Earlier this year, St Columba’s Primary School in Elwood visited our Nation’s Capital with funding from the PACER Program. We asked them about their experience.
1. Is the Canberra trip a regular activity for your school? How long has the school been going to Canberra?.
We have been coming to Canberra every second year since 2017 and have completed 3 trips over the past 5 years.
2. Why do you regularly bring your students to Canberra – and why would you recommend other schools go?
We find the experience highly rewarding for our students not only socially but academically. We would definitely recommend that other schools plan a trip up to Canberra. We have found it really beneficial to undertake this at the beginning of the school year not only because it allows the students to gain a stronger understanding of the Australian Civics and Citizenships but also helps to build lasting relationships between teachers and students and between peers.
3. How does the PACER rebate assist your school?
The PACER rebate allow us to keep costs down for the students and helps to alleviate some of the costs that occurred by taking teachers.
4. What value do the students gain from the trip?
Since we began the trip in 2017, all students eagerly look forward to gaining independence from their parents for a week, while being able to explore the nation’s capital and gain a stronger understanding of the government and Australian values.
5. What was the most popular attraction?
Our students loved going to the National Archives, Parliament House and Art Gallery
6. Do you undertake any post-trip activities or projects – do you have any stories to share about the student’s reflections or work that demonstrates the importance of this trip to forming young people’s views on Australian governance?
Students complete a reflection template and guided questions that they used during our unit. Our students were able to better understand how decisions are made within Australian politics and their responsibility as an Australian and Global citizen.
7. Do you have any quotes from the students or teachers who attended?
“By going to Canberra, you get to explore the Nation’s capital and learn about the government and how different things in Australia are decided.”
“I had never gone to Canberra before so this was an amazing opportunity and experience to learn about Australia while seeing it happen.”
“It really brought my learning to life, the experience of seeing parliament in action helped me understand the concepts and engage in a new way.”
“The experience to be able to bond with teachers and students while being away from home helped us to connect with teachers and form lasting relationships.”
8. Do you have any photos of your trip?
Yes, see below. The one at parliament house is with our federal member, Mr Josh Burns.