This issue of the newsletter begins with a fabulous article written by Mrs Potter, who along with Mr Cook and Ange, bravely accompanied the Year 9/10's on a three day excursion to Port Arthur. It was clear to see how much they all enjoyed their trip.
PORT ARTHUR EXCURSION - RAE POTTER
As the sun broke through the clouds on a frosty Tuesday morning, twelve bouncing teenagers and three trepidatious teachers set off on an adventure. The first highlight of the trip was the students’ excitement waving at morning commuters with Robin, the slightly creepy doll, and their passionate scolding of texting P-platers. It’s great to see how much they care about our road safety! After a jaunt on the Sorell train and some lovely singing by the boys, we arrived at our destination - Port Arthur.
Our wondrous host for the camp, James, transported us back in time with his tour of the site. The chirp of crickets was the initial response when he asked for questions, but by the time we reached the silent prison, our students had warmed up to him. After lunch, we headed off for our first cruise around the harbour and to the Isle of the Dead. There we meet our next guide, Carl, who told us stories of the 900+ souls buried beneath our feet. This was but a warm-up to the ghosts of our past – which we came face-to-face with when the sun went down.
The beauty of Port Arthur’s ruins in the sunlight was transformed by the moon into eerie markers of Tasmania’s past. The loud chatter of teenagers was silenced to whispers as our students met with their vampiric guide, Todd. With lanterns in hand and armed with crystals, we advanced into the cathedral ruins, the reverend’s house (one of the most haunted places in Australia), the basement autopsy room, and the silent prison. Between the screams and phantom touches, our jumpy crew finally made it through to the other side unscathed – receiving a certificate to commemorate the achievement.
The next morning, we shared our breakfast with Rosellas and Currawongs, discovering who the bird whisperers among us were. All fed, we headed back to the site and started our day of archaeological adventures with Dr David Roe, Sylvana, and James. Although they found the chats about x-raying artefacts and our second harbour cruise interesting, they were truly captivated by our exclusive tour of Point Puer – a nearly untouched archaeology site. Even the most reluctant among us was drawn in when they discovered the discarded remnants of the lives of bygone students and tried to decode their writings. Once the slate pencils and tablet shards were where we found them, we trekked through the (now) forested site and learned more about the ways Dr Roe and other archaeologists were investigating the site without excavating. Our students offered great theories about the ruins they encountered and speculated about foundations and incomplete aqueducts.
Back at camp that night, our students poured their thanks into homemade cards and baked goods for the wonderful staff at Port Arthur who made the camp possible for them. We quickly learnt that Todd was the students’ favourite staff member when they all wanted to write to him!
On our final morning, we made one last trek to Port Arthur. This time, our students experienced what life was like before mobile phones and the magic of instant communication by sending semaphore signals. After learning different codes, flags, and positions, we were split into two groups, senders and receivers, and sent to opposite sides of the historic site.
Transcripts later recovered from the site read:
“Send 9 bags of tobacco!” The sending team messaged.
“Dead and wounded. How many?” The receiving team unexpectedly questioned back after their standard response of 40.
A confused waving of semaphore arms that read between “320” and “999” responded.
Finally, we parted from the wondrous team that had lead us faithfully through our Port Arthur expedition and headed back to the bus, with ghostly footprints from the fountain gifting someone the two dollar coin they desperately needed. One final stop at Calorie Corner later, fifteen tired but more educated people returned home.
On Wednesday 11th September the Kinder/Prep class went on an excursion to the Bruny Island Cheese Dairy Farm at Glen Huon. On the way we stopped in Huonville at the Esplanade for morning tea and a play.
At the farm we were met by Richard, the farm manager. Richard explained that their small dairy farm is managed using organic principles, and stressed that as organic farmers they work hard to take care of the land and all of the animals living on it. They plant lots of trees and take care of a wetland area situated on the farm. The small herd of cows consists of Swiss Brown, Australian Shorthorn and Normandy breeds because their protein rich milk makes excellent cheese.
We saw lots of friendly baby calves before Richard demonstrated how the cows are milked with the machine. Richard explained that their milk gets taken to Bruny Island to be made into cheese. He had some delicious cheese for us to sample – one was a hard cheese that is aged for six months, and the other was a soft cheese that is ready to eat in just one day. We were also able to walk down to see some of the cows eating grass in the paddock. When it was time to leave, we finished our excursion by stopping at Shipwrights Point to eat lunch and play in the playground.
It was such a great day! Many thanks to Diana, Carol, Sandra and Nadia for giving up their time to attend – your help was very much appreciated.
“Rev it Up” was a huge success again this year. Year 6 students from Dover joined other Huon Valley schools to participate in a variety of free workshops, including netball, Hip Hop dancing, dangers of smoking, dental health, pillowcase decorating and circus skills.
On Friday September 20, students around the world voiced their concerns about climate change. Some of our students joined the crowd of about 20,000 in Hobart and others showed their support at a school event.
Our LiL families had a blast at our 'Last day of term Carnival!' this morning. The children enjoyed playing the carnival games and having their photo taken in the photo booth. We also made some colourful kites that flew in the air behind us when we ran down the hill. Thanks to the all the families who have attended LiL this term and I look forward to seeing you again after the holidays. Jill :)
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