Canberra Camp

Level 4

The Years 5 and 6 students Unit of Inquiry before camp was “Where we are in place and time”.

CENTRAL IDEA: A nation is shaped by its history.
LINES OF INQUIRY:
– Events have made significant contributions to the development of a nation.
– People have made significant contributions to the development of a nation.

The students researched Australia’s discovery, settlement and federation. This gave them some prior knowledge before going on camp.

Last week the Year 5 and 6 students started a new Unit of Inquiry which was “How we organise ourselves”.

CENTRAL IDEA: Governmental systems and decisions can promote or deny equal opportunities and social justice.
LINES OF INQUIRY:
– Government systems.
– Principles of human rights and social justice.
– The effects of institutional behaviours and attitudes on social justice.

Camp provided the perfect provocation! They undertook an educational tour of our nation’s capital, Canberra. They participated in a variety of programs focusing on Australia’s history, culture, heritage and democracy. Over three action-packed days they were inquirers and gained first-hand knowledge at the following places:
– Parliament House – Responsibilities and procedures of Australia’s Federal Parliament including the Senate and House of Representatives. They enjoyed participating in a role-play where students took on roles of members of parliament and parliamentary officers and debated a bill.
– Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House – Australia’s political history and a role play of the House of Representatives featuring our first Australian-born Governor-General Sir Isaac Isaacs and our first female Governor-General Quentin Bryce. They also participated in a wonderful interactive activity that had them searching for information on Australian and other government systems.
– Australian Electoral Commission – Australia’s Federal Electoral system, the importance of elections and participation in parliamentary democracy.
– High Court of Australia – The High Court’s role in the Australian judicial system.
– National Capital Exhibition – History and development of Canberra
– Australian War Memorial – Australia’s National Memorial to those who died in war; displaying relics, documents, photographs and art; and the Hall of Memory.
– ANZAC Parade Memorials
– Embassy Drive Tour – Various countries embassies have diplomatic representation in Canberra.
– National Museum of Australia – Hands-on interactive exhibitions to experience the stories of Australia including a video of Kevin Rudd saying sorry to our indigenous people.
– National Gallery of Australia – Displays from the national collection of Aboriginal, Australasian and modern American arts. We viewed the Ned Kelly Series by Sidney Nolan and the controversial Blue Poles by Jackson Pollock.

And because we were in Canberra we also visited:
– National Science and Technology Centre (Questacon) – interactive exhibits about Science including the body, earthquakes, lightning and illusion.
– Australian Institute of Sport – Tour of world class facilities and insight into the life of an elite athlete.
– Mount Ainslie Lookout – a spectacular view of Canberra from behind the War Memorial, straight down ANZAC Parade to the Old and New Parliament Houses. This also included the Parliamentary Triangle, Lake Burleigh-Griffin and the surrounding hills.

The teachers were very proud of how the student made connections to their prior knowledge to answer questions, were inquirers by asking lots of questions, were caring towards each other and were principled by behaving respectfully.

The staff at the Sundown Motel commented on how well-mannered our students were at breakfast and dinner. The bus driver also said what a great group we were making him feel like he was part of our group.

Thank you to Chris Chang and Stephen Chapman for giving up a week of their time to help us on camp.

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