Tag Archives: Robyn

Australia Year- Personal Highlights

Australia Year is coming to an end.  The school term (and year) finishes on Friday, so this is a good point to find out what we most enjoyed about this special year.  To finish our blog we will be asking lots of people what they thought the highlights were.  We have started with views from the blog group. 

“The event I have most enjoyed through Australia Year is when Frances Firebrace came in and did lots of Aboriginal-type paintings with KS2.  We had to pair up and were only allowed to use red, yellow, blue and black paints, but that made it more exciting!”  Mollie

“My highlight of Australia year was when we made the Australian Poles for the end of Year 6 art.  I enjoyed this activity because we all got to be together and I really like calving wood. I wrote R+E+C=BFF. I did get a big cut in my hand but I do have a bit of me left behind (my blood).” Robyn

“My favourite thing about Australia year is when we did our aboriginal poles with Chris Holland (The Didgeridoo man!) I am looking forward to the signing of the t-shirts this Friday.”  Emily

“I haven’t got a favourite. I just Liked the whole year round and am glad I was a part of it. But I can’t wait till Friday!”  Sophie

“I think that the highlight of Australia year has got to be the year 6 Totem poles but Australia day comes close.  I know that almost everybody in Holbrook loved Australia day including me because of it’s extremely fun activities.”  Matthew P

Trowbridge- Australia: Any Connections?

This week we are sending out a letter to parents and carers to see what connections we can find between Trowbridge and Australia.  We also want to put a leaflet in the Trowbridge Museum because we think we could find out a lot about people who have travelled between our town and Australia.

 Here is the text of the letter:

Dear Parents and Carers

Have ever been to Australia?  Do you have any family or friends there?  Do you know any Australians living in Trowbridge?  If you do, we would like to know about it.  We want to see how many connections there are between Trowbridge and Australia.  We want to map all these links on a giant map of Australia in our school hall. 

Every connection we find out about will be marked on the map with a pin.   The first pin will be our connection with our partner school, Holbrook Public School in Holbrook, New South Wales.  

This will be helpful because it will not just be the children and staff members of Holbrook involved with Australia Year; parents will be involved too!

Hopefully, by the end of the school year the map will be full with pins, all of which mark a connection between Trowbridge and Australia.  As we are in the last two terms, we would like this project to be amazing so that we have a good end to our school year.

Thank you for your help

Yours sincerely

Sophie and Robyn

Interview with Miss Gough

We interviewed Miss Gough about the dance festival.

How did you get the idea of the dance?

The idea came first when I watched the Y4 play. I thouhgt it would be good if we could link it to show we are learning about Australia.

How well do you think it has gone?

Amazingly well because the chidlren helped with the ideas and that made it much better!

Who was included?

Charlotte, Iona, Lauren, Destinie, Kezia B, Aimee, Amber, Mohammed, Blake, Jake H, Matthew, Thomas, Leah, Morgan Y, Emma, Kezia M, Fionn, Becky, Adam, Ella, Iman, Nikki, Freya I, Freya T, Emily K.

Why did you do the dances the way you did?

Because they are Y5 and Y6 and good dancers, I thought it would be good if they choreographed the dances themselves.  All the dances were made up of the ideas from the pupils themselves.

On a score out of ten, what would you give the dance and why?

Ten out of ten because everyone worked really hard and performed like a brilliant team!

Sophie and Robyn

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


Toad Rage: Further thoughts

This book is about a toad thinking that humans hated them because they always ran over the toads.  I thought this book was a good book because it was a funny book but had a deeper meaning behind the story.  Limpy (the toad who thought humans hated them) went on a risky journey to the Olympics so they could be more popular with humans.  This happened happily but made stuffed toads with real toads!  It finished with the same start which I thought was clever.

The deeper meaning of this book is that if you look ugly it does not mean you are mean and nasty.


When I started to read the book ‘Toad rage’ by Morris Gleitzman I really enjoyed it.  The book is about a cane toad called Limpy trying to figure out one of the questions he always wanted to find an answer to which was, why do humans hate us?.  He starts by asking his family. They all said that either he was an idiot or, that’s the way life is. He then decided to go on an adventure and find some humans and ask them why they hate cane toads.

I didn’t think the book was interesting enough for me. I don’t think I will be reading that book again and I hope to enjoy more books by Morris Gleitzman like ‘Two weeks with the queen’  and I also hope to read the book ‘Water Wings’ by Morris Gleitzman too.


I really enjoyed reading Toad Rage, because it was really funny and I thought it was one of the best books I have ever read. However I thought it could be a bit longer so that it got more and more interesting as the book went on.

As soon as I had finished Toad Rage I wanted to read more of Morris Gleitzman’s books so that I could have more of a feel of what his books are really like. I think that all his books would be as good, but I still think Toad Rage will be his best one.


Dave Clarke: Real Australian

Dave Clarke came around our school and told us about Australian art.  He used to be a bush farmer.  He started off by telling us about what bush farmers wear (he was wearing the clothes over his suit).  He also told us that the hat had arbbit fur but rabbits don’t come from Australia.  They are originally from Britain.  He said that the curl on the end of the hat is for keeping the sun out of the farmer’s eyes and when it rains it helps keep the water out of his face.  The coat is called a Bone Dry because it will keep you bone dry!  A bush farmer is a person who rides on a horse around a big ranch.

Mr Clarke wearing a 'bone dry'

Next, he went on to showing us a picture of their Aboriginal art. There are different meanings for each one.

Hand Work:  They put their hand on a rock where they live and use rock, ashes, spit and ochre to make paint to spit around their hand.  This shows to other people that this is their land.  When they grow up they would do it again next to it.  I thought spitting around their hand was disgusting  but maybe you get used to it.

They also draw pictures with ochre on rock to tell stories to other aborigines.  Dave Clarke showed us some pictures of the art work.  Sophie asked, why are there so many pictures with fish on them?’  He answered by saying, ‘There are fish on them because if they went fishing they thought it was a good luck charm.’

Aborigines wore chalk on their bodies for special celebrations.  Mr Clarke showed us a picture of a boy he knew and his hand print.  He had white chalk on his body.  They go round and dig up the ground for white chalk but they only do this for special occasions.

Mr Clarke told us a Dreamtime story about how a kangaroo got its pouch.  I thought it was really good and it had a good journey. (Sophie)  I thought it was an amazing story (Robyn.

Robyn and Sophie

Dave Clarke telling us a story


“Sometimes I feel I am dancing in the music”:An Interview with the Didgeridoo Man (Chris Holland)

Matthew What feelings do you experience whilst playing the didgeridoo?

Both emotional and physical feelings.  I feel like my breath and rhythm is all one thing.  Sometimes I feel I am dancing in the music.

Morgan When was the first didgeridoo made?

(Chris told us a story about the Dreamtime and an Aborigine.)  In the Dreamtime, an Aborigine blew into a piece of wood which was full of termites.  He wanted to blow out the termites so he could have them for his dinner.  He blew into the wood and the termites flew out spreading out over the land.  They then lifted up and became the Milky Way.

Aborigines have a completely different time to us.  Their time is Dreamtime, our time uses numbers.

Ella Do you think it’s good for us to learn about Australia and would you do it personally?

I think it’s great for your whole school to learn about Australia and across the whole year.  It is a fascinating country and it is a great idea.

Robyn – What inspired you to play the didgeridoo?

I was working in a shop in Bath which sold didgeridoos.  I loved the sound of them and I wanted to learn more.  There was a CD playing with didgeridoo music and I liked the sound of it.

Sophie Who got you interested in the didgeridoo?

A guy called Mark Robson from a band called ‘Kangaroo Moon’.

Iman – How did you learn to play the didgeridoo?

I taught myself by practising and practising and listening to didgeridoo music.

Emily – How long have you been playing the didgeridoo? 

I started when I was 23 and I’ve been playing for 17 years.

Courtney Does anyone else in your family play?

A few have tried but just for fun!

Jago – How many didgeridoos do you have? I’ve got 100 practice ones that I take into schools and 9 other didgeridoos that I play on which are made of metal and wood.  I’ve also got a tromberidoo- a combination of a didgeridoo and a trombone.

Mollie – Do you have a favourite didgeridoo?

It changes from day to day.  I don’t have a particular favourite, it is whatever feels right on the day.

Mr Whitewick – Do you ever get to play with others?

I mostly play on my own but I use to be in a band called ‘Jabberwocky’.  I don’t get to play with others very often.  I was the only didgeridoo player in the group.

Mr Whitewick – Do you ever get to play with other didgeridoo players?

Sometimes.  When you all play in tune together the sound you create can be amazing.  The music penetrates.  It gets into your bones.

Matthew – Do you enjoy teaching people?

I love it.  When they are inspired it is great fun.  Sometimes they surprise themselves by using circular breathing without trying to!

Mollie – What can didgeridoos be made out of?

Metal, wood, glass, plastic, fibreglass and pottery.

Mr Whitewick Is it easier for kids to learn to play then adults?

No, it’s not easier for kids than adults but kids tend to learn quicker.  If you really want to learn, you will.

Freya – Can you play any other instruments?

I can play percussion instruments because of the didgeridoo.

Iman – Can you play the didgeridoo for a certain length of time?

Not really.  You keep going until your lips don’t want to work.  The longest time I’ve played for is about 12-13 minutes.  Some players can go for up to 45 minutes.

Mollie – Which didgeridoos don’t  you have?

I don’t have a glass, fibreglass or metal one.

Mr Whitewick – Is there a certain didgeridoo you would love to have?

I’d love to have a slide didgeridoo but they’re expensive.

Emily – Was it hard to learn how to play?

I found it hard and I got frustrated at times because it felt that I hadn’t learned anything new.  When you are frustrated it is better to put it down and leave it alone and come back to it later.  I found that when I came back to it, I realised I had learned new things and was getting better.

Iman – Can you play any other instruments because you know how to play the didgeridoo? 

Circular breathing helps with instruments like a saxophone, clarinet and trumpet.

(Chris told us about when he went to Australia about 14 years ago he met a man who could play the didgeridoo.  He’s also a writer and he writes books for teenagers.  His name is Scot Gardner so maybe you could check out some of his books.- Matthew)

Do you do private lessons as well as going into schools?

Yes, I also do some performances.  I have got 2 claims to fame.  The first one was when I played with Rolf Harris and his  band.  My second one was when Eric Clapton signed my didgeridoo.

Ella – Where did you visit when you went to Australia?

Mostly the East Coast between Brisbane and Melbourne.  My favourite place to visit is Bald Rock which is the second biggest single rock in Australia after Ayers Rock.

Sophie – How long do you practise for?

I practise 10 minutes a day but I haven’t been practising at all lately!  I must get back to it!

Mr Whitewick – When your feeling sad or unhappy does playing the didgeridoo help?

Sometimes, it helps me feel better when I do.

Interview by the whole blogging group and recorded by Matthew.