Why we participate in ANZAC Day rituals with children in contemporary Australian classrooms?
Kelly Gillen From Mill Point Rotary Club, kindly shared his time and knowledge with the children and staff at Hensman Street Elementary, regarding ANZAC Day. He spoke about what he saw and heard at the dawn service, aided us with participating in ANZAC rituals; the ODE of Remembrance; the Last Post ; and singing of Advance Australia, while also witnessing the minute silence. Kelly read us a touching story of a family torn apart by war but brought together through the powerful simplicity of Anzac Biscuits., written by Phil Cummings.
Anzac Day is an important day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand, commemorating the sacrifice and service of the ANZAC’s (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) who fought in Gallipoli during World War 1. The 25th of April has since come to be a day of commemoration for all Australian and New Zealand service men and woman who have served and died in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.
It is important to teach children about ANZAC Day in early childhood because it helps them develop an understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices made by those who have served our countries. Kelly explained that it also teaches children about the values of courage, loyalty, and mateship, which are integral to the ANZAC Spirit.
By introducing young children to ANZAC Day, we can also help them to develop empathy and respect for others, as well as understanding of the importance of freedom and democracy.
At Hensman Street Elementary, children participated in multi-sensory learning experiences geared to help them learn about the importance of peace. We’re positive the making and eating of ANZAS biscuits will be a link to carrying this conversation into the households of our Australian families. This complex conversation will travel on through many more discussions at school, as children are safely supported to share their big wonders and pose big questions to gain greater understanding about big world concepts such as: war and peace.
It is our hope, as educators, that the children will embrace important skills and attitudes that will continue to serve them well throughout their lives.