Thursday, 26 August, 2021

The Covid class conquers NAPLAN; lost and found in the woods; the end of a rock and roll era; and the Paralympic party gets started. 


Recommended to Squiz Kids by a professional drummer, here are three classic Rolling Stones songs, with Charlie Watts providing his signature, subtle beats: 

Start Me Up 

Miss You 

Emotional Rescue 

Cool Experiments for Science Week:

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Squiz Kids is proudly supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas




The results are in, and you did it, kids of Australia! Despite lockdowns and home learning for millions of Aussie kids, the first NAPLAN results of the  coronavirus pandemic are in, and they show there’s been no significant drop in your literacy and numeracy skills. That sound you can hear? That’s your teachers, parents and carers breathing a sigh of relief… Experts thought that NAPLAN results would be lower than when you were tested 2019, but the “Covid Class” has proved them wrong. A special shoutout to Victorian students, who spent more than 120 days learning from home before the tests – you did the best out of all the states! 

One big caveat – a fancy word that means a warning – is that the results haven’t yet been broken out into how different groups performed. So, it is possible that kids living in certain areas, or who come from certain backgrounds, didn’t do as well as others. 

Also, NAPLAN only measures literacy and numeracy, so it’s possible that your science, history, and even social skills might need some work. 

Still, considering all that we’ve been through over the past year and a half, you, your parents and your teachers should take a big bow. Squiz Kids salutes you – one and all.  



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops, and today we’ve landed in Russia, where a toddler has promised not to walk off on her own again. 

That might not sound like news -everyone with a little brother or sister knows that kids are notorious for wandering away. But this little girl was lost for FOUR DAYS, in the woods, on her own, without food or water. 

Twenty-two-month-old Lyuda Kuzina had been playing with her big sister when she wandered off from her family’s home to the west of the Russian capital, Moscow. Four hundred volunteers and police spent four days looking for her. Then, a volunteer who’d stopped for a rest heard a squeak, and found Lyuda, covered in insect bites, under a tree. She was reunited with her mum, and checked out at a hospital. Her family says Lyuda has promised not to run off again, but her mum said  “how long she’ll remember that promise, I have no idea.



The Paralympics Party has well and truly started, with cyclist Paige Greco winning Australia’s first gold medal yesterday afternoon. Paige twice smashed her own 3000m world record, once in the heat, then again in the final. Just a few minutes later, fellow Aussie cyclist Emily Petricola also won gold. She was so dominant that she overtook her opponent in the final, which gave her the instant win. And just like that, Australia scored its second gold! 

The legends over at the pool then took our tally up to six golds, with Will Martin setting a Paralympic record in the 400m freestyle, Lakeisha Patterson winning the women’s 400m, Rowan Crothers bringing it home in the 50m freestyle, and Ben Popham in the 100m freestyle.

In his post-swim interview, Rowan Crothers had a message for all young Australians with disabilities: “Get out there, find something you love and chase it.” Legend. 



Musicians all over the world were in mourning yesterday, after it was announced that Charlie Watts, the drummer for the Rolling Stones for more than 50 years, had died. Now don’t you dare make me feel old by saying that you’ve never heard of the Rolling Stones! Seriously, they’re one of  the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. I’ll put some examples of their songs in your episode notes. I reckon you’ll recognise them. 

When the Rolling Stones were first starting out in 1963, they knew they needed a great drummer. So they saved up until they could afford to pay jazz drummer Charlie Watts $10 a week, which even then wasn’t much. Within a couple of years, they were topping the charts and playing sold out concerts—and they’ve kept it up ever since, with Charlie’s beats behind them. Earlier this month, the band announced that Charlie, who was 80 years old, would not be rejoining their latest tour because of ill health. He died in hospital surrounded by his family. Rest in Peace, Rock Star. 



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

  1. How long did Lyuda Kuzina spend in the woods without food or water? 
  2.  Which legendary rock band is mourning the death of their longtime drummer? 
  3. In which sport did Australia win its first two Paralympic gold medals? 




It’s August 26, which is the 21st anniversary of Australia’s first ever rugby tri nations championship. Now it’s a four-way competition, with Argentina joining New Zealand, South Africa, and the Aussies for the last ten years. It was announced this week that the rest of this year’s fixtures will be played in Queensland, with Covid bubbles being established for each team arriving from overseas. 

It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today …

Phoebe from Walpole, Grace from Harden, Billie from Freshwater, Conner from Ballajura, Ava from Meadowbrook, Matilda from Carine, Madeline from Hornsby, Taya from Yarraville, Rafferty from Coogee, Holly from Tarrawanna, Elliot from Thirroul, Liam from Petersham, Melody from Nambucca Heads, Alice from Woy Woy, Sam from Alice Springs and Jacob and Arthur from Canberra.

And a belated birthday wish goes to… Phoebe from Lower Mitcham.

Plus!!  … Because our friends in Victoria, Canberra and NSW are in lockdown – we’re sending out Home Learning Herograms …  

The Hollands family want to send a herogram to all the staff, students and families at Inverell Public School.  

Eloise in year 6 at Ellison Public School would like a shout out to her Grade and hopes that they can all go back to school and celebrate year 6 events very soon.

A homeschooling shout out goes to Miss Shaw and class 3S at Queanbeyan South Public School for doing such an excellent job working from home!

To Mrs Anderson and Class 3/4S at St Thomas More School in Mount Eliza – thank you for making home learning fun and caring about the class. And final home learning hero shoutouts to Mrs Lasalo at Newtown Public School, and to Ms Sheppard and class 2C at Hampton Primary School. 

Plus a classroom shout out to Grade 5 and Mrs Kime at St John’s Anglican College in Forest Lake QLD who fortunately are NOT in lockdown.

The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Four days
  2. The Rolling Stones
  3. Cycling