Thursday, August 24, 2023

Report card in for Aussie kids; Pakistan’s sky-high school run; fake pyjamas on the net; and alien messages from outer space. 


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It’s report card time – as the NAPLAN results were published yesterday – and the good news is that in almost every state, about half of the kids tested are performing strongly in basic maths and English. So well done you!

The less good news? Kids in the country, Indigenous kids and kids from households with less money are more likely to fall behind in the basics and need extra support to keep up.

You know NAPLAN, right? Those tests that every kid in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 does? It’s a way for the government to see which parts of the country need the most support when it comes to education. Because it shouldn’t matter where you live or how much money you have: everyone should have access to a good education.

In terms of a league table … because I know how much you kids love to rank yourself against one another … NSW students did best overall in the NAPLAN tests for maths, spelling and grammar. ACT kids had the highest number of kids excelling at reading … and girls – take a bow. You beat the boys when it comes to reading.

The important thing to remember when you get your NAPLAN results back: it’s just a test – and only a test of some pretty basic stuff. It doesn’t measure how kind you are, how thoughtful you are; how creative you might be or how sporty you are. 

It’s an important test for the government to work out how to best design the education system: but it’s got buckley’s chance of capturing the unique essence of you. 



Each day we give the world globe a spin and find a news story from wherever it stops. And today we’ve landed in Pakistan … where a bunch of kids on their way to school had to be rescued from a cable car hanging over a ravine. 


What’s a ravine? It’s a steep valley – usually with a river running at the bottom of it. 

This particular cable car is used every day by kids to get to school. A four-minute journey high above the valley instead of a two-hour road trip it would otherwise take them. But when the cable snapped, stranding the car halfway across, helicopters and specialist rescue climbers had to be brought in to carry the kids to safety. Which thankfully happened – while their parents watched on from below …. 270 metres below.

Yikes again! 

So next time you complain about how long it takes you to get to school – be it by bus, by foot, by train, bicycle or car – spare a thought for these Pakistani school kids, and maybe reflect on how good you’ve actually got it. 




There was much excitement in the astronomy world yesterday as scientists waited eagerly to see if aliens from outer space would reply to a message sent from Earth 40 years ago …

Back in 1983, a pair of astronomers sent a message out into space – specifically towards a star system called Altair – which is 16.7 light years away. 

One light year is the distance that light would travel in the space of a year. And given that light travels at approximately 300,000 kilometres per second … per SECOND my friends … that star is a long, long way away. So far that the message took 20 years to arrive. And now, 20 years later, star gazers are eagerly waiting and watching to see if we get a reply.

Forty years is a long time to wait for someone to reply to an email. Maybe aliens don’t do punctuality. 




Evey Thursday Squiz-E the Newshound sticks his snout into Squiz Kids HQ and reports back on fishy stories he’s sniffed out on the internet .. and today his nose is twitching after stumbling upon a bunch of fake websites pretending to be the online home of really well-known and popular fashion labels – including pyjama shop Peter Alexander – advertising the clothes at a huge discount. Problem is: people who fall for  the fakes are handing over money but either receiving fakes in the mail or not receiving anything at all. Which has prompted a warning for online shoppers to be super careful when they’re on the web. Which, as it happens, is what Squiz-E tells us every week. Namely: to STOP, THINK and CHECK before believing everything we see, read or hear on the internet. And if your class wants to join the 1,600 classrooms around the country who are busy becoming Newshounds via Squiz Kids very own, free media literacy classroom resource – then jump on over to and sign up pronto. Because a media literate kid is a future proofed kid. 



Keep those Book Week photos coming kids! All week we’ve been asking you to send us a snap of you in your Book Week costume … and there are some doozies that have come in already. With a special shout out to the Golden Snitch from Harry Potter and the Cynocephalus from Percy Jackson – both of which we’ve reposted to our Instagram.  Has your school held it’s book week parade yet? As you’re donning your costume don’t forget to get Mum or Dad to snap a quick pic of you and share it to their  socials, tagging @squizkids or #squizkids on Facebook or Instagram so we can see it and share it – and we’ll be handing out prizes to the best costumes – thanks to our friends at Walker Books. 

And teachers: we know you’ve got the goods when it comes to costumes. Give Squiz Kids a follow on Facebook or Insta and upload your pic to your socials tagging us – and we’ll re-post them to our pages and pick a winner. Because … Book Week right?


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

  1. In which country did a cable car get stuck above a ravine?
  2. What’s the name of the big national test that kids in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9 do each year?
  3. What’s the name of the star to which astronomers sent a message 40 years ago? 





It’s August 24 – my birthday !! – and because it’s my birthday, I’m cracking out the birthday reggae tune early this week and having a little boogie … why don’t you join me? Hit it ..


(Birthday Reggae Tune) 


It’s also a special day for these Squiz Kids celebrating a birthday today … let’s call them my birthday buddies … Lily from Oyster Bay, Gurner from Spring Mountain, Evelyn from Herberton, Sebastian from The Ponds, Samson from Earlwood, Rhiannon and Chelsea from Oran Park, Odette from Jerilderie, Addison from Killarney Vale, Charlotte from Sydney and Thomas from Pitt Town. 


Classroom shoutouts today go to … Class D5 and Miss Tilley at Marryatville Primary School in South Australia, years 5 & 6 with Mrs Adams at Nuriootpa Primary School, class 3GK with Ms Gilbertson at Epping West Public School, class 4M with Miss Mac at Yeronga State School, Miss Delaharp’s class at Galangara Public School, Mrs V’s class at Farmborough Road Public School in Unanderra, class 5/6G with Mrs Neilson at Sutherland North Public School and lastly to class 6R3 at Spring Mountain State School and happy birthday to their teacher – Miss Prasad.


The S’Quiz Answers:

  1. Pakistan
  3. Altair