A group of students from Brentwood Park Primary School were able to see yesterday's Anzac Day commemoration in a different light thanks to a hands-on excursion at the Shrine of Remembrance. The week before, Jo-anne Doran and her class learned about the lives of Australians in the First World War by taking part in the Spirit of Anzac program.
The program for Year 5 and 6 students allows learners to gain insights into what life was like during the war by taking them on a tour through the Shrine's historical exhibits. Throughout the tour, they were able to handle uniforms, see equipment and get a real understanding of what life was like for young Victorians 100 years ago.
'Our school values are respect, responsibility, excellence and teamwork, and for us the Anzacs are such a great example to show the students what these really mean,' said Jo-anne.
She said that the program was fantastic because it was really hands on and links directly to the Year 6 curriculum.
'The students were able to get into the exhibits, and touching the equipment gave them such a richer experience, because it wouldn't click until they were able to feel the weight of one of the shovels or touch one of the soldiers or nurses uniform.'
'This was a learning experience for both staff and students, because we come away each year having learned something new that we never understood or had heard of before,' she said.
In addition to original artefacts, students attending the Spirit of Anzac program were also able to examine images from the field.
Brentwood Park students Rita and Raven left the tour with a new perspective of Australian wartime history.
'I learned that World War I started in 1914 and ended in 1918, and that poppies are remembered because they were the first thing to grow on the battlefields after the war,' said Rita.
'I learnt what it felt like to be in the war. What food they ate, what conditions they had to fight in, and what equipment they used,' said Raven.
'It is important to remember the Anzacs and the First World War because if it we wasn't for the Anzacs, we probably wouldn't have what we have today, or we might not even be here.'
The Spirit of Anzac program is one of many learning experiences available at the Shrine of Remembrance, many of which go beyond the history curriculum and into areas of Civics and Citizenship, Social and personal capabilities, Critical and creative thinking and more.
For more information about learning opportunities at the Shrine, see: Shrine of Remembrance - Education