Peer Review 4

Hi Daniel,
Congratulations on your blog post this week. You have presented very thoughtful links between your quotes and the broad themes of Hard Times. However, I would love to see you make a statement here! Offer your opinion and support it with your evidence as this is your platform to express yourself. Also, I believe your quote about Sissy tells us a lot about Dickens’ depiction of children as being virtuous and imaginative. This could be another angle you could read into. Otherwise, you have created a very well written critical blog post which I thoroughly enjoyed reading!


EDFX Community Engagement 4

The contrasts between students learning abilities became particularly evident this week as we focused on reading and comprehension skills. Firstly, I began the class assisting with reading groups. I noticed here that the books were categorized into levels of difficulty and my supervisor explained how the books reflected the reading level of the students. I was surprised to see that we had some students at a kindergarten reading levels, while others had advanced to a Year 3 reading level. In every reading group that I assisted, it was clear that there were students that were further ahead than others. For these students, having to wait while their classmates caught up often caused impatience and defiance. The brightest students were becoming the most disruptive. The reading groups were supposed to encourage peer support, however, students who struggled with certain words were often given the answers by those who were eager to move onwards. I could see that this task was unsuccessful in engaging all students, and I was concerned that I didn’t accurately measure learning with students who were already behind unknowingly falling further backward.

The second task involved reflecting and analysing the Ken Done influenced artworks they created last week. Here I created a number of questions which could assess a range of abilities, I worded my question according to the outcomes required in the Year 2 syllabus. This included: What are three words you would use to describe your drawing? What are three main colours you have used? What shapes you have used? What are the special features of your artwork? To aid the student’s responses I stood at the whiteboard and wrote out words that students had difficulty spelling. The board quickly filled up with words. I began to circle the room and quickly realised that many of the students had a hard time answering the questions. Nearing the end of the task I noticed one student with learning difficulties had not written a single word. I read the questions out loud, then reworded them into a more casual question and I noticed he had given me some successful answers verbally. I asked him why he hadn’t written his answer down and he told me he didn’t know how to spell it. I pointed to this word which had been put up on the board, but as soon as I moved away from it, he was unable to filter out the other words around it. For this student, removing other stimulus and focusing his attention on one thing at a time allowed him to accurately recall information. This task made me question how we measure successful learning, that all students have individual learner requirements, and allowed me to understand how easy it was for a student to quietly fall behind.

Art and Literature



In any cultural period, there is a seamless connection between art all of the arts. In exploring art we may find many literary connections, as the themes and techniques of artists can expand our understanding of literature and its context.

This week we explored the 19th Century rooms of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
In the Victorian Hall, I was most intrigued by the wall displaying Victorian women. This collaboration by the Art Gallery gave the impression of a complex narrative. The positioning of these artworks allowed the viewer to gain a deeper understanding of Victorian society, comparing the values and attitudes towards women, the core values of the era and the differences between social classes. Women were presented as Femme Fatals, with a strength and paradoxical decline, questioning the nature of womanhood and femininity.

Sir Edward John Poynter, The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon


The following video also contains interesting links between art and literature in the Romantic Era of the 19th Century:


EDFX Community Engagement 3

This week, the Year 2 students had been learning about Sydney. They had previously studied a range of artists from Brett Whitely to Grace Cossington-Smith and my supervisor asked me to conduct an age appropriate art class which recalled their knowledge. To begin, we looked at Ken Done’s renderings of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We noted the shapes and colours and then discussed how students could create their own drawing of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, influenced by the features of Ken Dones artworks. Using crayon and blue wash, this independent task became very creative, but with clear outcomes that needed to be achieved. At first, the class was very talkative about the colours and shapes they had seen, however, as soon as we played music everyone became very quiet and interested in their task. Even those with ADHD and Autism exhibited great focus and patience. The activity gave students a freedom of expression, with many asking if they could include personal touches into their drawing such as fireworks, dolphins, boats and birds. My supervisor asked me to award the top 3 artworks with a sticker, we went around the room looking at the drawings, I found her to be particularly harsh in her judgments, telling them that they had been unsuccessful but not giving them the opportunity or suggestions for how they might improve.

Charles Dickens; Hard times with Mr Thleary

Creative task: Write a song, sung by Mr. Thleary, about how he thinks people should lead their lives.

Mr. Thleary is a man who has a great understanding of his position in life. While considering himself as part of the poor and down-trodden he remains positive and imparts great wisdom and sentimentality. Thleary presents the truth as he sees it and never censors his passion and emotion. Believing all his comrades to be noble and beautiful, especially his horses.

Look at me deary, my nameths Mr Thleary,
And I feel I mutht put in my word.
Though your tearths wont sthop flowing, I wont be a going
You’ve lostht a great fortune I’ve heard.

Be not athamed, though you’ve nothing to your name
Becauthe all of uth people on earth,
Can get cut up rough, but juthst grab the sthtirrup;
You’ll find what you really are worth.

So graspth on the reignths,
Let life, shake her maneths.
Make the betht of it; not the wurtht!
Do the withe thing, do the kind thing too,
youll thee life ith a blessthing not a curthse!

Now justh look at me, Im no Angel breed,
But both thides of my banner, may be equally theen.
If you know your own mind, then heavenths be aligned;
Who knowths where good fortune may lead

So graspth on the reignths,
Let life, shake her maneths.
Make the betht of it; not the wurtht!
Do the withe thing, do the kind thing too,
youll thee life ith a blessthing not a curthse!

‘At the circus Molier, Paris’  by J. Delton, 1910



Peer Review 3

Hi Alana,
I really enjoyed how you related to your personal experiences in challenging the blog topic. Similar to the previous comment, you do need to be wary of your grammar. Also the use of the word ‘whilst’ could be simplified. Overall this blog post really got me questioning how the intended audience of Jane Austen really reacted to Emma! There might even be literary reviews available to us from this period, which might be a really interesting avenue to research! Also, remember to add in supporting evidence or material (eg images and links).

Rock Picking- Wordsworth

This week, we read the poetry of William Wordsworth. In this creative short story, I was inspired by his romantic ideals which emphasised the beauty of nature and the exaltation of the working class. The story is modern Australian romanticism which recounts a personal experience where the beauty of nature and the triumph of physical labour flourished.

Rock Picking

The first rays of sunlight filtered through paddocks and hills. Dewey gum trees sagged and swayed as the sparkling light danced across shivering leaves. Walking over unstable ground, my graceless steps roused the attention of the herd. The beasts clustered together as they followed me tentatively at a distance, their movements generating a low rumbling. The whines and heavy breathing exhaled a hot mist into the cold morning air and they matched my walking pace with curiosity. At then end of the paddock, I had to jump the gate, which was no small feat as it stood in such weathered condition. Many splinters had been sacrificed to this leap, and in my failed agility I questioned whether or not it could continue to support my weight. Unbalanced with one a leg over the fence and both hands gripping on unstable steel, I looked back at my silent companions. One stood forward from the crowd, closer than I had expected. Staring into thoughtful eyes, I paused for a moment, challenging her to take action in my moment of instability. In her great benevolence, she simply snorted and turned away, the herd following her gesture. I swivelled back around unsteady and found my father’s arm held out to offer me safety. ‘Be careful’ he mumbled, and with his support, I jumped the fence as nimble as a kelpie.

We followed the edge of the gully down to our work, the beauty of the morning asked for a quiet reverence and that’s what we gave it. “Rock picking” is what dad called it, a little romantic title for hours of back breaking labour. We pulled rocks from the earth barehanded, turning over spiders, grubs and damp black soil. Although the tips of our fingers turned cold and numb we never stopped, our methodical work became calming and pure. Even through exhaustion and pain, my father persisted, the intensity of his resolve proven through raw strength and determination. I watched in awe as he lifted great monstrous sized boulders up onto his chest and threw them into the front-end loader of the tractor.

Finally, when it was full, we drove it down to the edge of the land, bordered by a softly bubbling creek. Our neighbour’s embankment had been swept away by heavy rains, and there they stood eagerly awaiting our arrival. Many hands helped to shift the rocks over the water, and with the final load set down, their rusted range rover had access again. With two toots of the horn in thanks, we watched as the old machine bounced down the road kicking dirt into the golden sun. ‘Lets go get some breaky’ smiled dad.


“Peaceful Setting” by Rod Moore

EDFX Community Engagement 2

This week we had a mufti day, where the students came dressed in attire which represented their cultural heritage. This was a fantastic visual representation of the multicultural backgrounds that the students come from. Of course, mufti day created a charged energy in the classroom, with lots of dancing and fidgeting with costumes. One boy, who came from the south pacific, spent the day dressed in nothing but a grass skirt, a pair of undies and war paint with bare feet (much to his delight and the teacher’s horror). It was difficult to keep the students settled and my supervisor adjusted her plan for the day to accommodate this unusual animation, focusing on light-hearted activities such as reading and colouring.

After recess, the students began a rotation between classes which offered a range of different cultural experiences. The entire school participated in this activity and it was very interesting to see how teachers coordinated this mass activity. Keeping students in line and time management became a key component in the success of this venture.

Peer Review 2

Hi Julena,

A very emotive response! Your writing really gives me a great sense of the conflict and desperation that the speaker is feeling. I felt you had a great grasp of Emmas’ language and thought processes, however it seemed like you had almost re-written the scene between Emma and Harriet. I would love to see a new conflict and this creative piece could really be elevated by throwing in a few extra quirks and personality traits.