North Haven Primary School

Remembrance Day

Each year for Remembrance Day, our school holds a special morning tea and Remembrance Day Ceremony to mark this special day. Students, parents and the wider school community gather at a special Remembrance Day assembly to honour the sacrifices made by so many Australians during fighting conflicts in wars past and present. Students run and present outstanding pieces of research, poetry and art work to mark the occasion. Invited guests such as the president of the Semaphore and Port Adelaide RSL and residents of our local retirement village, are on hand to lay a wreath and the school choir sings moving renditions of wartime related songs and the National Anthem. A gold coin donation fundraiser helps raise money for Operation K-9, which raises money to provide service dogs for returned soldiers.

Students in year 7 make personal connections to a soldier they research - connecting with a street name, a suburb or a family name. The students have to dig deep to uncover the stories of the past - their research isnít always written by anyone before. They have to write it themselves from examining primary sources of information such as WW1 and WW2 war service records. The reflections that students write clearly show a depth of understanding and great maturity and demonstrate huge growth with research skills. Our Year 5/6 students also connect strongly with the residents of the Aveo North Haven Retirement Village, and with service veterans. The students report on first-hand accounts of what it was like to serve or live through times of war. These experiences support our students to understand and appreciate the significance of Remembrance Day. Our indigenous students also research Indigenous soldiers' contribution to war service with our Aboriginal Community Support Worker.

All classes are engaged with the Remembrance Day activities and their high quality work is on display around our gym, the culmination of 4 weeks of solid work that shows studentsí developing skills and the values of respect, success and care. Teachers and SSOís work very hard to make days like this special for the students and the community and the results are certainly worth it.

Many people comment on how impressed they are with what our leadership, teachers and students are doing.

"I had the pleasure of attending the Remembrance Day Ceremony assembly at North Haven. Coming from Sweden to Australia in 2012, this was a new tradition for us, but nevertheless a tradition that we found important and touching. To show respect to all the courageous men and women who sacrificed their lives during times of wars, and their determination and courage is truly a beautiful tradition to value. It gives the young generations of today an understanding and respect of their history and the elderly who struggled to survive in tough times.

The ceremony was superbly presented by the students from the school, reading out heroic stories and moving poetry about brave Australians. The school choir sang beautifully throughout the ceremony and it was especially emotional when they sang Waltzing Matilda. The school values of care, respect, courage, optimism and success were highly visible during this special day. I am very happy that my children have been part of the positive spirit that is well presented in North Haven School."

(parent, 2017)