Category Archives: History

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge is a very big bridge that goes across Sydney Harbour in Australia.  The bridge has been open since 1932. Guinness world records say that Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world’s widest long- to Span Bridge.  The bridge is the fifth longest spanning-arch in the world; it has the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 meters (440ft) from top to water level.  Until 1967 the harbour bridge was Sydney’s tallest structure.  The bridge was designed and built by English firm Dorman Long and co Ltd.  The bridge has a built on train track.  The bridge can carry trains, bicycles, pedestrians and motor vehicles, which is a lot for one bridge!  On Monday 7th November 2011 daybreak said that next year the bridge would have its 80th anniversary in 2012!

I think the Sydney Harbour Bridge looks spectacular in a picture and I would love to go to Sydney and see it with my own eyes because I think it would be extraordinary and outstanding, and I cannot believe how old it will be and that it has not fallen down yet and will not fall down for many more years (I HOPE!!!)


Two Minute Silence

When I was listening to the radio before school today, I found out that the Two Minute Silence we keep on 11th November at 11.00 am was the idea of an Australian called Edward George Honey.  He was a soldier and a journalist and he wrote to the London Evening News on 8th May 1919 suggesting that everybody stopped what they were doing and kept silent as a fitting way of remembering those who died.  When the First World War ended there had been lots of celebrations and dancing in the streets.  Honey thought that keeping silent for a short while would be better as people could think about the people who gave their lives.

King George V heard about the idea and decided that two minutes of silence would be kept every year on 11th November at 11.00 am.  Edward Honey’s original idea was that everyone should be silent for five minutes.

Australians also have two minutes of silence on 11th November.

Mr Whitewick

Our field of Remembrance


Remembrance Day

At 10.45 am today the whole school came together to celebrate Remembrance Day and to hold a two minute silence.  First, Mr Whitewick spoke to us about remembering.  Then, Zephaniah Class showed some research that they did about soldiers that were in the First World War.  The soldiers were ANZACs- Australians and New Zealanders.  Each pupil in Zephaniah read out a name of a soldier.  After that we did our two minute silence at 11.00 am.  We stood and remembered the ones who lost their lives in the war.  Next, we played a song called ‘We Will Remember’ while a member of each class, including Rainbow Early Years, placed a cross with their class name on it.  Mrs Farmer planted the cross for the members of staff and governors.  One pupil planted the Star of David with a poppy on it and another pupil planted a Muslim crescent.

Here is the information about the soldier Jago read out:

Sydney Raymond Hall

Born: 17th December 1883

Rank in the army: Captain

Division: Australian Imperial Force

Family: Wife, mum and dad

Date of death: 25th April 1915

Manner of death:  Died of wounds

Place of death: Near a beach

Age when died: 31

Iman, Sophie and Jago

Lieutenant Norman Douglas Holbrook

Commander Holbrook

In our class we were preparing for the Remembrance Day assembly.   As it is Australia Year we wanted to find out about Australian connections with the war.  We researched Lieutenant Holbrook- as this is the name of our school and our partner school in NSW.

Norman Holbrook was born on the 9th July 1888, in Southsea, Hampshire.  He was educated at Portsmouth Grammar School. He was a lieutenant, in the Royal Navy during the First World War and served on board HMS Britannia.

Lieutenant Holbrook was in command of a submarine when it sank a Turkish battleship.  On 13th December 1914, he performed a deed which showed he was very brave and was awarded the Victoria Cross.   His submarine dived under five rows of mines and stayed under the water for over 9 hours.  His submarine was very old.  To honour his bravery a town and area of Australia were named after him.   Holbrook’s medal was donated to the Council of the Shire of Holbrook, New South Wales in 1982.  This is where the name ‘submarine town’ comes from.

He later became a Commander

Mollie and Emily

Interview with Ms Humphries

Earlier this month, I interviewed Ms Humphries on Kandinsky’s artwork.  She talked about the learning her class had done on Aborigines.

Do you enjoy art?

Yes, but I’m not very good at it myself.

What type of Aboriginla art are you doing?

Dot painting- like mosaics.

Do you enjoy looking at Aboriginal art?

Very much. It is lovely to look at and quite easy, so I can do it, too!

Have you done any Aboriginal art before?

Yes, years ago as a teacher.

Are you doing any other work about Aboriginals?

Yes, we’ve done some traditional stories and we’ve looked at their history.  We’re also going to make boomerangs.

Do you enjoy Black History Week?

Yes.  It is very important and interesting.

Are you looking forward to Friday’s assembly on Black History?

Yes.  I like seeing work from all the other classes.

Are you personally interested in Aborigines?

Yes, because they are very interesting people.

I really enjoyed  coming to Kandisnly class and watching the Y3 and Y4 pupils doing their art. Thank you.


The Stolen Generation

In our class we have been learning about the stolen generation.  The stolen generation was when Australian aborigine children were forcibly taken away from their families according to their skin colour.  If you had pale skin you would be taken away from your aborigine family and get given to a white family. 

I think that what they did to the aborigines is wrong and I felt very sorry for the people who went through that.  The stolen generation went on from 1910 to 1970.  We read about some of the people who were part of ths stolen generation.  Here is one of the experiences. It is about Bill Simon.  We read about him in our class.

‘It was winter 1957, seven o’clock in the morning.  The sun was up and the sounds of birds drifted down into our small kitchen.  My brother Lenny was sitting on the floor, eating toast; my brothers Murray and David and I, rubbing our eyes in a state of half sleep, were waiting for mum to smear Vegemite on our bread before we dressed for school.  A routine day in the Simon household.

‘Someone rapped loudly on the door.  My mother didn’t answer it.  We hadn’t heard anyone come up the path.  The knocking got louder, and finally my mother, who was reluctant to answer any callers when my father wasn’t home, opened the door and exchanged words with three people.  We strained to hear what they were saying. Three men then entered the room.

‘A man in a suit ordered my mother to pick up Lenny and give him to me.  My mother started to scream.  One of the policemen bent down and picked up my brother and handed him to me.  My mother screamed and sobbed hysterically but the men took no notice, and forced my brothers and me into a car.

‘My mother ran out onto the road, fell on her knees and belted her fists into the bitumen as she screamed.  We looked back as the car drove off to see her hammering her fists into the road, the tears streaming down her face…’

Simon was ten years old when he was taken to Kinchela where he remained until he was 17 years old.  The abuse he suffered left him unable to have healthy relationships and trying to numb his rage and violence with drugs and alcohol.  Simon was in his 30s when he finally met his mother again.  But it was too late, his mother, re-married with other children, rejected him.

When I read that story, and I didn’t understand until now how much pain and hurt they went through.  I read most  of the stories and for me that one was the saddest.


Zephaniah Class Dances

One of the best thing about being a headteacher is that I get invited to classes to see the high quality work from our pupils.  During our Black History Week (held during the national Black History Month) I was invited to see the dances created by pupils in Zephaniah Class based on a traditional Dreamtime story.

Here is the story they used as the basis for their dances:

The Turtle man was out gathering food when he saw the lizard man’s wife named Oola and her three children digging yams. Wayamba decided he would like a wife and family, so he took them home.

When Wayamba’s tribe saw what he had done they were very angry. They approached the Turtle man and said, “You are going to be punished for this.” and the Turtle man laughed. Early next morning he saw the fury of his tribe as they showered him with spears.

Wayamba chose the two biggest shield that he had , one slung on his back and one on his front. As the spears came whizzing through the air, Wayamba drew his arms inside the shields and ducked his head down between them. Shower after shower of weapons they slung at him and they were getting closer so that his only chance to get away was to dive into the creek, and the tribe never saw him again. But in the water hole where he had dived, they saw a strange creature which had a plate fixed on it’s back. When they tried to catch the creature, it drew in it’s head and limbs. So they said, “It’s Wayamba.” And this was the beginning of Wayamba or Turtles, in the creek.

The photos I took do not really do justice to their dances.   What interested me most was that each dance was different but they were all based on the same story.  It was fascinating to watch.  I was really pleased to be invited!

Mr Whitewick