Stepping up, and stepping out in the 5 /6 Homestead

Firstly, a huge thank you to all of you for your support of the Homestead program this year. In addition to the normal classroom routines, our students are fortunate to be able to engage in a huge range of activities outside our regular curriculum. This could not happen without your help.

Below is a sample of those activities that mark the run-up to our final days at school for 2022. We’ll let our students do the talking!

Year 5 Debating

Over the past few weeks, a number of interested Year 5 students were involved in a debating program initiated by the Year 9 students from Senior Campus. Over several coaching sessions, we honed our skills and worked towards a debate against the Penbank Campus team.

All of Year 5 were given the opportunity to be involved in a debating program run by the Year 9 debating team. It was very popular and there was a lot of people interested. Then came the first session. We started off by introducing ourselves and then playing a game (basically, the whole first session was games). In the second session we were introduced to actual debating and started learning the structure of our arguments. By the end we knew the basics and were put into teams for our first practice debate. During the practise I was voted best speaker and we won! Same story for the second one (not best speaker though).

Then the team was selected. Brecon, Millie, Zac, Finlay and I had two days to prepare with Mrs Williams. The topic was ‘Animal Testing Should Be Banned’. Minimbah was arguing for the affirmative and we had a lot of good information. The order was like this:

Finlay: 1st speaker

Jacob (me): 2nd speaker

Millie: 3rd speaker

Zac & Brecon: Researchers

Then came the big day. Everyone was super excited as we got on the bus and travelled to Senior Campus. The rest of Year 5 came along to watch. We gathered outside and walked in. Straight away the team and I sat in our chairs at the table and listened to the adjudicator. Then the debate started. Only twice in my life had I felt this much pressure. All in all, I think everyone spoke super well, and good job Penbank! Also, congratulations to Millie for being the best speaker on the day!

I think it really benefited me to do this debate. I am, overall, not that confident speaking on a stage but it really helped me to do something I love.

Jacob M

Year 5 Vox Pops

The Year 5’s were asked a series of questions to reflect on the term. The questions were:

What or who has inspired you this term?

“Teachers that keep encouraging you and most people.”



-Jacob M, Zac, Eve

“Friends that push me to do things.”


“Friends, Teachers and people around me.”


“The people around me.”


“Mrs Love and Mr Hicks.”

-Ethan B, Tom, Willow

“Mrs Williams and Mr Hicks because they helped me with NaNoWriMo.”


“Mr Hicks because he’s good at computers and I wanna be like him.”

-Ethan Z

“Teachers because they help me when I’m struggling on something.”


In what ways have you discovered you’re creative?

“Working with others during the creative collaborative project.”

-Millie, Harper, Tilly



“Cooking and art.”


“Stepping out of my comfort zone to do something and ending up enjoying it.”



-Zac, Olivia

What will you miss about Year 5?

“My class, I ended up making friends with a lot of them.”

-Tilly, Harper

“My class, next year I don’t have as many of my friends in my class as I do this year.”




“Everything, I love Year 5.”


“Sovereign Hill, that was a fun camp, and I won’t get to do it again.”


“I’ll miss all the opportunities I got this year, but I know I’ll get even better ones next year as well.”


And finally, I will be a successful year 6 student at Minimbah because…

“Next year I will be kind, I will try new things and I will aim high.”


“I will go out of my comfort zone more.”


“I will take as many opportunities as I can.”


“I will try my hardest at everything and take a risk going to Bali.”


“I WILL be successful.”


“I will try new things.”


“I will be a successful year 6 student because I’m amazing, creative and I love socialising.”



In addition to the Year 5 and 6 students involved in the performance of ‘Let Love Rule’ by Archie Roach, the Year 6s were represented by Milla G as she reflected on her time at Minimbah. Here is the text of her speech from the night:

The best part of a new book is when you first open it, and the spine cracks, sending quivers through your body and making you wonder in anticipation of what will happen next. This is what it was like on my first day at Minimbah.

My Minimbah story starts in Year 5. I was standing inert at the doorway leading to the Homestead, listening to the clatter of voices through it, willing myself to move but my feet stayed glued to the floor; everything was new but oddly familiar. I had been to ECC here and vividly remember Lisa and some of the other teachers who helped me learn ‘fun’damental skills.

A large part of my Year 5 journey was in lockdown, the constant irritating feeling that you’re missing out on something. Lockdown was challenging because I found understanding the tasks difficult, and I needed someone to help me get things done! A highlight from Year 5 was discovering philosophy with my wonderful teacher Mrs Hodgkiss. It helped me find the things I loved and connected with, making me curious to ask lots of questions.

In Year 6, we went to Canberra. I loved seeing all the amazing art pieces on show at the gallery; I was also interested in Quest-a-con with the fascinating facts about so many different things. I loved every bit of it.

Our Year 6 production was ‘The Little Mermaid’. It was an outstanding experience that taught me so much. My role was Flotsam, one of Ursula’s eels. I loved practising my lines and learning all the actions. Mrs Wong, Georgy, and Mrs Fletcher supported and encouraged everyone to try their best with singing and acting.

Thank you, Mrs Stocker and Mr Crouch, for being the best teachers EVER! You pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to try new things. You also helped me find my passion and prepared me for the next chapter.

I am sad to be leaving Minimbah, my teachers, some of my friends and Gypsy, but I am really looking forward to going to Woodleigh. I’m excited to make new friends, face more challenges and try new things.

Thank you for listening to my story.

Water Safety

Lifesaving day was a fantastic experience. We had four different activities, the belt running, the paddle boards, CPR/medical, and lifesaving. My favourite out of the four activities was the paddle boards. I loved lying on my stomach and windmilling my arms to propel myself forward. The CPR was interesting too. We used these strange mannequins that, if you pressed down on their chests, they would bounce back up. We learned how many fingers and hands you should use for different ages. We split into four groups and rotated through the activities, using our house colours for the different groups. Lifesaving day taught me a lot and I am very thankful to the volunteers who did the activities with us. I am grateful for the experience and overall lifesaving day was great.

Claudia D

Year 6 Dinner

The Year 6 Dinner was a night we will never forget. There was joy, laughter and freedom as we all danced around each other. The energy was high, and we were feeling our best. Not many schools do this. My favourite bit was dancing and singing with my friends, and when the teachers came out with dinosaur outfits. Thanks to everyone that contributed for the dinner. Without the decorations, food and people it wouldn’t have been a Hawaiian dinner.


The Year 6 Dinner was an experience I won’t forget. The inflatable dinosaurs added a bit of a Jurassic feel to the Hawaiian theme. The dancing was awesome! My friends and I spent the majority of the dinner dancing and having a blast. The food was also very good but in my opinion the dancing and the music was the best part of the evening.


To thoroughly explain what the Year 6 Dinner was like in a paragraph is impossible, there were so many highlights. For example, there was singing, dancing, surprise guest performances, food, drinks, games, dinosaurs and much, much more. It was definitely one of the highlights of our year. This was a chance for people to express themselves, whilst for others a chance to just have some fun. We had such a great time, and I am so happy to say that I was involved in it.

Lachlan P

Happy Holidays

We wish all our families the very best for a fantastic summer break. Good luck to the Year 6s who are about to embark upon their secondary school journey, and à bientôt to the Year 5s (soon to be 6s). We can’t wait to welcome you back to the Homestead next year.

See you soon,

The 5/6 Homestead Team