Last week our Year 6 students and team embarked on the Y6 camp. Students arrived at school on Thursday morning with a lot of enthusiasm and many, with very full bags! The focus of our camp was on the attitudes of independence, cooperation and enthusiasm, as well as building community through teamwork and collaboration.
Many teachers from different sections of the school led a range of activities that promoted the importance and benefits of working in a team. Activities included:
- Development of Camp Essential Agreements
- Tent set-up and dismantle
- Cooperative games with Mr. Andy
- Mindfulness activities with Ms. Michelle and Ms. Nicola
- Team games with Ms. Nicky
- Art activities with Ms. Hannah
- Predator and Prey with Mr. Chiltern
- Morning Yoga with Ms. Molly
- Capture the Flag with Mr. Ali and Mr. Paul
- Singing with Ms. Betsy
- Pool team games with the PE Aquatics Department
Students also had sessions of unstructured time where they chose to engage in activities including reading, chatting, playing tag, playing frisbee, and participating in running races.
Overall, the camp was a great success! We hope you enjoy the following photos of camp:
On September 22nd LIS celebrated peace day. The Year 6 students participated in a range of activities which included interactive theater, assemblies, spoken word expressions of peace, a peace parade and talking to UN Angola representative Mr. Paolo.
One thing that particularly stuck with the Year 6 students was the conversation with Mr Paulo and the idea that all people should have the right to have a life with dignity. Students were able to make clear connections between what Mr. Paolo shared and their current unit of inquiry. Throughout the conversation they made clear connections to key and related concepts and asked genuine and generative questions.
Upon reflection students understood that broad and open-ended questions (generative) and questions that are important and significant to them (genuine) lead to better inquiries. This is something that we will continue to practice in our “Where We Are In Place and Time” unit as students embark on their own personal inquiries about migration.
Unit of Inquiry
As we continue our inquiry into Sharing the Planet, learners have been involved in some very interesting discussions focussed around the key concepts of perspective, responsibility and function, and the related concepts of action, compromise and pattern. Students have connected all six concepts with the big ideas of peace and conflict and developed open-ended questions around these ideas.
On Friday 8th September, we connected with Julie Wells, an Australian expert in conflict resolution, via Skype. Students demonstrated great listening skills as they thought carefully about, and participated in the interactive discussion. Julie introduced new ideas about layers or stages of conflict, and talked about some strategies to resolve conflict. Some questions that were raised during the Skype session included:
- Do you always follow the steps [stages of conflict]?
- Is there always a way to resolve a conflict?
- Do the steps go in order or can you skip steps depending on the situation; how does this work?
This discussion and information furthered our understanding of the Lines of Inquiry:
- Characteristics of conflict
- The role perspectives play in conflict
- Actions that can be taken to address conflict
The learning outcomes the discussion was connected to include the following:
- practice techniques of mediation and negotiation within the class and or school community
- document examples of conflict (local and global) and identify the causes and consequences
Please ask your child “what stuck with them” or what stood out the most during the Skype connection.
During our Sharing the planet unit, Year 6 students have -and will continue to be- focused on reflective writing and personal narratives. We have spent a significant amount of time identifying what makes a good reflection and have identified some key aspects of good reflective writing that will be used throughout out this year.
Key aspects of reflective writing identified by Year 6 students include:
- Deep thinking
- Using Metacognition
- Identifying strengths/weaknesses
- Explaining and justifying with examples
- Setting goals for yourself
- Asking questions of yourself
In addition to spending time writing reflections we have also begun to explore personal narratives as a genre. We have been using Ralph Fletcher’s personal narrative as mentor texts to inquiry into the characteristics of a personal narrative. In addition to reading these texts “as a writer”, we have also spent some time reading these wonderful pieces “as a reader” and using our metacognitive strategies to think more deeply and make meaning of the text.
Being curious and asking deep questions is key to meaningful and inspiring learning. This week, we made progress in developing our questioning skills. A particularly powerful way to develop questioning skills is using the Philosophy for Children (P4C) approach. Under the P4C framework, students are encouraged to develop questioning skills, express and justify ideas, think conceptually, reflect on their own thinking and consider different perspectives. Over time, this approach builds a shared community of inquiry.
Using P4C, we viewed the picture book “The Rabbits” by John Mardsen and Shaun Tan. We recorded our ideas including key and related concepts connected to the text with the ‘thinking circles’ tool. We also posed questions and wonderings. Initial questions raised were related directly to the characters and precise events in the text. As we began to think more deeply and conceptually, we moved our thinking forward to create many deep questions. Students were also able to make clear links with our unit Lines of Inquiry.
Please ask your child about the thinking tools we have been using to help frame and record our ideas.