‘Engage, Educate and Excite’ is the mission at Grace Lutheran Primary School, located in the Moreton Bay region of Queensland. The school has a reputation for living up to this, delivering a range of enviable programs for their P-6 year students. This includes camp offerings for students that features the annual trip to Canberra for their year 6 students which they have been undertaking for approximately 18 years.
When asked why the school undertakes this annual excursion to visit our nation’s capital, they responded that “it is an essential and valuable part of the primary school experience, as well as the highlight of their camping and excursion program that students look forward to taking each year.”
Grace Lutheran also recommend other schools taking the trip to Canberra as they believe, not only is it a highly valuable learning experience but also a great way for schools to help students build independence and maturity. According to Oliver Denny, Director of PE and Sport at Grace Lutheran, “Going to places like the Australian War Memorial and Parliament House provide students with the chance to see important places for all people in Australia and begin to gain insight into what makes this country unique and places that have historical significance for all Australians.”
The school also commends the PACER rebate scheme which helps them to finance this trip as they do not ask parents to pay extra for the trip. The rebate assists with the school financial planning, ensuring they can continue to make the trip a viable option for their year 6 students each year.
When asked what value the students gain from the trip, the collective response was, “The students gain value in many different way from this experience; educationally, the students contextualise their learning and work on embedding their understandings about Australian History, parliament and government into real world settings. Socially, students are exposed to various important elements of Australian history and art and this helps to give them more understanding regarding the social fabric of this country.”
Students had their favourite places to visit which especially included The Australian Institute of Sport and the National Arboretum, and they also really enjoyed their visits to Old and New Parliament House and the Australian War Memorial.
On return from their trip the teachers help the students to reflect upon their experiences and the huge amount of information that they take in over the course of the trip. According to Grace Lutheran, this supports their learning as they complete a lot of their civics and citizenship unit upon return, and it contributes a lot more depth to their conversations and class discussions. The school was lucky enough to be shown around Parliament House by their local member, Luke Howarth, and upon return, Luke also came to visit the year 6 students to do a brief Q & A about their trip and his role as the local member in Clontarf.
As one teacher at Grace Lutheran commented, “Our students love going to Canberra, it is the highlight of our school camp program and the students get a lot of out the trip. The Canberra trip helps to embed and contextualise the learning experiences students undergo before during and after the trip.”
LEARN MORE about eligibility and requirements for the PACER Rebate for Canberra school excursions