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Learning News from the Humanities Faculty

That’s Gold!
“Miss, do you think the fellas on the Footy Show have read Robert Frost’s poem, ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay?’ Is that where it came from?
There are moments as an English teacher after weeks of exploring literary levels, concepts and metaphors an epiphany arises from within your class, and knocks you flat on your back!

Part of the role of the Humanities department is to equip our students with the skills to analyse and evaluate literature at incrementally higher levels each week, term and year. This term the gentlemen in Year 9 explored a variety of novels, including S.E. Hinton’s classic, The Outsiders. And while I’m sure Paul Vautin would agree that Robert Frost’s 1923 poem is ‘Gold,’ it was an inspiration to witness the literary arguments put forward by a group of thirteen and fourteen-year-old boys, who felt empowered to challenge the origin of the Footy Show’s famous catch phrase.

This capacity to analyse has also been the focus of a cross curricula approach to paragraph structure in written expression this semester. You may have noticed your son coming home uttering the acronym TEEL! TEEL is a deliberate attempt to equip our boys with a consistent, structure around paragraph creation. In a nut shell, the acronym stands for T – Topic sentence, the main or overarching idea in your paragraph; E – Explain, expand on your topic sentence by giving the reader more specific details clarifying what your main idea is and why it’s important or relevant; E – Evidence/Examples, this is where you prove your topic sentence to be true and backed up by evidence; and finally L – Linking sentence, this sentence must link back to the thesis of your essay (which is set up in the introduction).

Brisbane has some of the most magnificent sunrises, and this time of the year there is something extra special about the ‘golden hour.’ Adolescence in the Middle Years is our ‘golden hour’ for literacy development. It is now that we as educators and parents start to listen, read our boys work and ask ourselves, ‘Where did this come from? Did you write this?’ The following extracts of work are a reflection of this window into adolescence, which all too quickly fades. I hope that you enjoy reading your own son’s work over the break, whilst remembering that in the waning of adolescence, nothing gold can stay.

Year 7
An Evaluation on the Architectural influence of the Ancient Greeks
Extract of a Historical by Charlie Neumann
Museums, monuments and even houses all around Australia have used the architectural philosophies developed by Ancient Greece. Ever since the Greeks rose to power, architecture has never been the same, the Ancient Greeks changed architecture and building for the better. The Greeks had a philosophy that the grandest buildings should be the centre of the city, and in Brisbane, the city hall is the most prestigious building in the city, also, the town hall has a beautiful frieze, and it has columns, as well as using marble and limestone. These materials still have a modern touch. The beautiful use of columns in Ancient Greece has inspired Australia, although there are very few houses with Greek columns, they have been used by many houses to support much more than just a roof. With this evidence it is clear to see that the Ancient Greek dominance in architecture has had a huge effect on modern-day Australian Architecture because of the Greek knowledge and understanding of this subject.

Year 8
An Analysis of the female heroine in the anime film ‘Spirited Away’
Extract of an essay by Riley Morton
When the film opens, Miyazaki emphasises Chihiro’s cowardly and timid personality, but through the experiences in the Spirit World, she emerges as a brave heroine. When first introduced Chihiro isn’t courageous actually, far from it! Courage is a trait that many heroes have and one they need to have to face their journey. As a result of the experiences with characters such as the Stink Spirit, Chihiro shows great courage and endurance.

*Year 9 *
An Analysis of R.J. Palacio’s message from the novel ‘Wonder.’
Extract of an Introduction to an essay by Sebastian La Rosa

Internationally bestselling novel, ‘Wonder,’ by R.J. Palacio focuses on the negative impact of physiognomy not only to an individual but also to a community, and how in these situations we not only see the worst of people, but also the best. Wonder follows the story of August, a ten-year boy with a craniofacial abnormality who suffers from prejudice due to his facial features. August Pullman has been previously home-schooled and is beginning Middle School for the first time, which connects the protagonist to the reader by using a familiar setting. He is faced with many challenges throughout the book including being marginalised by his peers, the kindness and courage of friendships and being negatively viewed by his community.

Lisa Holohan, Humanities Faculty Coordinator


This term Middle School Religion has been very eventful. The Year 7 students had the opportunity to organise and carry out an act of community service as well as creating their own ‘Guide to Good Living’ booklet. You can see a sample of some of their ideas below.

The Year 8 students learnt all about the covenants in both the Old and New Testament and how they are relevant to our lives today as well as looking at current, modern day covenants.

Year 9 students had a chance to use their imagination and creativity when they had to modernise a parable and write a newspaper article about the parable. We had articles about Kanye West, Ray Allen, even Vladimir Putin and a plethora of other stories and characters.

It has been an interesting and busy term yet we are looking forward to Term 3 which will surely be just as exciting, including a Year 9 retreat day, introducing some collaborative tools with our students and looking at prophets and key figures who have made an impact on our belief system today.

To live a good life, you need to show personal responsibility for your sins and account for them by trying to correct any mistakes and not repeat them later on. When you consciously follow these actions then the path of peace will be open to you and you will live a good life.
Liam Barrie, 7 Wynne

Good living is probably the most crucial thing in life if you want to be loved and welcomed in your community. If you can demonstrate kind actions to someone then you are passing on the message of God. Then the message of God will be spread and it will have a flow on effect.
Troy Franklin, 7 Wynne

Mrs Sara Conlan, Religious Education Coordinator