NATIONAL WINNERS National Primary Winner and Australian Capital Territory Primary Winner:
Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School The students at Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School engaged in a variety of activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings over a one week period.
Each morning at assembly, parents who are current serving members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), assisted by students, recalled the deeds of relatives who served during the First World War. The names of family members were called on a ‘Roll of Honour’ and the descendant child received a cross with a poppy and the relative’s name on it. The crosses were then ‘planted’ in the school’s ‘Garden of Remembrance’. Names of family members who have served in any capacity were also acknowledged on a ‘Wall of Remembrance’. Following each assembly, the serving ADF members visited classrooms to talk with the children. The judges felt that the participation of current serving ADF parents was particularly engaging, and provided a real link between service and the school community.
Two adjacent classrooms were transformed into a mini war memorial. One room contained memorabilia from the First World War loaned from a collector, staff and students. These included a helmet, barbed wire from Gallipoli, photos, records, stories etc. The second room was a ‘discovery room’ where students could try on uniforms, crawl into a trench, look over a parapet with a periscope, sit in a tent and taste some bully beef on a dry biscuit. The judges felt this creative activity helped students to empathise with and understand the conditions of the trenches during the First World War.
Each class had access to a Memorial Box from the Australian War Memorial for a lesson, which was filled with real, and replica uniforms, equipment and artefacts. All students were read the story, Lone Pine, and the school acquired a Lone Pine seedling which was planted in the school grounds and marked by a plaque. The tree was planted by the oldest and youngest students in the school. A group of students and teachers visited the Australian War Memorial where they had their photo taken under the Lone Pine.
The week concluded with a commemorative service where parents, students and visitors were invited to bring a poppy forward to remember family members lost in war. A current serving member of the Army played the Last Post.
The judges were especially impressed with the variety of learning activities undertaken by the students. The innovative ‘hands-on’ activities allowed students to imagine life on the front during the First World War and to develop empathy with those who served. Overall, the students developed an excellent understanding of the significance of commemoration.
National Secondary Winner and Queensland Secondary Winner:
William Ross State High School William Ross State High School is situated in the Townsville suburb of Annandale which is home to a number of defence families.
This school’s entry encouraged participation by all students across the school, with each year level being offered an activity to contribute to the commemoration of the Centenary of Anzac.
Year 7 students were invited to form a choir to lead the singing of the Australian and New Zealand national anthems at the school’s commemorative service. Year 8 students baked Anzac biscuits and gave them to students when they purchased an Anzac badge, the proceeds of which were donated to the Mates4Mates organization, exemplifying a philosophy of giving.
Year 9 students contributed to the Defence Community Organisation’s ’Hero Tree’ project. The tree contained the names of all 130 students who have a parent or caregiver in the ADF. The tree was displayed at the Townsville Civic Theatre for the month of April.
Year 10 students entered a wreath making competition. The three best entries were laid by the school captains, school ambassador and guest speaker during the school’s commemorative service.
Senior students took part in a photographic project which took its inspiration from the Australian cricket team, which re-enacted a photo taken of a cricket match held at Shell Green, Gallipoli in 1915. Each student was asked to find a photograph from the First World War and match it with a character trait and a quote that showed the spirit of the Anzacs. Students then re-enacted the photograph in a contemporary setting. During the project, students made several correlations between the Anzacs and themselves. These included some Anzacs being the same age as the students when they went to war and the fact that the Anzacs also wore their uniform with pride.
The judges admired the student involvement from each year level in the various activities. The judges also felt that the outstanding element in this entry was the recreation of First World War photographs by senior students. The cooperation and planning necessary for this student-led activity demonstrates Anzac qualities of mateship and discipline.
PRIMARY WINNERS Australian Capital Territory Primary Winner:
See National Primary Winner
New South Wales Primary Winner:
St John Vianney’s Parish Primary School St John Vianney’s Parish School’s entry focused on the role of animals in wartime and especially the horses used by the Australian Light Horse Brigade.
One of the reasons for choosing the Australian Light Horse as a focus for student learning was the school’s close proximity to the Light Horse Interchange between the M4 and M7 at Eastern Creek in NSW. At the start of the project, students had no idea what the significance of the sculpture or what the name meant on this piece of geography so close to their homes.
The Stage 3 students’ journey began in June 2014 when they went to a monologue presented about a book telling the story of a horse and his rider who fought with the Light Horse. It was a springboard for what was to come.
The students undertook a wide range of learning activities related to the Light Horse and the judges were impressed by the level of detail in the projects which were completed. Students displayed empathy by writing biographical accounts of their time as a soldier riding with the Light Horse Brigade. The school hired Light Horse uniforms from the Australian War Memorial and students wrote an A-Z fact file of animals that have served in war.
A host of other related activities included creating a garden in the school grounds and making poppies to be taken to Gallipoli for Anzac Day 2015. Students from the school created an artwork to be shared with neighbouring schools and also designed a web page. An Australian soldier who was a dog handler in Afghanistan visited the school to speak to students.
This was an excellent entry that impressed all of the judges. By focusing on a local feature, the learning experiences had a personal relevance to the students and the judges are confident that the knowledge will remain with students of many years to come.
Victoria Primary Winner:
Diamond Creek East Primary School has a tradition of commemorating Anzac Day with a whole school assembly. This year, the staff wanted to increase the students’ understanding of the history behind the annual event. To assist with this aim, teachers developed a unit of work, ‘Australians at War’, which included a number of community-based projects to raise student awareness of the Anzac Centenary.
In collaboration with a number of community groups, including the local RSL, Rotary Club, Shire Council and local businesses, a number of projects were undertaken.
The striking of 2,500 Combined Schools of Diamond Creek commemorative Anzac coins
The creation of an Anzac community garden and the official planting of a Lone Pine
The creation of an animation on Second World War Victoria Cross recipient Lieutenant Thomas ‘Diver’ Derrick
The knitting and crocheting of 3,000 Diamond Creek community poppies as part of the national 5000 Poppies project
The Anzac human outline – involving over 2,000 students, teachers and staff forming the words ANZAC 100 2015. The photo was taken by a portable drone and then displayed at five Diamond Creek schools on community noticeboards.
The Diamond Creek East Primary School ‘Memory Box’ extravaganza which involved 145 students dressing up and taking on the role of their selected serviceman or woman.
One project in particular was the creation of a special interview documentary, ‘Australians at War’, made in collaboration with Diamond Valley College. The documentary acknowledges all current and former members of the defence forces.
The judges were very impressed with this entry. The organisation which enabled the provision of opportunities, not only for the school but for the wider community is to be commended. The involvement of veterans will resonate with the students and wider community for many years to come.
Queensland Primary Winner:
Bloomsbury State School Bloomsbury State School is a small school located on the Bruce Highway, north of Mackay.
Students from the school studied the novel, The Donkey Who Carried the Wounded, by Jackie French. After reading the novel, the students branched out to pursue further research and activities. These included the Years 3-6 classes writing their own stories based on the novel, using historical data that they had collected.
Another project the students undertook was the making of their own classroom ‘donkey’, built from materials with the help of craftspeople and a tradesman from the school community.
The students were also inspired to go further after reading original letters written by families during wartime. They learned about the Comfort Fund and decided to contact a local craft group to teach the students how to knit. By knitting various items, it gave the students the opportunity to reflect on what it would have been like to receive these comforts from home.
The school also paid tribute to local veterans listed on their Honour Roll. Through their research, and with assistance from the local historian, students investigated the wartime efforts of these local veterans. Students found that local landmarks and some street names were named after these veterans. Families of those veterans who could be traced were invited to the dedication ceremony of a new plaque on the school grounds.
Students also focused their investigations on the roles of both men and women during wartime and the impact that wars have had on Australian society. They dressed in replica uniforms from the 11th Light Horse Regiment, or as nurses and women at the time, including ‘The Land Army’. They investigated and performed songs from the time at their local commemorative ceremony.
All of these activities were showcased in a picture book with clear evidence of an engaging learning experience for all students at the school. The judges were impressed with the initiative of the students in demonstrating engagement in a range of activities. The judges enjoyed the historical narratives the students produced and noted the comprehensive examination of both the impacts of war and links with the local community today. As a result of all these activities, the students were able to reflect on their thoughts about what they had learned. This demonstrated a greater understanding and appreciation of wartime efforts.
Tasmania Primary Winner:
Latrobe Primary School Latrobe is small, rural town approximately 8 km south-east of Devonport in northern Tasmania.
Students from Years 4-6 focused on the recent installation of 880,000 ceramic poppies in London to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. The students each made large 3D poppies, also focusing on the significance and symbolism of the poppy in relation to the Anzacs and the First World War. The poppies were then displayed throughout the school and also formed part of the Latrobe Community Anzac Day service.
The school’s Anzac Day assembly included students, teachers and special guests, with nearly every child having the involvement of a relative or senior friend at the assembly. Approximately 400 people attended the assembly, which is an impressively large contingent from such a small community.
Students researched the journey of the soldiers from Australia and New Zealand from Albany to the Middle East, Turkey and France, tracing the journey on a globe.
This winning entry proved to the judges that students do not necessarily require access to modern day technology and that interest and learning can be gained through a variety of class projects.
Northern Territory Primary Winner:
St Joseph’s Catholic College Katherine At St Joseph’s Catholic College Katherine, all students were involved in an Anzac Day project where they created their own ‘Flanders field’ on the school grounds.
Senior construction students made wooden crosses and the primary students painted them. Plaques were made including information about the veterans who were either family members of students or veterans from the First World War. Information on the plaques included the service number, date of birth and date of death of the veteran, and which war they served in. Students conducted research on the National Archives of Australia website to locate this information.
The plaques were attached to the crosses and the construction class had the task of placing the crosses in the school grounds, using Pythagoras’ theory and string lines.
A special cross symbolising the service and death of Private Scott Palmer, killed during service in Afghanistan, was also erected in the grounds as his nephew attends the school.
An Anzac assembly was held at the school and included a catafalque party. During the assembly, students laid wreaths which they had made in class and the service was attended by current serving members of the ADF and veterans.
Images of the assembly and the ‘Flanders field’ were posted on the schools’ Facebook page and were very popular with the students and their families.
The judges felt that this was a wonderfully moving commemoration. The connection with family history was touching, the concept of recreation was unique and the project was a credit to the school community.
South Australia Primary Winner:
Prospect Primary School Prospect Primary School is an R-7 school in suburban Adelaide. The whole school was involved in a range of activities to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the landings at Gallipoli.
The main unit of work was undertaken by the Year 6 class and was entitled ‘Through the eyes of a Child’. Students ‘became’ a fictional family member of a real soldier that lived in Prospect and served in First World War. The students kept a journal over a period of six weeks recording their reactions to a series of events and scenarios which included;
• Letters home from the Front
The students began to think of the soldier as ‘my soldier’ and did not learn the fate of their individual until the end of the unit of work, which heightened their reactions during the project.
The students engaged in an inquiry around life in the trenches and from this learning they created a First World War trench in the school library to share their knowledge with the rest of the school community.
Other activities undertaken by the school community included art work, posters, a short film, making poppies for the Poppies in Prospect project, writing poetry and taking part in the Anzac Day dawn service. Guest speakers included a representative of the Prospect Council and a veteran from the Prospect RSL.
These projects culminated in many displays throughout the school and a whole school Anzac assembly.
The judges were impressed by the empathic and creative approach to the students’ learning. The judges were particularly impressed by the level of community engagement which included writing to current homeowners of the houses where the Prospect soldiers lived and giving them information on the soldier who lived in their house.
Western Australia Primary Winner:
Byford John Calvin Primary School Byford John Calvin Primary School is located 45 minutes south of Perth and has 188 students in Years K-6.
The whole school was involved in learning activities in the lead up to Anzac Day with Kindergarten students reading and enjoying the story, Anzac Ted by Belinda Lansbury, and learning the art of making Anzac biscuits.
Pre-Primary students looked at the different forms of transport used during the First World War and Years 1-2 students made beautiful wreaths, learning about the significance of the poppy.
Year 3 students worked collaboratively on a large-scale project about Simpson and his donkey, while Year 4 students focused on stories from the First World War.
Students in Year 6 constructed an amazing 3D diorama of a battlefield with excellent attention to detail. The diorama was showcased, along with examples of the whole school’s work, including ‘Travel Crate’ displays of students’ creations of written and art works.
Byford John Calvin School took part in the Anzac Day Art Expo held at the Byford Community Hall. Local primary and secondary schools created captivating artworks in the lead up to Anzac Day and the expo was open to members of the public.
The judges were particularly impressed with the excellent involvement of students across the school. They were pleased to see a range of activities with appropriate learning for each stage. The detail, time and effort that went into the activities is a wonderful credit to staff and students.
ACT Secondary Winner:
St Edmund’s College The students and staff at St Edmund’s College were involved in a wide range of commemorative and learning activities to mark the Anzac Centenary.
The College was approached by the National Capital Authority (NCA) to create and produce an art installation of 100 floating poppies to feature in Rond Pond to commemorate the Anzac Centenary. Over 35 parents, teachers and students, including current serving ADF parents, attended a workshop to create the poppies. The school has developed the poppies into kit form and it is hoped that these will be able to be distributed by the NCA to other schools as an awareness and community project in the lead up to each Anzac Day.
During an ‘Enrichment Week’, History students in Years 7-10 visited the Australian War Memorial, with an emphasis on the First World War and Gallipoli. An ‘old boy’ of the College (and retired ADF member) shared the interactive experiences of ‘A Day in the life of a Digger’, giving the Year 9 students an opportunity to understand the experiences of soldiers during the First World War.
Year 10 students, who were studying the Second World War, were asked to create a curatorial display with many students focusing on the Battle of the Coral Sea and Kokoda Track campaign. Students researched the battles, made notes and displayed four items linked to their topic, along with a rationale explaining their choices in the display. The display was open to Middle School students who were able to explore and further discuss projects of interest with each Year 10 student.
The College’s commemorative assembly reflected on giving ‘Thanks’ to all the men and women who have served and are currently serving in the ADF. Many parents who are current serving ADF members were invited to the assembly where they were thanked for their service with a ‘Thank you’ video created by the students.
Dr Brendan Nelson, Director of the Australian War Memorial, delivered an insightful address to the students, highlighting the importance of preserving our history through the many personal stories of the Anzacs. The Federation Guard provided the catafalque party and an ‘old boy’ (and ADF member) read the Ode. He also addressed the Year 11 students about his life as a serving member of the ADF and his experiences on deployment.
The Queanbeyan RSL Sub branch invited St Edmund’s students to participate in their Anzac Day march and over 30 students participated.
The judges were impressed with the depth of learning and engagement of students in this entry. The variety of activities challenged students to engage with the concept of commemoration in meaningful ways. The involvement of students, parents, and the wider community was commendable.
New South Wales Secondary Winner:
St Patrick’s College St Patrick’s College, Campbelltown is a Catholic secondary girls’ school located in south-western Sydney. The theme of the school’s commemorative learning this year was ‘The Diversity of the Anzac Experience – Indigenous, Gender, Cultural and Local Perspective’.
A school Anzac committee was formed with students from Years 7 – 12 represented. As a group, they ran various competitions to create multimedia elements for the school’s Anzac service and the creation of a Centenary logo. Students produced posters and organised free Anzac biscuits for students who provided a fact about Gallipoli.
Students also participated in many other activities ranging from writing poems to making paper poppies and wreaths. Students researched ancestors and veterans from the region and participated in an Anzac ‘Boot Camp’ obstacle course. The school also established a Gallipoli Centenary Garden and planted a Lone Pine.
The school invited a variety of special guests to its Anzac commemorative event, including veterans, current serving ADF members. Over sixty guests attended this commemorative service.
The school also participated in a variety of community events including working with the Campbelltown and Airds Historical Society to undertake research into diggers’ graves in the area. Members of the school community and the student choir attended Campbelltown Commemorates and four students attended Camp Gallipoli – Moore Park. The school’s projects culminated with students marching in the local Anzac Day service.
The judges were very impressed with the variety of interesting and creative activities and depth of learning that took place at St Patrick’s. The high level of participation by the students across a range of curriculum areas was commendable.
Victoria Secondary Winner:
St Joseph’s College Geelong The Year 9 campus of St Joseph’s College Geelong commemorated Anzac Day with a whole-day program to engage students. The school invited the Year 9 students from Clonard College to join them in this significant event. Representatives from neighbouring primary schools were also invited to participate in the day. The event included some 500 students participating in some form on the day.
Prior to the major event, students across a range of curriculum areas were involved in meaningful learning activities related to Australia’s wartime history. Students in integrated English and Humanities classes researched Australia’s involvement in various conflicts and created an historical timeline. They also produced a short film on their thoughts related to the Anzac spirit.
Art students created a large-scale artwork which symbolised ‘remembrance’. The artwork incorporated student handprints, each of which represented five Anzac lives lost at Gallipoli. The main mural involved 80 students, and was over seven metres long and three metres high. It featured the Southern Cross, poppies, rosemary and the coastline of Gallipoli.
Food Technology students research food eaten by soldiers during the First World War and Music students performed the anthems at the Anzac ceremony. Religious Education students explored the meaning of commemoration and assisted in the staging of the commemorative ceremony. The Media class interviewed students and filmed the day’s activities. Various displays around the school focused on different aspects of Australia’s wartime history.
Student leaders were responsible for the planning and delivering of the ceremony, which was attended by a number of veterans from the local community. On the day, a choice of nineteen workshops engaged students in a variety of ways. During the afternoon, all students watched a performance of a play, Lest We Forget. Following the event, students reflected on their participation.
The judges were impressed with the multiple dimensions of this entry. All students were involved in participating and responding to the events. The excellent displays and presentations helped to engage students in addition to the thoughtful Anzac Day Service. There was involvement by veterans and feedback by the students reflected on what they had delivered.