What Language did you Learn in School?


Elaine L (Year 8)

Edited by Anson L (Year 10)

Well in, Week 7, Year 8 participated in their language program, learning the culture and traditions of Darug. Rather than a traditional timetable class, Darug Week, as the name suggests, is a week-long program that occurs every term.  This term, our unit focused on the importance of kinship on Country. During the week, we had the opportunity to deepen our knowledge of the importance of Country for Darug people, their connections with each other and the land, and important ceremonies and activities that enhance this connection. Unlike a normal classroom, our rooms were transformed from the regular rows on rows of tables into a yarning circle. This created a more connected and respected space mimicking Indigenous communication spaces indoors.

Unlike other previous language programs, Darug allowed us to participate in hands on activities such as spear throwing and axe making, letting us experience the culture in a practical and interactive way. Year 8 had the opportunity to participate in an incursion presented by Stix and Stones where we produced traditional stone axes and practised the art of bamboo spear throwing. This was an engaging and interactive way to learn techniques from a culture that has been diminished over the years in hopes to preserve it for the future.

Another activity that was enjoyed was being able to take time out of the week to spend time with someone in our grade we were not familiar with. Everyone in the grade had the opportunity to take a ten-minute walk with another student, building a connection in the grade. This was not only an enjoyable time to take a walk outside but also talk and connect with someone whom we normally would not have.

Instead of being placed randomly in different classes, the Darug Program was completed in mentor groups. This created an opportunity to bond with our new mentor groups.

This term, Darug Week fell during our assessment period and from what I’ve heard, most students thought that a week to connect with the nature and learn a new language was beneficial not only from the stress of culminating tasks, but it was a wonderful time to take a break from our devices and experience a unique way of living, where we are not technology oriented. We were able to spread a sacred and diminishing language and learn about the traditional owners that our land is situated on while spending quality time with our new mentor groups. Darug is an important language to learn and preserve.