Since the beginning of the school year History students have enjoyed many opportunities to engage with a range of teaching and learning experiences. On Friday 24 February Year 11 Modern and Ancient History students ventured beyond the classroom for a morning at the State Library of NSW where they discovered the different academic services available to HSC students and were given an extensive library tour from its various reading and study rooms to the behind-the-scenes catalogue stack and storage facilities. After lunch they were joined by Year 12 History students – Year 11 and 12 Ancient History students then travelled to the Powerhouse Museum with Mrs Bleby to explore the British Museum’s Egyptian Mummy Exhibition, Ms Partington took her Year 12 Modern History students to the Sydney Jewish Museum as part of their Holocaust studies, whilst Mr Cameron and myself accompanied our Year 11 and Year 12 Modern History students to the Museum of Sydney to explore various aspects of our city’s endlessly fascinating history and the ways in which these stories have been constructed and communicated, with the highlight being the Demolished Sydney exhibition.
Year 7 students have also been discovering history beyond the classroom walls. They enjoyed a wonderful Sydney University Nicholson Museum excursion, where they benefited from the university guide’s extensive knowledge of the ancient world and were able to handle 3,000-year old artefacts. In the afternoon they visited Hyde Park Barracks where they were led through the museum’s ‘What is History?’ program, and again were able to enjoy a living history experience.
In the Auditorium Year 8 students have been entertained and educated in all things Middle Ages by our visiting ‘medieval-history obsessed’ experts Ben and Diana. Students were given opportunities through the morning to try on chainmail armour and other period costumes, learn about medieval warfare techniques and weaponry and spend some reflective time in the stocks. Much of the morning’s learning was evident in their later ‘A Month in Medieval Europe’ seminars.
Back in the classrooms teachers and students have been engaged in different units of study across the years. Year 10 students have completed their Movement of People task, where they compared the life experiences of slaves, convicts and free settlers through the 18th and 19th centuries, and have just commenced their study of World War One and the Simpson Prize History Competition, which is the focus for their semester examination. Year 11 Ancient and Modern History students are considering ways historical narratives have been composed, challenged and reconfigured over time as they embark on their Historical Investigations. Students in Year 9 Elective History have been studying the Construction of History, being enthralled and abhorred by details of the Jack the Ripper crime story enacted out in London’s East End during the year 1888. Meanwhile Year 7 and Year 8 students are enjoying opportunities for academic independence, critical thinking and group collaboration which comes with a guided inquiry approach to learning, whether centred on Ancient Egypt or the Khmer Empire.
As I write this, History Extension students are working to finalize their projects for submission in Week 4 and Year 12 Modern and Ancient History students continue to build upon their fine examination results – working with their teachers in revisiting challenging questions and considering alternative choices and respective responses. We are confident that they will perform to the same high standard as last year’s HSC History students come the end of the year examinations.
In conclusion, we would also like to congratulate Year 11 History student Lucinda Hogan on being one of the national winners in the Simpson Prize History Competition. Her essay on the Australian War Experience on the Western Front in 1916 was an extremely well-crafted and beautifully written historical analysis of events centred on the Battles of Pozieres and Fromelles. We would also like to recognise Year 10 History student Dominique Bergman who was selected to present the soldier diary/memoir reading at the Schools and RSL Commemorates ANZAC Ceremony at the Hyde Park War Memorial in the last week of Term 1. Finally, we would like to thank those teachers and students who took part in the Loreto Kirribilli Anzac Assembly on the first day back at school this term.
History Department teachers are Ms Charlotte Pearson, Ms Ellesha Canty, Mrs Jo Bleby, Ms Gabi Partington and Mr Richard Cameron.
Year 10 History Students Notification
On Friday 26 May Year 10 History students will undertake the 2017 Australian History Competition, an annual competition endorsed by the History Teachers Association of Australia (HTAA). Year 10 students have entered this national competition over the past few years and the results have always been highly pleasing for themselves, their parents and teachers.
Format is 45 minutes, 50 multiple-choice questions based on historical sources and general historical knowledge. Students will have the opportunity to review examples of past competition papers before sitting this competition during their scheduled Friday History class time.
Students receive a certificate of achievement when the results are tallied. Cost is $6 and students will be billed on their September accounts.
For any further information please do not hesitate to contact me via email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Christopher Tidyman