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Let's teach! Primary

National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week 2021

May 26 marks an important date in the Australian calendar—National Sorry Day. This day represents a time to remember and acknowledge all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were taken from their families and culture. Today they are known as the Stolen Generations. By acknowledging the cruelty of these past events, Australians as a collective can move towards reconciliation.

The week following National Sorry Day (May 27–June 3) is known as National Reconciliation Week. This period is dedicated to promoting all elements necessary for reconciliation including education about Australia’s shared histories and cultures, the effect of the individual in allowing for change and the ideal of building strong, respectful relationships between all in the Australian community.

This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme according to Reconciliation Australia is ‘More than a word. Reconciliation takes action’, urging greater efforts to be undertaken for reconciliation. Education can directly support this theme—by helping students understand the wrongdoings of the past, teachers like yourself can contribute to the reconciliation efforts of both today and tomorrow.

Let’s teach! Primary has prepared several lessons that relate specifically to National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week. All lessons serve the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures cross-curriculum priority.

Lessons for lower primary


History Year 3, Unit 3, Lesson 4: Other significant days and weeks
This lesson explores the importance of National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week in conjunction with Harmony Day, with the lens of significant Australian days and weeks. It highlights why these events are observed while also asking students to consider the perspective of ATSI people regarding events of the past.

Relevant curriculum links in this lesson
Australian Curriculum: ACHASSK064—Days and weeks celebrated or commemorated in Australia (including Australia Day, Anzac Day, and National Sorry Day) and the importance of symbols and emblems
NSW Syllabus: HT2-2—Describes and explains how significant individuals, groups and events contributed to changes in the local community over time
Vic. Curriculum: VCHHK076—Significance of days and weeks celebrated or commemorated in Australia and the importance of symbols and emblems, including Australia Day, ANZAC Day, Harmony Week, National Reconciliation Week, NAIDOC week and National Sorry Day
WA Curriculum: ACHASSK064—Days and weeks celebrated or commemorated in Australia (including Australia Day, Anzac Day, and National Sorry Day) and the importance of symbols and emblems

Lessons for upper primary


History Year 6, Unit 2, Lesson 2: A catalyst for change
This lesson explores the importance of National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week in conjunction with Harmony Day, with the lens of significant Australian days and weeks. It highlights why these events are observed while also asking students to consider the perspective of ATSI people regarding events of the past.

History Year 3, Unit 3, Lesson 4: Other significant days and weeks
This lesson explores the importance of National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week in conjunction with Harmony Day, with the lens of significant Australian days and weeks. It highlights why these events are observed while also asking students to consider the perspective of ATSI people regarding events of the past.

Relevant curriculum links in both lessons
Australian Curriculum: ACHASSK135—Experiences of Australian democracy and citizenship, including the status and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, migrants, women and children
NSW Syllabus: HT3-4—Describes and explains the struggles for rights and freedoms in Australia, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
Vic. Curriculum: VCHHK094— The different experiences and perspectives of Australian democracy and citizenship, including the status and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, migrants, women, and children
WA Curriculum: ACHASSK135—Experiences of Australian democracy and citizenship, including the status and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, migrants, women and children

How is your school observing National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation Week this year?

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