Code-breaking, propaganda, Lancaster bombers and Victoria Cross medals have all been on the forefront of the Primary LEX@R students’ minds. This semester, we have been focused on World War II, including a look at the causes and timeline of the War. We’ve broken the Enigma Code, the Pigpen Cipher and looked at how knowing letter frequency can help you crack a code. Mr Beattie explained to us how computer encryption keeps our information safe and we looked at how banks use huge numbers to encrypt bank details.
How do you get someone to think like you do? During World War II, propaganda was key. Students are looking at the techniques used by both sides of the war and some of the propaganda posters that were made famous. Mrs Vivian even wore one of her world-famous t-shirts to teach propaganda!
On our most exciting day, the LEX@Rs took an excursion to the Army Museum of WA in Fremantle, where our guide helped us to understand Australia’s place in a number of conflicts, even into modern days. We were privileged to see six original Victoria Cross medals (each worth around $600,000 and the highest commendation given in Australia) won by West Australians.
After a delicious lunch of fish and chips at Kailis Bros., we headed off to the Aviation Heritage Museum in Bull Creek, which houses an incredible collection of military aircraft. Most impressive is the Lancaster bomber – one of only two in Australia, which we were able to look inside. We learned about the bouncing bombs, dropped by Lancasters, used for a daring dam-busting raid. Also on display were an amphibious Catalina, a Spitfire and a DC3 used for patient transport. We all thought we could have stayed a lot longer, especially as our veteran guides were so knowledgeable and full of stories.
While we still have lots to learn about World War II and its impact, we feel that we have been able to have new insight into that time of history and look forward to learning more together.