Melbourne's Federation Square is a fascinating pplace
Over the few months since Melbourne’s Federation Square Fed Ed! Program was introduced in October last year, more than 40 school groups totalling over 1200 primary and secondary students have taken part in structured educational visits.

Education Manager, Cameron Stevens, says that while hundreds of school groups visit the square and its institutions every week, the Fed Ed! Program’s structured education program will turn a fun class excursion to Melbourne’s CBD into a valuable learning experience.

Age appropriate programs catering from K6 to Year 12 are offered and can be modified to emphasise specific topics – civics and citizenship, history and culture, architecture and environment are a few examples.

The Fed Ed! website at www.feded.com.au is an excellent starting point when planning an excursion to Federation Square. It is well designed and an easy to navigate site that includes an online booking and enquiry facility.

Comprehensive support materials can be ordered in advance of a school visit. These include three teacher’s manuals: Civics and History for Primary Teachers VELS Levels 3 and 4, or Years 3 to 6; History Manual VELS Level 5 or Years 7 to 10; and Civics and Citizenship Manual VELS Levels 5 and 6 or Years 7 to 10.

The idea of the manual is to supply teachers with relevant content which will stimulate a series of lessons, or unit/s of work which link to specific concept/s which exist at Federation Square. Thus, the manual is a textbook for teachers, helping them to rationalise the revamping of an existing unit or when developing new units of work within the VELS framework.

Group visits start off with a general briefing and description of Federation Square’s history and facilities. A one-hour guided walking tour takes the group through the site before the students head off to explore one or more of the highly popular institutions – perhaps the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, The National Gallery of Victoria, or Champions: Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame.

Fed Ed! Program cost per student is $4.00 and there’s no charge for accompanying teachers and adults.
Contact Cameron Stevens tel (03) 9655 1900, fax (03) 9633 6522 or email cameron.stevens@fedsquare.com

Explore a gold mine and ride a tram that talks – historic Bendigo is a great excursion destination

The beautiful city of Bendigo is truly a heritage city. When gold was first discovered in 1851, it sparked decades of gold mining worth billions of dollars, making the city one of the wealthiest cities in the world. This wealth has left impressive streetscapes and modern treasures that bring great vibrancy to the city.

The best way for your school group to discover the city’s golden heritage is with a visit to Central Deborah Gold Mine where the students have the unique opportunity of exploring a real gold mine.
Students don a hard-hat and miner’s lamp, descend 61 metres below the surface and are guided through the honeycomb of tunnels where almost one tonne of the world’s most precious metal was discovered.

The surface of the mine also offers an enjoyable experience with its treasure trove of vintage mining machinery, gold panning and interpretative museums.

Departing from Central Deborah Gold Mine is one of Bendigo’s other iconic attractions – the Vintage ‘Talking’ Tram tour. It’s hard to not enjoy a ride aboard one of these finely restored trams as it recounts the past 150 years of golden history and offers some of the best viewing of Bendigo’s grand architecture.

The hop-on hop-off Vintage ‘Talking’ Tram tour also allows your group to visit some of Bendigo’s other popular attractions, including the Sacred Heart Cathedral, Alexandra Fountain, Lake Weeroona and the Bendigo Joss House.

To assist with school excursions, a comprehensive education resource kit is available that includes teacher notes, pre-visit materials, risk assessment and post-visit class activities. A copy of If the Walls Could Talk can be ordered from Central Deborah Gold Mine on (03) 5443 8255.
Group bookings tel (03) 5443 8255 and visit websites www.central-deborah.com and www.bendigotramways.com