Our Year 6 & 7 students enjoyed a trip to Canberra as part of their Unit of Inquiry about Civics and Citizenship. The central idea for the unit was People are responsible for community culture and order. Classes explored the roles and responsibilities members of various communities take in building safe, supportive and functional social environments. Early stages of the unit focused on our own school environment and one of the positive outcomes of student inquiries was that many decided to take action to enhance the school experience by organising ongoing lunchtime activities for students in other year levels. Craft groups, sports groups, dance groups and more have been initiated and run solely by the students. These additions have had a really positive impact around our school.
The trip to Canberra enhanced our unit by allowing students to make connections between how decisions in our own school community are made and how decisions are made for the country. Students at St Peters enjoy having a strong voice in what happens at school with weekly class meetings and whole school meetings which provide opportunity to share celebrations, concerns and suggest changes that they believe might create positive changes. St Peters works very hard to maintain a very democratic school and students made many connections between school decision making processes and national decision making processes.
Students developed inquiries into why rules are important; how laws are made; how people are elected into government to represent the voice of the people; how Australia is governed. Educational experiences included visits to the Old and New Parliament house, the Australian War Memorial, the Electoral Education Centre, the Indonesian Embassy, the Australian Institute of Sport, the Museum of Democracy, the Royal Australian Mint, the National Gallery of Australia and much more. It was an incredibly worthwhile educational experience.
“It was really cool to see most of Canberra from Mount Ainsley lookout!”
“It felt like Australia but different!”
“It’s cool that South Australia was the first place in Australia and the second in the world to decide that women could actuallyvote.”
“At the Australian War Memorial it was incredible to learn that all those people went to war to fight for us Australians”
“It was shocking and mind-opening to see how scary war must have been when we visited the Australian War Memorial.”
“The most memorable visit of the trip for me would easily be the War Memorial because of how shocking it was to see just how
bad and scary war really was”
“Canberra is crazy symmetrical.”
“Mt Stromlo was so GOOD!! It was cool to see all the stars the Moon and Jupiter.”
“I really liked learning about the poppies at the war memorial and I loved learning about the Victoria Cross. I also loved hearing a song about the war. The song’s called For Love of Country”.
“I liked how we went on a cruise and saw all the amazing things in Canberra.”
“I liked the walk along the road to the War Memorial and learning about all the people that went to war. I also liked learning about the medals that they got and what they were for.”
“I really enjoyed the whole experience because I felt really responsible but my favourite thing was the cruise because everyone had heaps of fun and it was really interesting to see all the sites of Canberra.”
We would like to thank the Australian Government for contributing funding of $60 per student towards cost of the trip under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program.