New Tricks: YEAR 2 - HPE - Explore2

Little J dreams of being an acrobat in a circus when he grows up. With the help of Jacko and B-Boy, he practises circus tricks in the backyard after school. Uncle Mick, a search and rescue officer, comes to school to talk about his work. Little J uses his circus skills to demonstrate a search and rescue procedure.

Explore - Identify and explore natural and built environments in the local community where physical activity can take place 


After viewing Little J & Big Cuz, Episode 3 ‘New Tricks’, engage students with the following activities to support their understanding about personal and social strengths, safety, search and rescue work.

Organise an incursion or excursion where the students have direct contact with a Search and Rescue officer, such as police, fire brigade, ambulance/paramedic, wildlife officer, RSPCA officer, life guard, etc. Prepare students for the visit by learning about the different types of search and rescue work the rescue agency performs, and the challenges they face, such as bush fire, flood, earthquake, etc.

Access information to review the work of Search and Rescue officers, such as:

Ask the safety officers to discuss the importance of teamwork in the execution of rescue missions.

Invite representatives from Aboriginal community groups and/or Torres Strait Islander community groups to come and share their knowledge of how their culture traditionally dealt with emergency situations and natural disasters, such as bushfires, drought, flood, and personal sickness and injury. Topics for discussion and demonstration can include bushfire survival, bush medicine, and traditional skills and games, etc.

Ask an Elder/recognised representative to discuss the importance of cooperation and teamwork for survival. Access the following websites for cultural incursion programs:

Investigate the training of young children in the ways of survival in times of natural disasters.

Have students pose and respond to questions about which skills children were trained in to survive natural disasters and accidents. Access information about the local traditional owners, as conditions in Australia are highly variable and skills in one area are not necessarily the skills required in others. Locate the traditional owners of your local area on a map and have students discuss the differences in training young people because of locality, e.g. some traditional peoples fish, some traditional peoples live in the desert, some traditional peoples live in the mountains.

As a class, view the clip My Place for Teachers, My Place, Episode 25 Bunda, clip 'Snakebite', and have students retell the actions Bunda and his brother, Garadi, took to save their father’s life after being bitten by a snake.

Explain to students the need for all families to develop strategies to deal with emergency situations. Examine a variety of resources that suggest strategies for children to use in emergency situations:

Discuss and develop a list of strategies students can adopt to respond to suggested emergencies. In particular,

  1. Who to call, and the phone numbers of assistance agencies?
  2. What to do to remove themselves from danger?
  3. How to recognise the signs of dangerous situations?
  4. Where to go that is safe?
  5. When is the best times to react, and respond to emergencies?

Play ‘Rescue the Teacher’ strategy game:

As the teacher, stand in the middle of the school sand pit, or similar bounded area in the playground, with the class outside the bounded area. Explain to the class that they are to work together to solve the problem by developing a strategy to rescue the teacher from the sand pit without touching any sand/ground, and they have only 1 minute to do so. When the time expires, stop the students and explain that, if they already knew what to do, then the solution and action would be easier to complete.

Ask students to suggest strategies to rescue the teacher in the sand pit. When a student offers a reasonable plan, ask them how they would execute it. Have students elaborate on the solution asking them to assign different roles for the other students.

Execute each rescue plan suggested and have students evaluate which ones worked well and which ones required more thought. Explain that, for the sake of this experiment, they can pretend they have retrieved the appropriate equipment.

As a class, reflect on the need for Search and Rescue officers to practise and train in order to perform their duties safely and successfully.