Hyde Park Barracks a-hoy! On March 10th, Year 4 was about to discover a world of labour and punishment at Hyde Park Barracks. The aim of this excursion was to expand our knowledge on Australian history.
On the bus, all students and teachers in Year 4 felt like they had a volcano of excitement inside them. The volcano was ready to erupt anytime as they thought about what was ahead of them. On the way to the historic building, everyone chattered, gossiped and shared all their knowledge they already knew about convicts.
Eventually the Year 4 gang reached the Barracks, ready to go back in time. We first met our leaders that would kindly share with us the secrets behind the walls of the ancient prison.
First up, we strode across the dusty gravel path to the court house. This building was where the convicts had faced court and found out their life sentence. Year 4 walked around the building and spotted were the judge sat. Year 4 walked across the path again to get to the Deputy Superintendent’s Office, or what was left of it. The room had been discovered, scraped and dug in by archaeologists. There were many clues that showed what the room had been like before it was discovered.
Up the stairs of the main building was the archaeology section. There were all the personal objects of the convicts, after they had been stolen by rats. The rats had hidden the objects between the floorboards in their nests. Year 4 played a game where we had to find certain things that our instructors told us to find.
Shortly afterwards came the ultimate fun part! We again went up another flight of stairs, where we came to the top level. With three twists and turns, we were new convicts who had just arrived from England. We pulled on baggy shirts the convicts would have worn.
As we couldn’t be bothered to work right then, our “boss” took us over to the sleeping quarters, where we lay down in rows and rows and rows of hammocks. We had hardly got five minutes of sleep when the “Sir”, the owner of the Barrack at the time, strode through the door and shooed us all out. Evidently, he wanted us all to get back to work immediately.
At our workstations, Year 4 split up. 4K was brickmaking, while 4F was on the other side, laying the bricks to make walls. The walls had to be made in a certain pattern to be accepted by “Sir”. We turned around three times, and we were back in 2011!
Before going to the Australian Museum, we had a delectable recess (thank goodness)!
As we walked into the Museum, all the girls gaped at the whale skeleton that hung above our heads. It turned out to be that 4K would be painting Aboriginal boomerangs, while 4F would be touring around the Museum.
4F first went to the Search and Discover department where we cuddled and posed next to stuffed Australian animals for photos and squinted, trying to spot the deadly Sydney Funnel-Web spider. As we opened the mystery drawers, we spotted glassed moths, butterflies, beetles and spiders as big as your hand!
Next, we stepped into the horrifying world of the dinosaurs. We smelled prehistoric smells from different periods and made our own dinosaurs on a computer program. Every few minutes, a frightening T-Rex roar sounded from above our heads while lightning flashed around us. We were all terrified!
Before we knew it, we were in the Surviving Australia department. This was all about dangerous Australian animals and how to survive their dangerous venom and presence.
After an hour, 4F swapped with 4K to go to the Aboriginal boomerang painting. Here, we received an opportunity to paint a boomerang in Aboriginal styles and paint. First, we painted the background one colour. Then, after waiting for it to dry, we added the dots and symbols with the back of a skewer. We had a fantastic time and a great experience.
All in all, Year 4 thinks that every aspect of the excursion was an extraordinary experience.
Written by Jess C, Maddy B and Zoe I