Double Fun!

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

Welcome to 2011!

Welcome to the Year 4 students of 2011!

In 2010 the Yr 6 students and I had great fun reflecting on our learning and developing our blogging skills. I have now moved to Year 4 and look forward to working with an enthusiastic group of Year 4 students to extend our blogging skills. We look forward to linking with classes around the world to share our learning.

Important Things to Remember when Using Images and Multi Media in our Blog Posts

It is great to use images and multi media from the internet to enhance our blog posts, but it is very important to understand that we can’t just use any images or multi media. It is not ethical (fair) to use other people’s property without acknowledging them as being the rightful authors. If the images and multi media have not been made available for general use, then we may be infringing copyright laws.
Read the informative document below, written by Kathleen McGeady, which explains copyright, copyright infringement and Creative Commons while also offering step-by-step instructions on how to use FlickrCC to upload. She also explains how to attribute images in blog posts. (

Why should people visit our blog?

Blogging Challenge 1

We are confident that visitors will enjoy reading our blogs and joining with us in extending our learning. We plan to write regular posts and we are excited about extending our use of Web 2.0 tools to be able to share our learning in as innovative a manner as possible.


The Year 6 students and teachers at RC love to integrate ‘Habits of Mind’ into all of our learning. One of the Habits of Mind is ‘remaining open to continuous learning’ and we believe that reflecting on our learning by blogging and by visiting the blogs of other classes and students who have shared their learning, we have the opportunity to build our personal learning network. What we are effectively doing, is ‘thinking interdependently’ (another Habit of Mind) – we’re working together  – great team work. It is amazing how much we can learn from one another! 


Reflecting on the Value of Blogging

‘Thinking about our Thinking’ (metacognition) is one of the ‘Habits of Mind’ which we in Year 6 at RC see the value of doing regularly. We believe that it is important to reflect on our learning, to see the value of what we are doing so that we can set new goals and maintain our focus.

While reflecting on the real value of blogging, students in Year 6 have expressed opinions on how, in the short time that we as a class have been blogging, our journey of learning has been impacted. In summary students have mentioned that knowing that a real audience is reading their blog has helped them to really think about the way that they communicate their ideas, thoughts and experiences. The value of editing and proofreading of written work in particular, has become more evident.

We have all really appreciated the feedback from families, teachers and students not only based around Australia, but the world. We believe that blogging has motivated us to write, given us a real purpose for writing and a sense of achievement when we see readers responding to our blogs and especially leaving comments! (Students and teachers have been so excited to have had people from many countries around the world, respond to their blogs!) We are also learning to use our thinking skills and read the blogs of others around the world with ’empathy and understanding’ (another Habit of Mind) in order to respond to their posts thoughtfully.


What are your thoughts on blogging?

Massive Earthquake hits Christchurch, New Zealand’s second largest City

Many buildings were reduced to rubble in Christchurch and many areas of the city were without power following a massive, 7.1 Richter magnitude earthquake that hit 30km south of the city at 4.30am on Saturday the 4th September 2010.

At midday, aftershocks were still being felt roughly every 20 minutes, the heaviest measuring 5.2. Geologists reported that they could continue for the next two days or longer.

Personal Experiences

New Zealand Herald reporter Jarrod Booker, said he was woken by ‘extremely violent shaking.’  

Kineta Knight, said it was a scary sight to see. “The scariest thing was the quake just felt like it would never end. It wasn’t a sharp, sudden jolt. It was like being on a rollercoaster.”

photos by sidhadsu (Creative Commons)

photos by sidhadsu (Creative Commons)


photos by annzstream (Creative Commons)

photos by annzstream (Creative Commons)

Effects of the Earthquake

Many people living in Australia have family members living in New Zealand, so we are very relieved to hear that most people escaped injury and as far as we know, no lives were lost. We are aware however that besides the damage to property and injuries suffered, there are other ways that the lives of people could be affected after an earthquake.

One of the reports tell us that electricity was being slowly restored to the city but that there were still concerns about the situation with water and waste water. Why do you think these concerns may exist? What other repercussions (effects) might there be?

Think about how you might feel if you were a Christchurch resident or perhaps had family or friends living in (or near) Christchurch. (Perhaps one of our readers might be a Christchurch resident or have friends or family who are Christchurch residents? They might be willing to ‘Skype’ us during class next week to enable us to ask questions and talk to them about their experiences.)

Perhaps there might be something small that we could do, to be a source of encouragement to children and families that may have had their homes /schools damaged? Put your thinking caps on and let’s brainstorm some ideas!

Tribute to our Parents!

Father’s Day reminds us to appreciate our parents and the important roles that they play in our lives. We appreciate all of the sacrifices that they have made for us and we acknowledge that a large part of who we are today and who we may be in the future, is a result of the input that our parents have had in our lives.

Book Trailers – a great way of promoting books!

Mrs Trask’s Yr 5/6 composite class in New Zealand have been creating book trailers. (They’re a bit like movie trailers – only the purpose here is to promote good books!) As 6 G have been writing book reviews, I thought that they may like to visit Mrs Trask’s blog and view some of the book trailers that her class has been creating. 

Good series of books and well-constructed book trailer!

You may also be interested in viewing a book trailer, which I have embedded, which is of a series of books, which I know have been popular among a number of students in my class.

So you want to be a seismologist?

Year 6 students investigated and modelled how scientists collect and record information about earthquakes. We looked at the key tool, the seismograph, which a seismologist uses to measure the seismic waves of energy which pass through the Earth.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Rocking and rolling?        

Desks rocked and rolled as students worked in co-operative teams to make a model of a seismograph, to produce their own seismograms.


Seismologists 004

Challenge Yourself to Blog

Year 6 students are challenged to enter the Student’s Blogging Challenge which begins on the 6th September.                                                                                                                                                                                          Even cats enjoy blogging! To participate you need to:

  1. Discuss your intentions with your teacher.
  2. Register your details here:
  3. Keep checking for the blogging challenge information and your weekly task here:
  4. Your first task is to visit the blogs of at least ten students who are not from our school. (They may well be from another country). Leave a response to one of their posts and also leave your blog’s URL, so that they can visit your blog. You will find a list of students who have entered the blogging challenge at: