocent may indeed be the most hostile in their actions and as a Teacher, this continues to concern me and keep me on my toes. Many perpetrators indeed get away with their actions because of their positive reputations or academic success and I remain aware and vigilant in relation to this.

How can we help as teachers and parents? Well at this point I agree with the suggestion that friendships should be encouraged based upon mutual interest, rather than social status. In the classroom this is very easy - group tasks are set according to the area of study, and students are closely monitored and evaluated. We undertake Bounceback emotional resilience activities and participate in Circle Time.

However outside of the classroom, if your child is a potential victim, this means organising more structured activities for your child. Developing your child's skills so they are better than just 'good' at something is so important - being able to feel positive and assured of personal strength is vital as far as keeping an individuals confidence buoyant and feelings resilient in the face of uncertainty.

This self confidence and self assurance should transfer and become useful when a young person finds themselves in increasingly unstructured social activities and environments - and these are inevitable as your child approaches adolescence. The fact that a parent continues to 'hang around' their child can easily be translated as 'helicoptering' and can end up a source of further anxiety for any young person.

As your child approaches adolescence I believe it is important also to engage actively in 'letting go' - but ensuring your child has the right tools to move forward is also integral to social success. I believe this is the necessary focus in moving any potential relational aggressive situation to a more positive and less anxious place.

If you would like to read more about relational aggression I suggest you visit this website.

You can also read about the 'Ophelia Project' that discusses programs to reduce the incidence of relational aggression in young women's lives - I am currently continuing my reading with a focus on this area.

If you think your child may be a bully - this is the article for you! My advice to parents of potential bullies is to be brave and have the courage to listen openly to those around you - you are not being blamed, but the child's behaviour simply must be changed and we need to work on it together.

My 'old favourite' text as far as girls relationships are concerned is 'Queen Bees and Wannabes' By Rosalind Wiseman. You can read more about it and purchase a copy here. Wiseman aims to 'create a culture of dignity' and I couldn't agree more.

We all need to work together to make a young adolescent girl's life a more comfortable place to be - and certainly keep the conversation open so we can aim for improvement.

Finally, I would certainly recommend school or private counseling to any family who finds they are facing challenges with bullying or relational aggression. It will assist in the creation of a coordinated approach and monitor changes and challenges in such situations - often too large or a task for even the most organised and focused family.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Parent Bookshelf

I've had this book on my bookshelf for about a year now and consider it my 'go to text' for any student who is having a bit of a hard time with their confidence, or seems to be experiencing some emotional trouble of varying intensities.

I consider it a valuable text because it not only helps to identify potential emotional problems, it provides checklists to consult and also recommends the next steps should you need further support.

In the words of the publisher:
"In The Optimistic Child, Dr. Martin Seligman offers parents, teachers, and coaches a well-validated program to prevent depression in children. In a thirty-year study, Seligman and his colleagues discovered the link between pessimism -- dwelling on the most catastrophic cause of any setback -- and depression. Seligman shows adults how to teach children the skills of optimism that can help them combat depression, achieve more on the playing field and at school, and improve their physical health."

The author, Martin Seligman is considered the 'father' of the positive psychology movement which provides the foundation for many emotional well-being programs in schools. A welcome relief from the 'self-esteem' generation I grew up with in the 1980s!

Please just pop me an email if you'd like to borrow the book for a read in your own time or, you can purchase the text here.

SMH Education Resources

The SMH Education resources webpage is a welcome opportunity to extend your child should the need or opportunity arise. Great for some 'extra holiday work' or developing your childs interest in current affairs and media.

NSW outcomes are addressed, across stages. In short, this work is relevant to the classroom and is linked to the requirements of the NSW Department of Education! All tasks are designed by local teachers, mostly located in Sydney at both public and private schools.

I would particularly guide you to the activities on offer in the 'Healthy Minds Part 2' section, where a range of writing tasks are on offer, asking the student to respond to sports imagery.

There are also links to a 'Weekly Assignment,' 'Everyday Maths,' and an online, multiple choice 'News Quiz' based upon each week's Sun-Herald newspaper.

This webpage may just become a 'go to' site for those sick days at home, rainy days, or holiday tasks needed to break up the boredom (I can assure you teachers are never bored in the holidays!) Enjoy.

Hitting the nail on the head

Yesterday I found this article called 'Engagement must not stop at the gate' in the Sydney Morning Herald and it was a small confirmation of why I try to stay in touch with our class parents and try to keep them informed of what we are doing in class.

I think the quote below is particularly important:

"Whatever causes this disengagement in a child's education, it will continue right through the school years unless it is addressed. The heart of disengagement with a child is to be blind to certain behaviour and to turn that behaviour into a kind of meaningless white noise. And when the parent begins to get signals - information that would alert the engaged parent - the disengaged parent turns this into white noise, too.

Reinforcing this disengagement is the child. Because the disengaged parent is not involved in the usual parent-child checks and balances, there is an illusory sense of control; the feeling that ''I communicate with my child better than other parents''. In other words, the disengaged parent actually feels more engaged in his or her child's life."

Sometimes it's hard for a teacher to be honest with a class parent, particularly when they too are educated, articulate and opinionated. Parents are not always open and/or tactful in parent-teacher discussions and I think the key message of this article is to recognise the importance of keeping one's child engaged with education, to highlight and address problems as they arise - otherwise, as mentioned in the article, these issues will almost certainly remain well beyond the Primary years.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Left vs. Right Politics

We are approaching the end of our government unit of work and I have found this excellent diagram explaining the (typical) meaning of the 'left and right sides' of politics.

We began discussing these concepts today in class, I was surprised at how interested the students were! Perhaps you could begin your own discussions with your child about the different facets of politics, we only scratched the surface.

This diagram was located on the website 'information is beautiful.' The author has also published a book which is truly amazing, but is more aimed at adults.
Click to enlarge.

Thanks for the fun!

Please congratulate your child on behalf of myself for our successful trip to Canberra this week. We really 'weathered' some difficult conditions and I witnessed so many examples of responsible behaviour and team work from our students. Furthermore, we truly wowed museum staff all over Canberra with our excellent knowledge of Government. Well done class, you made me proud!

I was also very touched to receive my lovely class gift in appreciation of my attendance at camp. I must say it's the first time I have received something like that at this school, it was truly and gratefully appreciated. I hope it's the beginning of a tradition at our school for all the teachers who give their time to go away, it's a wonderful reflection of how thoughtful my class members and families are this year ;).

(Not from my classroom!)

Today I found this website featuring student classwork and it's quite humorous. If you are up for some light entertainment it's definitely worth a visit.

Not everyone is perfect.

I also located this funny post about teacher appreciation at one of my favourite websites,

Happy long weekend to you, I hope you have something lovely planned!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Financial Literacy for Children

The future of children's financial literacy was examined as part of the PBS newshour 'Making Sen$e' segment with Paul Solman yesterday.

Stanford University reports in recent findings:
- Self control by age three has accurately predicted children's 'future prosperity';
- Self control is certainly more important than socio-economic status in terms of long term success.

Some provocative points are made and it's a fun short program to watch!
Who wouldn't want to help their child save and develop the necessary character traits for a successful future?

Watch the full episode. See more PBS NewsHour.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Canberra Links

In week 7 we will be having our Canberra trip! All of Year 5 & Year 6 will be attending this camp.

Here are some links should you like to see what your child will be up to!


The Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial combines a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive. The Memorial's purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war. Its mission is to assist Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society.
You can visit the education page here.

Australian Institute of Sport
The Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) is Australia's premier sports training institute, internationally acknowledged as a world's best practice model for high performance athlete development.

National Museum of Australia
The National Museum of Australia explores the land, nation and people of Australia. The Museum celebrates Australian social history in a unique way by revealing the stories of ordinary and extraordinary Australians, promoting the exploration of knowledge and ideas and providing a dynamic forum for discussion and reflection.
You can visit their Kids page here.


AEC Electoral Education Centre
Conveniently located in the heart of the Canberra parliamentary triangle, the National Electoral Education Centre (NEEC) is a fun and interactive way to learn about Australia's electoral system.
During a visit to the NEEC participants will have an opportunity to:
•Enjoy a spectacular multi-media presentation on the history of democracy and elections in Australia in a purpose-built theatrette
•Enhance their knowledge of the electoral process through hands-on activities in our Discovery Zone
•Vote in an election and experience first-hand the electoral process and allocation of preferences.

Museum of Australian Democracy
The Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House helps people to understand Australia’s social and political history by interpreting the past and present and exploring the future. We achieve this by:
- bringing alive the importance of Parliament in the lives of Australians;
- interpreting, conserving and presenting the building and our collections;
- providing entertaining and educational public programs; and
- providing a range of other services that enhance the visitor experience.

Parliament House
The Parliamentary Education Office is located here.


The National Science and Technology Centre located in Canberra, Australia presents free games, quizzes and activities to explain science to children and teenagers.

National Gallery of Australia
The education page is located here.

We will be staying at The Eaglehawk Holiday Park.

Arrival back at School: Approximately 6:30pm Wednesday (Avoca Street bus stop.)

See you then!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Parent Bookshelf

In the last School Holidays I was finally overcome with curiousity, so I bought and read 'Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother' by Amy Chua.

If you would like to borrow it and read it for yourself just let me know and I am happy to lend it to you, I can send it home with your child.

I wont tell you what I really think of it, but I certainly think it's worth a read!

As quoted on
Chua imparts the secret behind the stereotypical Asian child's phenomenal success: the Chinese mother. Chua promotes what has traditionally worked very well in raising children: strict, Old World, uncompromising values--and the parents don't have to be Chinese. What they are, however, are different from what she sees as indulgent and permissive Western parents: stressing academic performance above all, never accepting a mediocre grade, insisting on drilling and practice, and instilling respect for authority. Chua and her Jewish husband (both are professors at Yale Law) raised two girls, and her account of their formative years achieving amazing success in school and music performance proves both a model and a cautionary tale.

Government Homework Project

Our Government Homework Project is due this Friday 3rd of June.

The homework posters have started rolling in, so I thought I'd place a few of them here for parents to see!

'A Day in Barack Obama's World - American Government in a Nutshell'

Thursday, May 26, 2011

National Sorry Day

Today we had a class visit where we discussed the Stolen Generation and the importance of 'Sorry Day' to Australians.

You can visit the National Sorry Day website here.

The original 'I have a dream' speech.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Learning Difficulties?

I will have been Teaching for 9 years this October, and I am yet to meet two children with the same needs.

In this time I have taught in privileged schools and also those with great need. I have taught at High School, Primary School, University and adults at ESL College.

Throughout this time I have realised that it may seem difficult for parents to approach the class Teacher should they have questions relating to their child and any perceived difficulty with learning. I think because it's hard to describe the problem and use current language, the research is constantly updating and different countries use different terminology - this can become very confusing, especially with the internet.

I am currently reading a fantastic book called 'The Brain That Changes Itself' by Norman Doidge and it mentions a wonderful school located in Toronto, Canada called 'The Arrowsmith School.'

They have created an excellent 'Description of 19 Learning Dysfunctions' which may assist you should the question of learning difficulty arise.

Of course if you believe your child has a learning difficulty it's best discussed with your family's GP as well as the class Teacher. Most Public Primary Schools in NSW have a 'Learning Support Team' and you can always ask your school for contact details or information on their policy and procedure.

Key to any response to learning difficulties is coordinated communication, and I encourage parents to persevere with their enquiries; sharing any information they gain with their child's school.

Compass Activities

This week in Maths we have been focusing on Pie Charts.

Many students have enjoyed learning to use a compass, and every single student in my class would benefit from some more practice!

For many students, the first thing to do is to buy a quality geometry set! *wink*

Here are some fun printable activities from Art4Maths suitable for a rainy day or may fill time on a spare weekend.

Compass Activity 1

Compass Activity 2

Compass Activity 3

Here is a fun and basic 'designs with circles' website.

Perhaps your child would like to construct an old fashioned looking compass? A compass rose is the elaborate round design on a map that indicates directions. The directions are a little more complicated, they are located here.

If your child shows a more comprehensive interest, this fantastic printable pdf booklet from the Met Museum in New York is both beautiful to read, and the activities at the end are more challenging.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sydney Story Factory

This morning I read an article in the SMH about a new initiative called the Sydney Story Factory.

The aim of The Story Factory is exciting - to launch a creative writing centre which inspires kids to tell their stories. It will officially launch at The Sydney Writers' Festival this weekend and a centre is planned to open in Redfern later this year.

You can visit their blog here, and read more about it in the SMH.

This week is Sydney Writers' Festival and there are so many activities to participate in. My husband Mark and I will be in the audience of the 'Q&A Sydney Writers Festival Special' on Monday evening. I believe we will be sitting behind the panel, so if you are a viewer of ABC's 'Q&A' be sure to look out for us - Mark is the tall one (probably with his hand up to ask a question!)

If your child has a keen interest in creative writing (and I know there are a few in the class!) it would be worthwhile to keep your eye on this project.

If you have skills and interest in writing yourself the centre is also looking for volunteers.

A happy weekend to you!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Working Together

With lots of recent testing taking place in our classroom (NAPLAN, Maths Olympiad, Class Assessment across numerous subjects for half yearly reports, Selective Schools for Year 6) and yet more to come (ICAS) I have focusing lately upon group work and collaborative learning. This is so my class may experience a range of different learning experiences and feel more comfortable and familiar with the class as a whole.

In my classroom these group activities have mainly taken on the form of class debating, short class drama tasks, bounceback lessons and our assembly performance.

I'm so happy to report that Term 2 is the time of year where my class members really begin to grow more familiar and confident with each other.
When we sit in a circle with so many beaming, open faces ready to share I really feel like the extra effort in structuring and delivering a groupwork lesson has paid off. In a group learning task I find students are largely more motivated, ready to learn and willing to share with one another, the Teacher, and the school community.

Collaborative learning activities have been very successful for most students in our class - however, as with every task, there are always a handful of students who face frustration and difficulty when they are asked to work in a group.
This article on 'Teaching Kids to Get Along With Each Other' may assist you if your child faces these difficulties. I admit I am not a parent, but this article may offer some extra support or refresh your ideas.

Please find an article written by The University of Illinois at Chicago here that would be very helpful reading for any parent wondering about the benefits of collaborative learning.

Not all parents are convinced of the benefits of group learning - however I would like to advocate that is an essential part of the 'mix' of your child's learning at school and beyond. Besides, how many of us work in jobs where we are not required to collaborate or share at some stage?

Packing for Camp

Last weekend I had a gracious email from one of our students asking about what to pack for our Canberra camp. After some thinking, I realised what your child packs for camp also has an impact on all Teachers in an indirect way (lost property, doing up and lifting over-heavy bags, giving away our own items so a student can stay warm, clean, dry or even safe.) So I decided to have a go!

Please find following a packing list for our Canberra trip:
Canberra Packing List

Please note that this list does not answer the vital questions regarding:
- Medication (to be handed in to class teacher before boarding the bus)
- Technology (will be discussed with students at school)
- Lollies (please use common sense, they tend to get gobbled up on the first day and do not always have the socialising effect that one would hope for.)

I would also recommend that you discuss the packing and unpacking of bags with your child, with at least one practice together taking place before camp day.
What may seem so simple to us can become an anxiety and frustration-inducing activity once your child is alone and responsible for their own items within a pressing schedule.

Iron on labels are vital for keeping items safe and organised. They can be purchased on so many websites with quick delivery options, including here.

In this case, familiarity with a simple procedure such as packing and unpacking can increase your child's confidence and ability to participate in our camp with maturity and independence. We are all looking forward to a fun and informative camp together!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Walk Safely To School Day

This Friday May 20th is Walk Safely to School Day, 2011.

If you would like further information you can visit the website here.
Students at our school are encouraged to participate and we hope you will lend your support!

Students can win a prize by writing about their 'Walk to School' story.

Student Absences

When your child is absent please make sure you email the school directly at:

Please by all means feel free to email me as well, however the school office is the first point of call for all notifications.

I will provide work where I can however I may not be able to do so with short notice (i.e. on the day!) Of course if I have a moment I may be able to send something through however, I am sure you would understand that teaching the class would be my first priority.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My visit to 'From Little Things Big Things Grow.'

The Museum of Sydney just finished presenting an exhibition called 'From Little Things Big Things Grow.'

This exhibition told the story of a group of Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, who said 'That's not good enough' – and did something about it. The exhibition tells some uncomfortable truths and celebrates some 'ordinary extraordinary' heroes.

I attended the exhibition on the final weekend of showing and was so glad I did - there was so much information availble about the history of voting and citizenship rights for Aboriginal people in Australia.

Here are some photos from my visit!
Please note, if you would like to read the text just double click on each photo and a larger image will appear.

Perhaps you would likesuet use this information in the Week 4 component of your Homework Assignment...

The entry to the exhibition:

The explanation at the beginning of the exhibition:

An image of protest:

The 1940s:

The 1950s:

The 1960s:

A voting booth from the time of the referendum:

The Aboriginal tent embassy:

The Freedom Ride:

Aboriginal Citizens called their citizenship papers 'dog tags':

Some information on citizenship:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Raising Exceptional Kids

A fellow teacher recently introuduced me to the resources available on the Australian 'Parenting Ideas' website created by academic Michael Grose.

It includes information on:
- confidence
- resilience
- best behaviour
- boys
- sibling rivalry
- teenagers
- thriving parenting
- bullying

It really would be one of my first ports of call if I was seeking information on these areas, he has an education background and has spent many years studying what makes families tick.

The website also has a weekly email newsletter & facebook option and I would certainly recommend you sign up, particularly as the teenage years approach!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Term 2 Canberra Camp!

Today we gave out the permission note for our Term 2 trip to Canberra, we would like to see it completed and returned as soon as convenient. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to email me here at school.

Please find following a copy of the itinerary - this blog is a lovely place to keep it so it may be accessed at any time.

Enjoy the convenience!

Camp Itinerary Scribd FINAL1

Monday, May 2, 2011

5/6R Term 2 Classroom Timetable

56R Term 2 FINAL Scribd1

Exhibition: From Little Things Big Things Grow

The Museum of Sydney is currently presenting an exhibition called 'From Little Things Big Things Grow.'

This exhibition tells the story of a group of Australians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, who said 'That's not good enough' – and did something about it. The exhibition tells some uncomfortable truths and celebrates some 'ordinary extraordinary' heroes.

I'm sorry to say that the exhibition runs until the 8th of May - just another week! but if there is any way you can visit - the theme ties directly in with our unit of work this term.

You can visit the website here.

You can also view the 'Gadigal Place' exhibition during your visit, which explores the traditional lives and early contact experiences of the Gadigal and other Aboriginal clans of the Sydney basin. It reveals fascinating stories about how Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people interacted in the early days of the colony.

The 'Gadigal Place' exhibition runs until the end of December 2011.

Friday, April 22, 2011

PBS Autism Now Series

PBS is America's ABC 'equivalent' Network and has recently produced a six part series on Autism. Each clip runs for approx 15minutes and gives updated analysis and insight into this puzzling disorder.

Autism now affects 1 in 110 American children, similar to Australian statistics.

You can visit the website here for more detail and all available clips.

Part One: Introduction to Nick and Autism as a whole-body experience

Part Two: Autism Prevalence | Why are the numbers of children with autism increasing?

Part Three: Autism's Causes | The rise in autism numbers has caused a surge in research to find the causes.

Part Four: Autism Treatment | School systems often bear most of the burden of treating children with autism through educational tools.

Part Five:
Adults With Autism

I also need to insert a warning here that the comments section of YouTube may contain nasty language although I believe the comments have been disabled in this case.
This video content is intended for general interest and information only. This article is not entirely a reflection of my schools or my own personal views on autism although I hope it it will inspire some thought and understanding in our community.

Monday, April 18, 2011


This year ANZAC Day falls right at the end of the NSW school holidays;
of course we will commemorate the day at our annual ANZAC Day assembly, however this year it will held on the first day of Term 2!

Unfortunately that leaves us very little time to remind our students of the ANZAC story and to answer the important questions that so many students seem to have.

So I have pulled together some interesting resources your child may like to explore if they wish to deepen their knowledge about ANZAC Day and the Australian contribution to war.

Firstly, I have found this very simple explanation of ANZAC Day which makes it very easy for us all to understand! The (gulp) wikipedia entry can be found here.

The amazing 'Australians at War' website is perfect for a Year 5 or 6 student to explore.

'What Happened to Smithy?' Is an interactive history mystery game where the player explores and discovers more about the famous Australian, Charles Kingsford Smith.

There are also the 'Symbology' games (army, navy, airforce) where the player has to use their knowledge of military symbols and code breaking to complete a successful mission. An online 'war aptitude test' is also available where players can test their knowledge.

The Australian War Memorial has an excellent 'Kids HQ' website where online activities are available for students to explore.

There is also this terrific 'Soldier's Slang' website where the language of Australian soldiers at Gallipoli is explored and explained.

An explanation of the 'rising sun badge' that all members of the Australian Forces wear can be found here.

Here is a New Zealand TV article about a school student that became involved in the commemoration of ANZAC Day. It focuses also on the contributions of Pacific Islander people to war.

Here is some actual footage of Gallipoli from the Auckland War Memorial Museum, along with dramatic music and explanations in text!

I also need to insert my warning here that the comments section of YouTube may contain nasty language - you may like to check before showing footage to your child.

A list of books about ANZAC Day can be found on the goodreads website (although they are generally aimed more at younger children, some wonderful illustration though!)
A more thorough list of ANZAC Day books (including adult titles) can be found here.
Some books for young adults include:
- Scarecrow Army: The ANZACS at Gallipoli by Leon Davidson
- A Rose for the ANZAC Boys by Jackie French

On ANZAC Day we wear a sprig of Rosemary to commemorate the day, an explanation can be found here. If you have some rosemary at home, you should bring some sprigs along to wear to our ANZAC assembly!

Lest we forget.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day trip to Kirribilli

The first real day of holidays and my head is still at work! Well, not really, I wanted to get some exercise so decided to walk from my flat in Potts Point to the Sydney home of our Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. The name of her residence is 'Kirribilli House.'

I had no idea that the walk from my flat to Kirribilli was almost 9km (Thanks iPhone!) Here are some photos from my walk, I hope it helps to out you into the right frame of mind for our upcoming Government unit.

I started out by walking through The Botanical Gardens. There is lots of school holiday activities happening here, but I recommend taking a self guided walk with your family.
Of course the first thing I saw of interest were the cockies, who were busy making a mess out of some trees.

A new sculpture has recently been installed, eventually lots of trees will be growing out of it to make a 'wave like' structure. Worth a look!

So I continued on my way to Kirribilli, walking across the Harbour Bridge. When I got there I noticed these Hills Hoists right near the Harbour, how very Australian.

When I got to Kirribilli House, the first thing I was greeted by was a 'Keep Out!' sign.

And there it is - Julia Gillard's house!

The nameplate outside of Kirribilli house.

My legs now very tired, I ended up catching the ferry back to Circular Quay from Kirribilli, I even got a little seasick on the trip (very typical of me!)

I do believe that Kirribilli House has an annual open day, it seems to happen around September or October of every year, you just have to keep your eyes on the internet as it is not heavily advertised.

If you'd like to visit the area yourself, it is definitely good for a walk around and there are lots of parks and cafes to stop by in for a rest. I also bought a few cheeky Easter Eggs from Coco Chocolate, definitely recommended!