FOR almost the first time since the second century when Easter became a thing, the planets have aligned to allow the NSW and Victorian school holidays to coincide.
For families with children going to school on both sides of the border this must be the biggest blessing of all.
Even for those of us with children going to school on one side of the border only, it was still problematic with nieces and nephews living on the opposite side.
Trying to organise play dates and sleepovers in years gone by has been nigh on impossible!
It often meant squeezing a whole holiday into half a weekend and meeting families up and down the Hume Freeway in every mismatched school break.
But if you thought the four-term had always been a thing, here's a fun fact.
From 1848 to 1928, NSW government schools operated on a four-term year.
However, in 1929 a two-term year was introduced.
It proved to be so unpopular (I can't even imagine why!) that in 1930 a three-term year was adopted.
In 1987, the four-term year was reintroduced. (Some of us will even remember being in school when that change was made! Heads down, thumbs up, Gen X!!)
Up until 1987, the Victorian school year was divided into three terms, ranging from 13 to 15 weeks. (Typically the school year would begin on the first Tuesday of February and end around December 19.)
During 1987 the Education Department introduced a four-term year, acting on the advice of a Working Party for school reorganisation.
In a 1984 report to the Acting Director-General of Education at the time, this Working Party suggested that a shift to four 10-week terms would benefit students, teachers and the community.
Therefore, here we are benefiting from a four-term school year and, finally, a term break that coincides with Easter in both NSW and Victoria.
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It proved to be so unpopular (I can't even imagine why!) that in 1930 a three-term year was adopted. In 1987, the four-term year was reintroduced. (Some of us will even remember being in school when that change was made! Heads down, thumbs up, Gen X!!)
Here's 10 ways to enjoy the school holidays while they're in sync this year, whether you're north or south of the border:
- On target: Get your clan together and take aim at Zone Laser Tag Albury. School holiday trading hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday noon-6pm; Saturday 10am-6pm; and Sunday noon-5pm.
- In focus: Look up the offerings at Regent Cinemas Albury-Wodonga. Think Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway; Tom and Jerry; Raya and the Last Dragon; and Godzilla vs Kong.
- Hot air: Skywhales are coming to the Lavington Sportsground on Saturday, April 17. Enjoy the spectacle of the 30-metre sculptures slowly rising from the ground in the pre-dawn glow. The sculptures gradually inflate over 90 minutes, reaching their full height around sunrise, just after 6.30am. Weather permitting, the Skywhale family will be released into the sky at sunrise, and travel for around 40 minutes. Tickets essential.
- Ice challenge: Try Billson's Brewery's super slushies using their own traditional cordials.
- Quick picks: Get in for pick-your-own Beechworth Berries' strawberries or Europa Gully Orchard apples.
- Sky high: Let's go fly a kite. We simply don't look up enough.
- Leaf peeping: Leaf peeping is an informal term in the US and Canada for the activity in which people travel to view and photograph autumn leaves. We call it a day trip to Bright or Beechworth, where we can also visit our favourite cafes.
- Small screen: Harry Potter movie marathon. It never gets old. With the steam trains leaving Albury Railway Station frequently over the weekend, it seems even more fitting.
- Skates on: Keep up to date with roller skating and ice skating developments and hours on Facebook.
- Sweet endings: Break up the last of the Easter eggs to bake a cake.
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