School Excursion To The State Library

Today I was lucky enough to go on a school excursion with our grade 6 son’s class to the State Library of Victoria. And I say lucky as this excursion had so many volunteers, not all parents were selected! (I had volunteered for the Polly Woodside excursion last Friday too, but missed out on that one!) While not wanting to show it too much, you could tell the 12 year old was very happy I was coming along.

This is the first primary school excursion I have been on with our second child and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I will admit to being quite tired at the end of the day though.

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We walked from school to the train station and caught a train to the city. I love the State Library. The Dome reading room is such a majestic space. I find just looking at it calming.

The excursion was split into two parts, the first was aligned with the Australian History unit they are currently studying and revolved around Ned Kelly.

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The kids were able to work together and build their own armour. Each group had a piece of the armour to make. I had a group of boys to assist with this task. They didn’t need too much help and it was great to see them automatically set to working out what part each person could do, so they would all get a turn.

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The kids were all very excited with their end result – it did come together very well.

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We were then taken to the Ned Kelly collection and given a very balanced view of Ned Kelly – some see him as hero, some as villan and reasons for this.

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The highlight of the lunch break for the kids was definitely the busker. He had them dancing and singing.

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The pigeons freaked me out a little!

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The afternoon session saw a tour of the main rooms of the library.

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And looking at the history of books through the amazing collection the State Library has.

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We went through the newspaper section and discussed accessing information from sources other than the internet!

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The hands on activity for this session was to make their own book. It was a very smart and simple process and one I hope to do soon with the other kids.

I was impressed with the day. The staff at the State Library were engaging and enthusiastic with the kids. The teachers were great at keeping everything within boundaries, yet still letting the kids explore safely.

I also really enjoyed seeing our 12 year old in this setting. He is much more of a leader than I imagined him to be. This is not it title only (he is School Vice Captain), but just in the way he carries himself. Yes there were moments when he was a bit too chatty and loud with the boys, but there were also moments where he guided the behaviour of his group through his words and sometimes just through his actions.

On the walk back to school from the train station, I saw him hang back with another child for a bit, who was obviously tired and going slower than the rest of the boys. This is such an endearing characteristic he has – he is very considerate and concerned for others. Sometimes it takes an opportunity like this to see your child in their setting, away from their siblings, to appreciate them fully in their own right.

It was lovely then to hear him retell stories from our day to his siblings and dad, something which we had done together without the rest of the family – not a very frequent event in our house!

Have you been a parent helper on a school excursion? Did you learn something about your child?

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If you enjoyed this post, I would love it if you made a small donation to my 21 Challenge. Donations can be made directly here. All funds raised go to Open Family Australia who provide a range of Outreach services to young people experiencing high complex needs. Their focus is on homeless and at risk youth. Thank you!