Discovering The Rocks
Year 4 ventured back in time recently to discover more about The Rocks’ rich heritage and history, including early colonial life and Aboriginal culture.
Along with Mr Pomfrett and Mrs McNerney, Year 4 attended two walking tours as part of a History unit about Australia’s early colonisation.
The first tour highlighted the personal histories of early convict settlers and the events which led up to their transportation.
The second tour was led by Indigenous tour guides who gave the students a glimpse into what life was like for many thousands of years before the arrival of the First Fleet.
The two perspectives presented students differing views of events from the past, as well as an opportunity to develop empathetic understanding of the cause and effect of these first contacts.
Here is what Isla and Lexi had to say about it.
“Once we had met our tour guides we got to put on our convict’s costumes, the females in bonnets and males wearing straw hats. Some of the girls got to be Governor Arthur Phillip or Captain Watkin Tench. When we started the first part of our tour, we split into our class groups and went to different but equally as fascinating locations.
We investigated buildings such as Cadman’s Cottage, William Reynolds’ house and many more. We also learnt how to identify the buildings first built in the area we now call The Rocks. The best part was that we each wore a lanyard with a first fleeter’s name, their age at the time of the voyage as well as their crime. Our tour guides brought the first fleeters’ personal stories to life as we wandered around the streets of Sydney’s first European settlement.
After a well-deserved lunch, we met two new guides, Lyndsey and James, who taught us about the life of the Indigenous people of the area before the arrival of the First Fleet and how they were impacted.
First we learnt a local Eora greeting and then we got a streak of ochre painted on our left hand. We learnt about how important totems are to Indigenous culture. For example, if your totem is a barramundi you would have to care for it like your brother or sister.
Lyndsey and James told us about different types of boomerangs and what plants are poisonous and safe to eat. We saw images of what the land looked like before the arrival of the First Fleet and noticed some of the landforms that are still there.
Thank You Mr Pomfrett and Mrs McNerney for organising this excursion! We really enjoyed our trip to The Rocks and can’t wait for the next one!”