Year 4 explorers discover First Contacts

The sun shone as Year 4 ventured to The Rocks to become immersed in history.

“Our students thoroughly enjoyed their First Contacts excursion; exploring the streets of The Rocks while learning about the lives of settlers, convicts and First Nations peoples,” said Acting Head of Stage 2 Victoria Mills.


The excursion is part of their study of First Contacts this term.

First Contacts is a topic divided into four units; Before Contact, Great Journeys, Stories of the First Fleet and Contact. Within these units, students learn about the long history and connection to Country of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and what life was like for them before European contact, as well as the causes and impacts of colonisation. 

The day started with a walking tour that delved into the history and heritage of The Rocks and Circular Quay introducing students to the importance of these areas and their place in Australia’s colonial history.

I liked dressing up as Mrs Macquarie and being interviewed. There are so many places named after Lachlan and Elizabeth Macquarie,” reflected Year 4 student Maya.

After lunch, the group made their way to The State Library of New South Wales for workshops that delved deeper into the lifestyles of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island communities, before and after colonisation. 

I liked that we all had lunch together in a beautiful park with blue water and a clear sky,” said Sophia of the excursion.

During the workshop, the students had a chance to get up close and personal with a variety of cultural artefacts used by Aboriginal Australians. Working in groups they inspected different artefacts and then presented them to the rest of the class, explaining what the artefact was called, its function and what it was made from. 

According to Issy in Year 4, the excursion brought to life many of the topics the students were studying in class. 

“We got to dress up like settlers and also learn about how Aboriginal people took care of this area for thousands of years,” Issy said. 

“A very warm thank you to the wonderful Year 4 parents who helped us on the day,” said Year 4 teacher Teresa Bertoli.