On 17 November in the library, Year 8 were lucky to listen to an eye-opening and inspirational talk from the North Sydney Aboriginal Heritage Officer, Ms Karen Smith. Ms Smith informed us of the rich culture and history of Indigenous Australians in and around Sydney and how that relates to the topic that we have been studying in English: Place and Identity. Over the course of the talk, Ms Smith gave us an insight into Aboriginal life before and after the arrival of Eurppeans. She outlined many things that we may not have previously been aware of and opened our eyes to the brutality of treatment and the loss of culture that occurred within Aboriginal society from the late 18th century onwards.
English and Science have joined forces on a STEAM project designed to bring relief and restore dignity to refugees and asylum seekers. Students are working as a group of engineers for UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency.
In Science, their objective is to design, build and test a one-person shelter, an efficient solar cooker and a method to efficiently gather clean drinking water to help relieve pressure at refugee collection points.
English classes are exploring their ethical responsibilities as a member of the UNHCR team. Having engaged in Socratic discussion about what makes a community, students have explored different perspectives of stakeholders, read some refugee stories and decided where there is urgent need for resources. Their final task is to create an engaging pitch for government agencies that will sell their designs as an ethical, sustainable and cost effective way to ease tension at refugee collection points.
As well-developed young writers, Laura Ferguson, Jilienne De Guzman, Temaeva Legeay-Hill, Claudia Carozza and Neve Traynor recently discussed their process of writing and read an extract of one of their compositions to all Year 10 English students. Responding to questions in an interview format, they identified their influences, stylistic choices and editing processes. Their story ideas included the role of outsiders, cultural history, personal travel experiences and dystopian feminism. Neve Traynor read aloud her story ‘What Did You Learn’ published in Alice Pung’s anthology My First Lesson, and Claudia Carozza read aloud her story ‘Bonegilla Boy’ which received a commendation in the Stanton Library Writing Competition.
Christine Davis (Ms)