Australia Day is marked by pupils

NMAM Highfields school balloon release
NMAM Highfields school balloon release

Pupils at Highfields School had a taste for life ‘down under’ as they celebrated Australia Day.

The reason schoolchildren were marking the occasion last Thursday was to commemorate their unity with St John Fisher School, Brisbane, Australia, where Olympic gold medalist, Emily Seebohm, studies.

The 19-year-old swimmer sent over recorded messages to Highfields pupils keeping them up to date on her rigorous training schedule.

Jayne Allen, school sport coordinator at Highfields, said: “We even got some of our best swimmers to try and beat Emily’s record.

“Nobody could match her, but it was good for pupils to see for themselves what it takes to be a world class athlete.”

Pupils also took part in a balloon release, street surfing – as there’s no Golden Coast in Matlock – and enjoyed some native Australian food and music.

Jayne, who was sent out to Australia in May 2011 as part of a BBC documentary, said: “This is an opportunity to make the children aware of what it’s like in another country.”

During Jayne’s visit she took part in a number of assemblies and Q&A sessions so Australian children could learn about life in England.