Category Archives: Interview

Australia Year Highlights

The school year is over and Australia Year is over too!   At the final TD day, teachers reflected on the highlights.  Here are some thoughts from the teachers:

“Francis Firebrace’s visit was exciting and something completely different!”

“It was a fabulous way to teach the children about differences and similarities across the world!  I left a very impressed supply teacher.”

“The most enjoyable experience for the children was pairing up with another class for the day to complete Australian activities.  They also appeared to love Francis Firebrace and the art work in the hall.”

“The coherence that ran throughout the school was fantastic.  The children were all incredibly enthusiastic and knowledgable about the theme.”

“I enjoyed visiting the children in their classes; they were all working so hard all working on different activities, and I loved the map they produced.”

“One of the highlights for Redgrave Class was the visit from Francis Firebrace- they thoroughly enjoyed his assembly.”

“The children enjoyed being involved in a whole school topic, especially when children had siblings in other classes and were keen to tell you all about their home learning or what they know about Australia.”

“It was a continuous theme that ran throughout the year linking other events that we normally focus on, e.g. Black History etc.  It gave these things more purpose and the children were engaged.”

“The best bits: It gave a focus for class topics, e.g. Where’s Wally?; The Big Read and author visits.

“The best thing was- The whole school all learning together.”

Interview with Harvey

On 28th June some of the Year 4 pupils from our school went to Royal Wootten Bassett Academy to talk about our Australia Year at Holbrook.  They had included a bit from their play but tweaked it so it went with what they were doing and so the audience would understand what was going on.  I asked Harvey (my brother who went to the school) a couple of questions about what he thought about it:

1) How long did it take to put the whole thing together?

It took quite long but it was worth it.

2) What did you think of it and why?                                                

I thought it was really good.  All the schools were great but particularly Holbrook.

3) How well did it go?

I thought it went very well because we worked very hard and we did extremely fantastic.

4) Did everyone enjoy it?

Yes I thought everyone enjoyed it because we all thought it was a really fun thing to be a part of.

5) Were there many schools there?

Not many schools were there, but some left a presentation because they couldn’t be there.

 6) Do you think Mr Whitewick did a good job and why?

Yes because he directed it, tweaked it, taught us the drama and made it a success!

7) Were people impressed by the peformance?

Yes because everyone else had scripts but we didn’t.

8) Was there anything you could have changed to make it better and why?

No because it was perfectly AMAZING!

9) Do you think everyone was loud?

Everyone was very loud and clear and you could tell that people could tell what they were saying.

10) Were Holbrook the best and why?

Yes because we are just awesome and we were well behaved!


A Koala in the Post!

A Holbrook pupil had a pleasant surprise in the post this week.  Keziah opened a parcel from her godmother to find an Australian gift inside!  Before she opened it she thought the box might contain chocolates- it had that sort of texture.  Instead, a koala stared back at her.  It wasn’t a real one, luckily for any koalas out there.  It was a teddy type toy. 

Keziah’s godmother went to Australia on holiday and brought her back the koala as a souvenir.  Now, the koala will sit on her bed where it will be well looked after. 

Keziah did not know whereabouts in Australia her godmother went.  We need to know so we can record it on our big map showing the connections between our school and Australia.

Matthew P  

Interview with Mr Whitewick

Why did you choose the two books for The Big Read?

I went to Waterstone’s with a list of books I thought would be good.  I discussed these with the manager, Sara.  She had some ideas too.  Not all of the books on my list were easily available.  Sara used the Waterstone’s internal website to get ideas from other stores and, eventually, we came up with two books we thought would work well.

Out of the two, which one is your favourite and why?

I don’t have one.  ‘Diary of a Wombat’ is sweet and amusing and it suits KS1 but KS2 need a harder and more challenging read. I also like books with deeper meanings which the ‘Stories from the Billabong’ have.

Do you think people will read the book?

The idea was to read the books at home so that parents got involved as well.  I think that sharing books is very important.  The Big Read was designed for parents and children to read and discuss the books together.  This sort of thing really helps our pupils get better at reading. 

What are you expecting to do with people’s opinions?

The best thing to happen will be for opinions to go on the blog.  Our blog will be better if more people added comments and opinions.  

Are you excited about the schools partnership with Waterstone’s?

Yes, I’m very excited that Waterstone’s want to help us.  When I had the idea, I did not know what help they could offer.  So, I was really pleased when they gave a discount card to every family.  It was also very good to talk about the books with experts.

How did you manage to get all of the school a discount card for Waterstone’s?

It was Sara , the manager, who came up with the idea.                                                          

How well did the book sale go?

It went very well and it was very busy. We sold all the copies of ‘Stories from the Billabong’.  I think we emptied all of Britain of the last copies of the book because the publishers sent more from a warehouse in China, I think.  You can see some pictures on the blog.

How did you think of The Big Read idea?

Last year, the Deep See Readers went to see Ali Sparkes in Bath.  She was there because the festival had chosen her book, ‘Frozen in Time’ as the festival children’s book.  The idea was to get as many people as possible to read the same book.  I thought we could do the same thing as part of Australia Year and that thought led me to contact Waterstone’s to see if they would help us out. 

Thank you for your answers

Matthew and Sophie

Australia Day Feedback

I really enjoyed the way that we got to work with Nightingale class and do some different activities with the younger ones. I also liked the way that we got to wear green and yellow things to school. I think that it was quite hard to wear green and yellow but I was really surprised to how many people wore green and yellow and took part in Australia day. Here is some of the feedback from some of the children in Zephaniah class.

“I think that Australia day was really fun and I liked the way we got to work with the younger children in Nightingale class.”             Freya

“I enjoyed Australia day because the activities were fun and organised so that everyone could do everything. My favourite activity was working on the map of Australia (the big map).”        Jago

“I liked working with the little ones and I liked the way we all worked together and did a fair share of the map. I also really enjoyed working with Nightingale class and   I think they enjoyed working with us too.”        Becky

“I enjoyed Australia day because we could work with the younger children. I also really enjoyed working in two different classes and getting to make friends with the children in Nightingale.”    Kelly

Overall I think that Australia day was fun and full of excitement. We also had 703 hits on our Australia blog and that has been our best day so far. I hope you enjoyed Australia day as much as we did.

Working with younger pupils was popular


Interview with Harvey about the Y4 Play

Did you like doing the play?

Yes because it was really fun.

How long were you practising the play?

About 5 to 8 weeks on Mondays after school and Tuesday afternoons.

Why did you practise for a long time?

Because we needed practise to get everything perfect!

What was the best part of doing the play?

The slow motion fight.

What was your part in the play?

I was the snake and I loved doing it.

What was your favourite line?

My favourite line was “Listen to the heart beat!”

How did the play start?

Mr Whitewick asked if we wanted to do a play!

Who was involved in the play?

Me (Harvey Frisby), Ashley Ellison, Charlotte Sutherland, Stacey Harford, Trinity Hartfield, Jasmine Smith, Jessica Coates, Imran Karmoun, Hani Rtabi, Lewis Humphries, Madeline Kerbey, Patryk Bucholc, Josh Knowler, Aaron Higgins, Lana Green, Taylor Clifford, Reagan Muffett, Mr Whitewick and Mr Millar.

How many stories were there told in the play?

3 and a song. There was that many because it was in Kangaroo, koala, crocodile, snake.

What score would you give out of 10 for the performances?

8/10 because there were three mistakes in the  performance but luckily we managed to patch them up!!!

Who made up the name of the play and what was it?

Everyone in Y4 and Mr Whitewick and it was called “The Heart of Australia”.


Interview with Mrs Hunter

We have interviewed Mrs Hunter about Australia.  We started off by asking her, “What do you think about Holbrook Australia Year?”.

She answered calmly, but we could tell she was excited.  “It is a great idea because all of the school is involved in one school topic.”

Our next question was, “Have you ever met anyone who plays an Australian instrument?”

She thought because she was trying to remember.  After 30 seconds she answered, “No, except for the Didgeridoo Man with his wonderful didgeridoo!”

The question after that was, “Have you got any relations in Australia?”

She replied happliy, “In fact,  I do!  My cousin and her children live in Sydney.”  Courtney was very surprised at the answer.

For the next question we asked, “What animal would you like to see in Australia?”  Mrs Hunter didn’t need time to think and replied, “Snakes because they have amazing skin and are beautiful animals!”

We both gave sceptical looks but proceeded to the final question: “Are you reading our Australia blog?”

Mrs Hunter said, “Yes, but I haven’t been on it lately.”

She looked guilty as she said that.

Courtney and Robyn