Monday, 7 May 2018

3° ESO students work in PE

Students in Virginia's PE class have been creating posters and booklets to display the vocabulary learned in class. They have worked very hard on their pieces and some of the best are shown below.

Some of the best students made booklets to display their Badminton knowledge. These usually included vocabulary lists and pictures of the sport. They also explained rules and common phrases of the game.

These students learnt about Badminton as well as Basketball. Some students wrote about the formation of the NBA and some of the famous American teams. Using diagrams to explain the features of the basketball court were really effective, as well as showing the different things a player can do. Clearly some students have a great interest in the sport!

Great work by all students!

Friday, 16 March 2018

Semana Santa in Australia

The ever-popular Cadbury Easter Egg. 

Semana Santa, or "Easter", looks very different in Australia. Remembering that it was the English who colonised modern Australia, we have taken most of our celebrations straight from the UK. 

In the lead up to Easter, there are very few public celebrations of religious themes. Chocolate eggs are on sale in the supermarket, as well as chocolate bunnies and the "chocolate bilby," a native Australian chocolate animal that raises funds for bilby conservation. 

A chocolate bilby and it's endangered, nocturnal counterpart. 

Another characteristic taken from the English is the hot cross bun. These buns are typically to be eaten on Good Friday (a rule which only a select few adhere to), however the major bakery chains like Bakers Delight and other supermarkets usually sell hot cross buns for around a month before Easter. These are a delicious excuse to "celebrate" Easter with many different flavours (including chocolate and coffee) becoming available, aside from the traditional fruit and peel selection. These buns are known by the hardened cross painted onto the bun before baking which makes for a fun variation to a regular fruit bun. 

Some gorgeous home-baked hot cross buns ready to be eaten. 

As the country is largely familiar with protestant-style celebration, Easter celebrations are largely confined to churches and Cathedrals around the country. Families have holidays (two weeks for high school students, 4 days for workers), and will typically spend Easter Sunday together. 

South Australian Bushfires, 1983.

In Australian Anglican tradition, Ash Wednesday is passed where an ashen cross is painted onto the foreheads of the congregation. Ash Wednesday has special significance in Australia as it observes the anniversary of the Ash Wednesday Bushfires of 1983, which killed 75 people and injured thousands. 

On Maundy Thursday, altars are stripped of their cloths and Good Friday is observed with solemnity in the congregation. At St Paul's Cathedral in Melbourne, John Stainer's oratorio "The Crucifixion" is sung every year, as well as a choral Eucharist that fills the pews. Easter Sunday is celebrated with chocolate eggs and most cafes are open for families to spend time together. 

What should I expect during Holy Week in Spain?

Unlike in Spain, there are very few public festivals or parades, so I'm very excited to see what Semana Santa has in store for me this year!

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Australia - My Home!

My country, Australia, is an island continent south of Asia. 

The Australian flag.

The flag of the Indigenous people of Australia.

Flying between Spain and Australia takes a very long time. I took two flights, through Dubai, which took 24 hours in the air together. Australia’s land mass is roughly 15 times the size of Spain, although the population is only 23 million compared to Spain’s 50 million! Most people live on the South-East coast of Australia (the Eastern Seaboard). Below is a population density map from 2016. People in Australia live in the areas of Melbourne and Sydney (around 4-5 million people in each city). 


Distances between capital cities are very far. Driving between Melbourne and Sydney takes around 8 hours, and driving between Sydney and Perth takes around 40-42 hours. Remember, because Australia is not nearly as dense as Europe the roads are not nearly as well maintained! Speed limits don’t typically exceed 110km/h except in the Northern Territory where some speeds are unlimited. 
Australia uses the Australian Dollar (AUD) which is worth roughly 0.63 Euro (€). We measure in imperial – metres, kilometres and kilograms – and drive on the left side of the road (as in England). The Queen of England was retained as head of state after independence was declared in 1901 and she appears on our coins. 

Brief History 
The Indigenous Australians, the Aboriginal people, lived in Australia some 50,000-70,000 years before the colonisation by the English in 1788. This makes the Aborigines one of the most ancient populations in the world. They lived in small camps, preferring a nomadic lifestyle to the complex societies of the Americas. Their life was centred around their relationship with spirituality and the environment. Below are two indigenous men performing ancient rituals. On the below a man is playing the didgeridoo (native instrument) and another performing a welcoming ceremony in traditional dress. 
Australia was discovered by the English in 1768 by Captain Cook. Before this, the country had been visited by both the Chinese and the Dutch although neither maintained colonies. The “First Fleet” of settlers arrived in Botany Bay in 1788. These were mostly prisoners from the overly-full prisons in England and were full of the Scottish, Irish and English. 
The Australian identity is mainly drawn from conflicts between those with little power (the working man) and authority. Known folklore include the Eureka stockade (miners against Police), Ned Kelly (an outlaw against the rich) and conflicts fought by the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps). Australia was a home to neo-impressionism through the art of Tom Roberts and Frederick McCubbin and the later modernist period of Arthur Boyd. The Tom Roberts painting below, Shearing the Rams (1890), is one of the most well-known paintings in Australia. 

My city, Melbourne, is a sprawling city of somewhere between 4-5 million people. Most people in Melbourne live with their own backyard in a single- or double-storey house. Melbourne is known for its liveability, great coffee, cultural diversity, music and nightlife and sports. It is the home of the Australian Open and the Australian Football League. 

Remote Areas
Around Australia are many different landforms. In the centre of Australia is a great desert called the “Simpson Desert.” The area of the desert is greater than England and Wales combined! Nearby is Uluru, a free-standing rock that is a significant religious site for the native people. 

Queensland and Northern NSW 
Cities like the Gold Coast, and other cities north of Newcastle are full of high-quality beach. Some are highly developed as pictured below. There is a high population living in this area between the big cities and small coastal towns along the seaboard. Small towns like Byron Bay are more popular destinations for holidaying Australians from the Southern States. 

The Great Barrier Reef
The largest Reef structure in the world is found north of Brisbane right up to the northern-most peak at Cape York and Thursday Island. This part of the country is pristine and bright blue beach. Lots of Australians seek out more remote parts of the coast and travel in their cares thousands of kilometres to get there. My family made a trip each summer 1,300km from Melbourne to a favourite beach to pass the holidays. 

Animals of Australia 
Australia has many unconventional and unique animals as the continent separated from the rest of the world hundreds of millions of years ago. 









Saltwater Crocodile 

Tasmanian Devil 

Fairy Penguin 


AFL – Australian Football League. 
Also known as ‘footy’ or ‘football.’ Footy is the most popular sport in Australia. It is played with an oval ball, which is kicked on an oval shaped field between 18 players on each team. Kicking the ball between the posts results in scoring either 1 or 6 points. Each year the Grand Final is played at the MCG to an audience of 100,000 people. 

The MCG – full. 

Lincoln McCarthy kicking 50m to goal. 

Sydney players attempting to tackle a Richmond player. 


Cricket is a game played during summer, with most interest in the Australian Cricket team as opposed to domestic teams.

Shane Warne taking a wicket. 
It is mostly played against England, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan and other Asian teams. 
The Ashes are contested between Australia and England. Games can last for five days and the ashes lasts for five games of five days. The competition is referred to as “The Ashes” and is the centrepiece of Australian cricket. 

Rugby is another popular national sport.
There is also a domestic competition that is not as popular – the same as for Cricket. 
Rugby is typically played against Fiji, Samoa, England, South Africa, Japan and New Zealand mostly. 

Famous Australians

Hugh Jackman
Heath Ledger 

Mark Webber 
Nicole Kidman 
Chris Hemsworth 

Australian Food 

Food preference in Australia is a mix of influences, largely Italian, Chinese and English. A “typical” meal would involve a BBQ and steamed vegetables or fresh salad.
As Australia grows most of its own produce, it is usually quite cheap to eat fresh vegetables and fruit. Mangoes, peaches, cherries and nectarines are popular fruit in summer (now) in Australia.
Vegemite is a savoury spread popular on toast in Australia. It tastes like soy sauce and is typically spread very sparingly on toast. Most foreigners don’t enjoy the taste!

If you would like to know a little more about Australia don't hesitate to ask!