Naidoc Week – 8th of July Songlines

Newsletters, SmartLessons

I’d like to begin by acknowledging the Boonwurrung People the Traditional Owners of the land on which this article was written today. I would also like to pay my respects to Elders past and present.

Why are song and dance an important part of the Australian Culture?

Being able to pass on information to the next generation is what a culture is made of. With the oldest continious culture of the world found right here in Australia, there is a lot of history. Whilst some was lost during colonisation there is still a rich and vibrant history kept alive and passed on through song and dance, the arts and the dreaming.

Today we will watch some songlines from a few of the over 500 nations that make up Australia.

Image result for Songlines - Footprints

The Marella (Emu Man) Songline is from the Djugan Country, which starts at Gantheaume Point in Broome, and travels through the Dampier Peninsular, crosses the sea to Kulumburru and on to Uluru.

Songlines – Footprints

Image result for Songlines - Naji

The Lurujarri Songline starts north of One Arm Point and travels 450 kilometers to the south of Bidyadanga, the exit place.

Songlines – Naji

Image result for Songlines - Bulunu Milkarri

This Manikay is sung traditionally by Djambarrpunu Clan. Milkarri is a sorrow Manikay (songline), is sung by women from this clan to cry about a longing for Ngurruyurrtjurr (homeland/clan).

Songlines – Bulunu Milkarri


Image result for Songlines - Tjawa Tjawa

The women travel from Roebourne in the Pilbara and move, in some cases underground, all the way through to Kiwikurra in the Great Sandy Desert far to the south of Balgo, where they split up, some heading east and some north.

The women are searching for men to take as husbands.

Songlines – Tjawa Tjawa

Musicians, those who compose your emotions


Are you a horror movie fan?

I remember being at home alone once after my parents had told me I could not watch the movie poltergeist. But in my young mind I thought, i’m tough. It won’t scare me!

It came to 9pm and it started.

The name flashed up on the screen

papa poltergeist GIF

and there was a power cut in my house!

Yes! Home alone.

After watching the opening credits of a movie my parents told me not to and now the house is dark and even scarier.

terrified GIF

I am 29 now and still haven’t watched the movie. I don’t think I ever will.

What makes movies so scary? The imagery is part of it. But there is something that gets under our skin. Raises our heartbeat. Makes our hair stand on end.

Dark Running GIF

But how does the background music change how we feel about a scene?

Score is a Documentary about the composers behind some of the most memorable moments in TV and Movie history.

Here are a few scenes with and without music.

Seems almost silly right?

SCORE: A Film Music Documentary

cce4b0_8c84c97dcbf54c80bd27ff58ed8b9d84_mv2 (1).jpg

A look at the cinematic art of the film musical score, and the artists who create them.

giphy (78)


The World Cup – A case study for inclusion

Video Highlights

Being born in England, every four years we would get our hopes up that his might be the time we win it.

Image result for england football fans

We have some of the world’s largest and most expensive football clubs but why did we always lose?

Why is the World Cup important?

It brings us all together.

It makes us laugh!

It makes us cry

You get around a team and you instantly become part of a tribe, a family.

You hug strangers, you share in joy or disappointment and for that brief time, you are all one.

In total, 97 foreign-born players competed for the 32 countries (shown here) that qualified for the 2018 World Cup.


When we have foreign players do amazing things for our national team everyone accepts them as one of us. There is no “insert descriptive word”.

You can catch all the preliminary matches on TV4Education.

Who are you going for?

Dunkirk – Life or Death on the beaches

SmartLessons, Video Highlights



The Battle of Dunkirk was a military operation that took place in Dunkirk (Dunkerque), France, during the Second World War. The battle was fought between the Allies and Nazi Germany. As part of the Battle of France on the Western Front, the Battle of Dunkirk was the defense and evacuation to Britain of British and other Allied forces in Europe from 26 May to 4 June 1940.

What was it like on the beach?

The German Dive-Bombers had sirens on them to spread terror.

They dropped leaflets letting the soldiers know that they were surrounded.

Image result for dunkirk leaflets

The beach was too shallow for their troop transport ships to land so hundreds of small boats had to pick them up.

Image result for small boats at dunkirk

We learn more about this battle which could have ended the war for the allies.

Image result for Dunkirk The New Evidence.MP4

Dunkirk The New Evidence

Image result for The dunkirk story

The Dunkirk Story



The #mprraccoon – Empathy


Today the world heard about a raccoon who decided to climb up rather than down a very tall building. It caused many people to fear for the safety of an animal sometimes called a pest.

Image result for mpr raccoon

Before we get into the topic of empathy here are some great videos of Raccoons to show you a bit more about them.

What is Empathy?

The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Not many have scaled a building, but we all know how scared this cute animal must be. You can see it in his face.

Image result for mpr raccoon

No Cover Found

The Mindfulness Tool Kit – Empathy (s01e02)

What is Empathy and how can we use our brains to practice it? It’s called ‘Prefrontal Power!’ and it helps us to see life from someone else’s perspective.

No Cover Found

Ethics Matters – Consequences

Interviewees Peter Singer and Caroline West explore consequentialism and ask would you, could you kill to save others?

No Cover Found

Ethics Matters – Animals

Interviewees Peter Singer, Bronwyn Finnigan and Julian Savulescu ask if animals have the same interests as humans and how we should ethically treat them.

No Cover Found

Behind The News Specials – Animal Ethics

This BtN Special looks at the moral issues around keeping animals. Should tourists be riding elephants and patting tigers if the animals aren’t being treated well? And should pets only come from certain breeders and not pet shops?

We hope the MPR Raccoon gets back down safely and enjoys the rest of his natural life.


Atom Studyguides, SmartLessons

World Environment Day occurs on the 5th of June every year, and is the United Nation’s principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of our environment.

Image result for #WorldEnvironmentDay

Do you wonder if you’re making a difference? Do you make sure you put your recyclables in the right place? Do you cycle to work? Or drive a hybrid?

I wonder if my choices make a difference, I recycle what I can, try to buy foods with less packaging and clothes that are made from the greenest fibers.

But can I just 1 in 7 billion make a difference?

Image result for one in a crowd

With veganism on the rise, ethical businesses booming and the shift to renewables is really changing the world. Will they be enough?

Here are a few programs that have been requested by Australian teachers for their content to start a conversation about the environment and how we can individually and collectively make a difference.

Sonic Sea

Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life. But man-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world.

Sonic Sea is about protecting life in our waters from the destructive effects of oceanic noise pollution.

Watch the full documentary here


Water is so essential to life that we cannot survive without it for more than three days. But its limited. On Earth, only 3% of our water is fresh, with less than 1% available for human use. The other 2% is locked inside the Poles. Today, with over a billion people lacking access to clean drinking water, we are finally being forced to confront a stark reality: a future where, in many parts of the world, fresh water is scarce, expensive, and out of our hands. PARCHED is a feature documentary and four episodes that takes a character-driven and investigative approach to find out who really controls water in this country — and in the world.

Watch all 4 Episodes here

Years of Living Dangerously

This Emmy-winning series follows celebrity correspondents around the world, to witness first-hand the effects of climate change on our planet and to learn how we can save it for future generations.

2 seasons available on TV4Education here

Before the Flood (2016)

A look at how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet.

Watch it now on TV4Education

Food Inc (2009)

An unflattering look inside America’s corporate controlled food industry.

Watch it now on TV4Education

Waste Land (2010)

Waste Land” is an award winning documentary by director Lucy Walker – An uplifting feature documentary highlighting the transformative power of art and the beauty of the human spirit. Top-selling contemporary artist Vik Muniz takes us on an emotional journey from Jardim Gramacho, the world’s largest landfill on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, to the heights of international art stardom. Vik collaborates with the brilliant catadores, pickers of recyclable materials, true Shakespearean characters who live and work in the garbage quoting Machiavelli and showing us how to recycle ourselves.

Watch it now on TV4Education

The Age of Consequences

‘The Hurt Locker’ meets ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES investigates the impacts of climate change on increased resource scarcity, migration, and conflict through the lens of US national security and global stability.

Watch it now on TV4Education

Follow the shocking, yet humorous, journey of an aspiring environmentalist, as he daringly seeks to find the real solution to the most pressing environmental issues and true path to sustainability.

Happy Horticulturalists – School Garden 101


Does your school have its own vege garden?

Here are a few ideas on how to build one or how to add to your current garden.

Image result for school garden



Plants you can grow in your classroom

Years 1 – 3

Cress Head

Related image

Spring Onions

Image result for spring onion grow in water

Simply cut the spring onions a few cms from the end and put them into either water or soil. This example used old toilet rolls.


Recyclable materials

Image result for sweet pea grown in plastic bottle

Ecomaths – Recycling Start clip at 6:20

In this episode, Stefan visits a vast recycling plant to explore how 2-D and 3-D shapes are used to sort and reuse rubbish, and visits a school that uses recycled objects in many different ways.

Image result for snail farm

Ecomaths – Snail VS Lamb

Will Snails be coming to a dinner plate near you in the future?

What is the future of agriculture?

Image result for FOOD UNWRAPPED SPECIALS meat

Food Unwrapped Specials – Meat

Image result for drought resistant crops

Horizon – Hungry Challenge

How do you fight hunger in the 21st Century? Horizons looks at the importance of drought-tolerant crops and the need to combat food insecurity in the developing and developed world. It also examines the need to clean up our oceans and manage our agriculture in a smarter way.

Can we look to the past to learn about sustainability in the future?


First Footprints

9,000 years ago people in Australia were learning to manipulate available plants and animals to increase food resources. They transformed an entire continent into a fully sustainable estate, until outsiders arrived

Do you enjoy our blog posts? Leave a comment below with a topic you would like to have made into a lesson and we will make it for you.


How to increase student engagement

Tips and Tricks

Play music in the classroom:

Popular song parodies are both relatable and good at helping with retention.

Here are a few of our favorites

Flipped Classrooms

Have a look at this previous post showing you the benefits and how to flip a classroom.


Regular Brain Breaks

Silent Ball

Find an area where you can safely toss a ball around. No one can talk or make a sound – being silent is the aim of the game.

The ball is tossed between classmates. Students cannot throw the ball back to the person who threw it to them. If a player misses the ball, talks or makes a bad pass, that student is out. The last two players are the champions.

Timed Chatter

Allow the students to do what they are desperate to do. Set a 3-minute timer and allow the students to get up and talk to their friends.

lots of pair share:

This allows students to build confidence, social skills and deductive thinking as they are asked to discuss ideas.


Have a video lesson created by one of our video learrning experts:

That’s right, just like the ability to request any program on free-to-air or Foxtel you can also request a multimedia rich lesson. Just send us the topic or curriculum code you are wanting and have it created for you within 2 business days. With over 140,000 videos already matched to the Australian curicculum we haven’t had a request we were unable to fill yet.

For more information on the system or to make a request you can contact us on our website


Forgiveness or Reconciliation?

Newsletters, Video Highlights

I’d like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land on which this piece was written today. I would also like to pay my respects to Elders past and present.

Today we will be exploring what it means to forgive and what it means to reconcile.

Let’s look up the definitions.


verb (used with object), for·gave, for·giv·en, for·giv·ing.
  1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.
  2. to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).
  3. to grant pardon to (a person).


  1. an act of reconciling, as when former enemies agree to an amicable truce.
  2. the state of being reconciled, as when someone becomes resigned to something not desired.
  3. the process of making consistent or compatible.

This week is a time once a year when the focus is on how lucky we are to be in this country.

As an immigrant myself like (98%) of Australia’s population I feel very blessed to be in a country that is peaceful, prosperous and for the most part a wonderful place.

I remember spending a week in a township just north of Cairns called Yarrabah helping run a childrens program with my church, yes that’s me dressed up as a clown.


It was a wonderful time to get to know more about a culture I was not very exposed to, growing up in an Afro-Caribbean family in London I knew a lot about my culture despite being thousands of miles from my ancestral place.

When I arrived in New Zealand for the first time I learned a lot about their culture, language, and customs. It was taught in school, the news was presented in the language of the land. There was a definite strong representation of their culture.


When I arrived in Australia, it was quite different, I would get small snippets of culture, at art galleries with paintings in the 10s of thousands, or a 30-minute program on NITV. But not until I got to the township did I really get to experience this vibrant and wonderful history. I learned about the hundreds of nations that make up the one we call our own.


I remember seeing some 6 or 7-year-olds throwing rocks at something on the beach only to be told later they were scaring away the local 8ft croc. Best leave it to the experts!


So Forgiveness Vs Reconciliation.

To forgive is to choose to let go of a past injustice.

I forgave my old housemate for eating my tim-tams, I know right! You understand why he is now my “old Housemate”.

But we reconciled when he brought me back some Lindt chocolate of his own free will. I didn’t expect anything back after I forgave but he recognised his error and made amends.

That’s reconciliation

When the person who did wrong makes it right.

Now before I hear “I didn’t do it” or “that was 300 years ago” Yes, you are right it was. But there are still imbalances that are still affecting Australians today.


giphy (78)

This documentary by John Piliger explores those imbalances and starts a conversation about the country that we live in. It tells us a little about the Oldest continuous culture in the world. Before Egypt, Ethiopia, China, India, The Mayans, Greece, Rome and all those that have come since.

Some areas have seen improvement and I commend the work of everyone who has worked at achieving this. But we still have a way to go.


Biggest Flipped Classroom Questions


What is flipping your classroom?

A flipped classroom is an instructional strategy and a type of blended learning that reverses the traditional learning environment by delivering instructional content, often online, outside of the classroom. It moves activities, including those that may have traditionally been considered homework, into the classroom. In a flipped classroom, students watch online lectures, collaborate in online discussions, or carry out research at home while engaging in concepts in the classroom with the guidance of a mentor.

Is it really worth the effort?

Flipped classrooms see a 70% increase in passing rates. They allow teachers to see what areas students are struggling in and adjust their lessons to fix that.

How to start & how to find the right video?

Find out what topics you will be teaching and you can do one of two things:

Search through the videos or topics on TV4Education


Send the Video Learning Experts a request through AskMike and have a lesson put together for you.


These functions are only available on SmartSuite so make sure to upgrade if you are the few schools still using an older system

How to share the videos with your students?

Sharing lessons with your students is super simple.



Copy and paste the link and email it to the students.

How to know if they actually watched the videos?

It’s called reporting! You can create a report on student usage of lessons. You can save these print these off and even take them with you to parent-teacher interviews.


And during the lesson, you can see who is engaged.


How long should the videos be?

The length of videos depends on the topic and age of students, but with the video editor, you can annotate, combine multiple videos into one and keep the students engaged with new and exciting content.



What if my students don’t have internet access?

You can download any program from TV4Education and also print off the lessons and hand it out in paper form.



Yes we have thought of everything, SmartSuite runs on any smart device, if you can access Google, you can access SmartSuite. It is hosted in our own cloud, keeping all your student data safe.

Flipping the classroom can sound daunting, but with a little help and an amazing system to help you create, deliver and share a lesson. Your lesson prep time will be reduced, student engagement will be increased and you can track what areas need a little more time and attention.




Look down at your right or your left hand and there is a 99% chance you are touching plastic right now.

Now look around the room you are sitting in and try and count how many pieces you can see.

My mouse, my keyboard, the phone on my desk, the screen I am using to write this on, the components of my computer, The cables, the pens on my desk. The wheels on the office chair I’m sitting on. within 1 meter I have found 10 things either made of our using plastic components.

Plastic breaks down, very slowly.

animation film GIF by Disney Pixar

We don’t actually know how long it takes, because none of the plastic we have made has ever broken down. Well it does get smaller and end up in the food chain, but that’s a different topic

Most plastic ends up here:

Image result for plastic in landfill


War On WasteWar On Waste (s01e02)

Or here:

Image result for plastic in ocean

Four Corners – Oceans of Plastic

and about 9% gets here:

Image result for plastic recycling

What can we do?

What really happens to the plastic you throw away – Emma Bryce

Ecomaths – Recycling (s01e02)

Rising Recycling