The Post-Trial Examination period is an important part of the academic year for Year 12 Ancient, Modern and History Extension students. A time to review and reflect on their examination performance, to work alongside teachers as they conclude their courses and consider ways to map out their final weeks of secondary school life. As part of this preparation Modern and Ancient History students attended the History Teachers Association HSC Study Day at Sydney University, whilst History Extension students also enjoyed a Thursday afternoon in the library where they discussed at length aspects of their History Projects to teachers and students. As I write this report Year 11 Modern and Ancient History students are coming to the end of their Preliminary HSC courses and beginning to prepare for examinations in Weeks 8 and 9. We wish both our Year 12 and Year 11 History students the best of luck with their examinations.
On Friday, 5 August Year 10 History students ventured south to the ACT where they visited the Australian War Memorial in the morning and after lunch the National Museum of Australia. The AWM visit was an often emotional experience as students moved through wartime galleries and exhibitions, reflecting on ways in which times of conflict have impacted the lives of Australian men, women and children. The following week Vin and Nancy Cosgrove from the Vietnam Veterans Education unit visited Loreto Kirribilli for the tenth year to speak to Year 10 students and teachers about their personal stories and experiences, both on the battlefield and the home front, during the Vietnam War era.
The NMA visit was part of the Globalising the World – Popular Culture in Australia since 1945 unit of study. Students encountered significant aspects of Australian political, cultural and social history – prototype Holden Cars, Evonne Goolagong’s Wimbledon tennis dress and racquet, country Greek cafes, the original working model for the Sydney Opera House and a first-run edition of Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch. During Weeks 5 to 7 students engaged in a Guided Inquiry centred on their own selected aspect of Popular Culture since 1945 – film, fashion, music, technology, media.
At this point in Term 3 our budding Year 7 and 8 historians are very much enjoying life in and beyond the classroom. Year 7 are currently studying Ancient Egypt and in Week 8 will visit the Nicholson Museum at Sydney University, whilst Year 8 – having experienced Ben and Dianna’s Middles Ages performance in the Auditorium and presented their own ‘A Month in Medieval Europe’ tutorials, have now begun their exploration of Shogunate Japan, a time of samurai, kabuki, castles and spirit shrines. Year 9 Elective History students have just concluded their Jack the Ripper and the Whitechapel murders of 1888 investigation and are about to embark on their Heroes and Villains Inquiry, grappling with the contestable nature of fact and fiction centred on the figure of Ned Kelly. They will also delve further into ways in which history is constructed and recorded by investigating such modes as history picture books, film and oral testimony.
History Department teachers are Charlotte Pearson, Michelle Clark, Jo Bleby, Gabi Partington, Richard Cameron, Robert Magner and Christopher Tidyman.
Chris Tidyman (Mr)