11 February, 2019 Academic

Year 5 students step back in time at Sovereign Hill

Last Thursday, our Year 5 students visited Sovereign Hill to discover the excitement of Ballarat’s 1850s Goldrush and learn about life in the Goldfields.

Year 5 students step back in time at Sovereign Hill Meeting the local law enforcement

This term, as part of their Transdisciplinary Learning our Year 5 students are investigating Australian History and the colonisation of Australia. At Sovereign Hill, this period in Australia’s History comes to life.

During their visit to Sovereign Hill, the students experienced what school was like for children in the Victorian Goldfields, a time when children were expected to be seen and not heard, panned for gold, and went underground into the Red Hill Mine.

Year 5 students step back in time at Sovereign Hill Leila and Alexia experience school at Sovereign Hill

A highlight of the day was a visit to the sweet shop to purchase some legendary Raspberry Drops, a must-do on any visit to Sovereign Hill.

Year 5 student Ruby wrote a reflection about the excursion from the perspective of a Sovereign Hill resident who was disturbed by a boisterous group of St Michael’s students.

Here is Ruby’s story.

On the seventh day of the second month of the year 2019, a band of unsavoury foreign travellers invaded our dear Sovereign Hill, in Ballarat. Calling themselves the Year 5s of St Michael’s Grammar. As I was scrubbin’ my pots and pans they barged in an’ claimed to have rights to explore our little town, God save us, an’ the Queen, and started interruptin’ our blacksmiths, demandin’ for a lesson in smelting our gold. They even bullied our blacksmith into lettin’ those loud children hold $180,000 worth o’ bullion. I always thought children should be seen and not heard.

After that while pushin’ their way into our sweet shop and watchin’ our lolly makers, while shouting at them for boiled sweets, they even had the nerve to take our beloved raspberry drops, even if they did pay for ‘em. Splittin’ up so they could harass us more, one group came into our mine camp and pretended to be the law and workers, which I’m sure is a crime, and earned money by it, with the winning team earning 25 pounds!

The other group was questioning our state-of-the-art medical knowledge and they dared to talk about ladies fashion and even under clothes! They even embarked down the hazardous Red Hill Mine, taking no notice of warnings of flooding and collapses, but they did witness the discovery of the second largest nugget in the world, The Welcome Nugget.

After the Red Hill Mine, they started running downhill to pan for gold, even taking lessons from a runaway convict in disguise! After the warden shot a rifle at the prisoner a few of the travellers screamed! You could have thought they fell in the water, the way they carried on. Only three or four people found specks of gold.

As they walked back towards their strange rectangular vehicles, I thanked my God that they were on their merry way and that I could finally go back to washing my dishes on a quiet Thursday morning.
Story by Ruby, Year 5

Year 5 students step back in time at Sovereign Hill Making a business transaction in the Goldfields

The Year 5 students enjoyed their visit to Sovereign Hill and at the end of the day, everyone returned to St Michael’s feeling tired but very grateful for modern luxuries!