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In Week 8, our Year 6 students ventured to Canberra to tour our nation’s capital and extend on the learning that has taken place this term as part of the civic and citizenship unit on federation, government and democracy. It was a deeply rewarding experience for all with lots of rich learning taking place beyond the walls of the classroom.

The trip was filled with many learning experiences: Parliament House, Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House), National Capital Exhibition, Royal Australian Mint, Canberra Deep Space Centre, Australian Electoral Commission, National Gallery, National Museum of Australia and the Australian War Memorial; and exciting adventures including AIS and Questacon.

Highlights were viewing question time in the House of Representatives; the Wreathe Laying Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial; the giant slide and the lightning cage at Questacon; and ten-pin bowling at Belconnen.

Our whirlwind tour of the Nation’s Capital concluded with a safe arrival back home on Friday afternoon, exhausted but knowing so much more about our system of government and how democracy in Australia works.

Last week each of the boys wrote a reflection on their experience in Canberra. Some excerpts have been shared below.

‘How could you forget our time at Questacon? It was one of the most memorable moments on camp. There were over 200 activities for the boys to participate in. They were fun and also a great learning opportunity. Questacon was a memory to take home for all students.’ Zac Michaels (Year 6)

‘We learned a lot about Parliament House and how the politicians do their job and that we don’t work for the politicians; they work for us. When we were viewing the Senate and the House of Representatives, we were standing about the chamber itself, as if we were on a higher level to them, metaphorically and literally.’ Alex Piscioneri (Year 6)

‘I would describe it as informational. It also helps you have a practical understanding of what politics is about and what happens in parliament. You also get to go to a different city and see how beautiful it is and have fun visiting different places.’ Felix Hanisch (Year 6)

 ‘My most memorable moment at Canberra was when we had a ceremony at the War Memorial because it made me feel sad, happy and respectful. It made me feel happy for those who served our country and survived to see peace. Sad for those who died serving our country never seeing peace. Respectful for people who offered their lives for this country. During the ceremony I thought how lucky we are for the peace in this country. I also felt peaceful because of the quiet and the peace of the ceremony. ‘ Joshua Murray (Year 6)

 The Australian Government recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit the national capital as part of their Civics and Citizenship education. To assist families in meeting the cost of the excursion the Australian Government is contributing funding of $60 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards those costs. The rebate is paid directly to the school upon completion of the excursion.

Adam Clutton
Junior School Teacher