Homestead Group News
Our Homestead has been Inquiring and Communicating, and it has been wonderful to have the Year 5 and 6 groups mixing and learning together. We have delved into the electrifying concept of energy and travelled back through the 'Golden Ages of our history. We've stacked on the pounds while investigating the cost of a cheeseburger with 100 beef patties and waxed lyrical with free verse poetry.
What a great subject focused science is! The students have been engaged in learning the scientific process by solving problems and conducting experiments. Collecting data and analysing the results to form a conclusion has been a large part of this process. We have had several topical tests being undertaken, including 'which face mask should we be wearing?' and 'is hand sanitiser better than handwashing with soap?'
History will be the subject focus for the remainder of the term. The Central Idea is: Curating historical evidence provides insight into the past. We will unpack this with the students, ensuring they understand the central idea before moving into our lines of inquiry.
We will inquire into:
- How historical evidence provides insight into the past
- Whose stories are told through historical evidence
- The role of the validity of historical sources
- How we curate historical references to give a perspective on the history
Our key concepts will be perspective, form, and connection.
Year 6 students have made significant progress in learning and researching the many aspects of energy. We have squeezed a lot into our Inquiry Zoom sessions lately. We have held class discussions, viewed videos, shared books, and listened to guest speakers. Plenty of questions have been posed and explored too.
- What types of energy exist?
- How is energy generated?
- Can energy be transferred?
- How can we be sustainable in our energy use?
From here, we will look into equity in access to energy, both here in Australia and on a global scale. The students have also commenced a research project based on their interests and questions in this field. We have had some wonderful questions posed:
- How has electricity helped our society over time? (Charlie D)
- How do we use energy to look after the environment? (Emma)
- How does nuclear energy impact our environment? (Marlowe)
- Which countries import/export for energy needs? (Olivia + Maya)
- What are the environmental downsides of having an electric car? (Max + Charlie N)
- How much energy and what types of energy do human bodies need? (Izzi)
- How does an electric bike's engine work? (Josh & Fergus)
The students will continue to progress on their investigations next week before we get underway with sharing and learning from each other in Week 5.
This term, we are focusing on multiplication and division, a concept that we are exploring at multiple levels across the Homestead. We have introduced several games to help students with their multiplication facts, and we encourage all families to get involved in these, to assist our students in mastering them. Some families are having lots of fun with these activities, even getting siblings in on the action! We have enjoyed the recent addition of Homestead Maths groups online, which allow them to work in cross-age groups and with different teachers across the Homestead. These groups also allow us to differentiate further to ensure learning is at each student's level. These sessions have been a highlight of the week for many, and we have enjoyed seeing some great mathematical thinking across the Homestead. Problem-solving has been a strong focus in these sessions, where we have brought real-world learning into the curriculum as much as possible. The students recently had the provocation of calculating the cost of a 100 x 100 burger. Several students took on the challenge of further inquiring into this problem, calculating the burger's total calories, and representing the problem as a linear equation. Clever stuff! Insert the selection of maths photos anywhere in this section.
We have made a fantastic start to our Zoom spelling sessions this term. While learning online, we have mixed our groupings across the Homestead to deliver content at a targeted level. Our focus in these sessions is on explicit teaching and revision of phonograms, spelling rules, and building vocabulary. Spelling sessions are also an excellent time for the children to practise their cursive handwriting each week. After each spelling session, an independent follow-up activity is set for the children to complete via Seesaw. These activities will always link back to the words explored in the spelling session. Over the past few weeks, we have focused on grammar, word-building, and comprehension of the vocabulary we explore.
The Year 5 students have been creative with their writing over the past few weeks, exploring figurative language through free-verse poetry and using imaginative writing to answer questions. They are looking forward to exploring haiku poetry in the coming weeks.
The Year 6 students have been busy reading factual information on websites online and in non-fiction books, especially during the research phase of their projects. It has been great to hear that several students have also decided to interview an expert in their chosen field.
As part of their research projects, our Year 6s will be writing an informative piece to present and share back to their teacher and peers in their chosen format.
The Homestead staff would like to thank our Penbank families for their ongoing support. We also wish to congratulate the children on navigating this new learning environment with both optimism and resilience. We look forward to continuing our journey this year with the children, in both an online and face-to-face format. With our sincere gratitude and thanks, take care and look after each other.
LORRAINE, MATT, ASHTON, MICK, FRANNY, KATHERINE & CHRIS