Friday, 17 June, 2022

Get ready for an extra year of school; America celebrates Juneteenth; State of Origin for girls; and the restaurant that floated away.



Jumbo Floating Restaurant floats away: 

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Q+A with Fred Hollows Humanity Award Junior Ambassadors ‘21


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Here’s a question for you as you all wind down for the end of the school term … what’s better than school? Why, more school of course!

And that’s just what kids in NSW and Victoria can look forward to after it was announced yesterday that a new year of school was being created in those two states.

The new year of school will be before kindergarten. They’re calling it pre-kindergarten – or pre-prep. So we’re talking  kids leaving daycare or their home a year earlier to start school sooner than they currently do.

It means four and five year old kids taking part in a year of pre-school, instead of waiting to be old enough to troop off to kindy or prep.

The new arrangement is expected to come into effect from 2025 in Victoria and not until 2030 in NSW. And if there are any really little people out there thinking – but i’m not ready for big school yet! Don’t worry.

The new year of pre-school is expected to be stuffed full of what’s called play-based learning .. so no-one’s going to be expecting you to memorise times tables or read chapter books .. 

For parents with kids in day-care – it also potentially means one less year of fees. That sound you hear: the relieved sobbing of mums and dads everywhere. 


Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops – and today we’ve landed in the state of Texas, in the United States, where preparations are underway to mark a really important holiday in America called Juneteenth.

Juneteenth – as it sounds – is a combination of the words June and nineteenth … And June 19 is a public holiday in America – marking the date in the year 1865 when slavery was abolished.

It might seem incredible to believe, but up until that day in history, white people in America were able to keep black people as slaves. 

To be a slave means you are the legal property of another person and forced to obey them and do everything they tell you to do.

Hard to imagine right? That one person would be considered inferior to another person just on the basis of their skin colour…

This weekend all over the United States there will be festivals and ceremonies and marches and concerts to mark what US Preisdent Joe Biden last year described as “the terrible toll that slavery took on the United States and continues to take.”




Exciting news for girls who love to play footy – and those who love to watch them – with the announcement that the NRLW – which is the women’s rugby league competition – is expanding to ten clubs next year – with Canberra, Cronulla, West Tigers and the North Queensland Cowboys all joining the competition next year.

It means more pathways for girls who love to play league, more chances for more people around the country to come along and watch games played by their favourite teams.

And there was other good news too for the NRLW – with the announcement that instead of one State of Origin match next year, there will be two. 

Girls .. if you’ve got a good boot on you or are fast down the sideline or love nothing more than a scrum and a tackle – there’s a bunch of exciting new reasons to get out there and get involved. 



And so we go to Hong Kong, where for the past 46 years, the world’s biggest floating restaurant has bobbed around in the city’s harbour, serving up Cantonese cuisine to the Queen of England, Tom Cruise, and about 30 million other guests. Designed to look like a Chinese Imperial Palace (I’ll put pictures in your episode notes), the three-storey Jumbo Floating Restaurant has also starred in movies and been the subject of billions of tourists’ photos. 

But in 2020, the restaurant – like so many others all over the world – was forced to shut because of the pandemic. And this week, its owners announced that they could not raise the money to reopen it. The Hong Kong government refused to bail them out – which means give or loan money to help – and so the restaurant was towed away. 

Farewell, Jumbo… you served – and fed us – well. 




Did you know that each week, as part of the exclusive-subscriber content we produce for all of our Squiz Kids for Schools classrooms and parents who’ve signed up to our Apple Subscriber Specials, we produce a Shortcut? A ten minute deep-dive on a topic of high interest to kids. And this week’s Shortcut is all about Learning Disabilities. What they are, how common they are, how you have to be pretty special to have one and what they have to do Harry Potter and Albert Einstein. If it sounds like something you’d be interested in – keep listening at the end of this episode for a sneak peek. You’re welcome. 


This is the part of the podcast where you get to test how well you’ve been listening …

  1. What’s the name of the floating restaurant that has been towed out of Hong Kong harbour?
  2. What’s the name of the public holiday in the United States this weekend, marking the end of slavery?
  3. Name one of the four new clubs joining the NRLW rugby league competition next year? (Cronulla Sharks, Canberra Raiders, Nth Queensland Cowboys + West Tigers)




It’s June 17 … birthday for tennis ace Venus Williams and rapper Kendrick Lamar .. it’s also Iceland’s National Day … which strikes me as the perfect excuse to watch the very funny Will Ferrell Netflix film ‘Eurovision: The Story of Fire Saga”.

It’s also a Friday … and you know what that means. An extra long birthday shout-outs segment – for which we’ll have to crack out the ol’ birthday reggae tune … hit it ..

The following Squiz Kids are celebrating a birthday today … Anna and Aiden from Exeter, Shuhua from Carlingford, Harrison from Lower Mitcham, James from Maitland and Rosie who’s listening all the way over there in Tokyo, Japan!

And belated shoutouts go to Georgia from Andrews Farm and Alex from Scone. 

Not forgetting of course all of those Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday over the coming weekend… Macenzy (pronounced Mackenzie) from Shoal Bay, Rafael from Balmain, Jessica and Charlotte from Mt Ommaney, Mitchell and Liam from Altona Meadows, Clara from Northcote, Eliza from Eleebana, Chloe from Munno Para, Alanna from Abbotsford, Hayden from Albury, George from Kew, Olivia-Mimi from Randwick, Lydia from Wheelers Hill, Ella from Beecroft and Thomas from Brighton.

Finally, Amanda sends a special shoutout to one of the most collaborative classrooms she’s ever seen… 5/4B from Abbotsford Public. She can’t wait to hear your podcasts! 


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Jumbo Floating Restaurant
  2. Juneteenth
  3. Cronulla Sharks, Canberra Raiders, Nth Queensland Cowboys or West Tigers