A Visit From Blackmans Bay Primary School

We only live a stone’s throw from Blackmans Bay Primary School – we hear them when they are out at playtime, so it was great to take their Grades 3/4 out on Louisa’s Walk last Friday. They had made a great effort to dress in the clothes of the time. This is something we encourage, where possible, as Louisa’s Walk is interactive, the children actually become the convicts and, being clothed appropriately helps them to feel part of the action. Most of the girls wore shawls, skirts and mob caps (shower caps make great mob caps!) and lots of the boys too, had caps, waistcoats and scarves. They looked great!

What a great bunch of enthusiastic students they were! Their teachers had done lots of preparatory work on the convict system so they were well up with the history of the times and this always helps to access Louisa’s story. Primary students are so different from secondary, as any teacher will tell you and this age a delight as they haven’t (quite) yet learned to be “cool”! We had eager volunteers to be part of the “Anchor Party” (the three students chosen to be in charge of weighing and dropping the anchor) many sail hoisters, bell ringers and washers (in the washing yard).

It was their questions afterwards though, that most impressed us. Nearly all students ask good questions after the Primary performance is over, down in Yard One. That’s the time when we come out of character, introduce ourselves properly and invite questions. Sometimes, these are slow to get going but, usually, Chris can encourage questions with a bit of prompting but in Blackmans Bay case the students needed no prompting. One was more of a reflection than a question and it was this, “The women would have been really surprised to know that one day they would be famous”. Hmm that is food for thought isn’t it?

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One Comment

  1. Karen Kruimink
    Posted November 1, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    What a delight to read your positive comments about our Blackmans Bay students.
    It was great to see all the students so engaged the whole way through the performance. The show was the perfect length and had just the right interest level for our 50 eight,nine and ten year olds. The children in costume was so easily done (thank you parents) and really enriched the experience for them.
    I would like to include your article in a school newsletter. Would this be okay with you?
    Thank you so much Judith and Chris for a wonderful educational, entertaining and enriching experience for our students.
    Best wishes
    Karen Kruimink

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