Homestead Group News
The Homestead has been a hive of activity, and have loved being back in the classroom and playground again. Some essential themes have run through the last few weeks, and being ‘all in this together’ has rung true. Within our ‘Homestead bubble,’ we have settled back into school routines and expectations. It is a friendly reminder that everyone has their hats at school for these sunny days and full summer school uniforms.
Students have thoroughly enjoyed our inquiry into Mathematics and The Arts, creating some brilliant patterns and designs using various materials and shapes. Inspired by the work of M.C.Escher, the students created tessellations (an arrangement of shapes fitted together in a repeated pattern without gaps or overlapping) by flipping, translating, and rotating shapes. The pattern blocks have remained popular as a provocation, with students exploring symmetry while making their creations. There has been a focus on size and scale in both groups, with students enlarging different drawings by a particular scale to create new, scaled artwork. Year 6 extended this concept by designing a backyard that is to scale. They also inquired into what’s inside a box of Cadbury ‘Favourites’, using skills in chance and probability to estimate the spread of chocolates and then determine percentages and fractions based on the results. Year 5 did some problem solving of their own, using logic to solve a worded problem called ‘Crossing The River.’ The students practised the problem-solving strategies ‘act it out’, ‘draw a diagram,’ and ‘construct a table’ to solve the problem. Some students were even able to express the solution algebraically and create a matching graph. We have all truly enjoyed linking Mathematics to our inquiry unit ‘How We Express Ourselves’ and the creativity that it has allowed.
In class, we practised following the ‘Seven Steps to Writing’ and have shared our writing with our peers for feedback. The Year 5s have been writing a short narrative story each to be collated into a class book. Year 6 have been using the website Pobble365 for visual writing prompts. In Book Club, the Year 5s are still reading ‘The Year the Maps Changed’ by Danielle Binks. The storyline is becoming very interesting. Themes they have discussed include kindness and empathy for the Kosovo War refugees from the Point Nepean Quarantine Station, where they were housed in 1998-1999. Likewise, in Year 6 Book Club sessions, the students complete ‘The Book Of Chance.’ It has had some unexpected plot twists, which the students are enjoying. It has been great to get back into our weekly spelling, grammar, and handwriting sessions. We have looked at how suffixes alter base words and have fun with words, looking at homophones and palindromes. Alongside their independent reading, a lot of reading is linked to our researching, as well as NAIDOC week.
A focus on our PYP ‘Approaches to Learning’ and the ‘Learner Profiles’ has resulted in the students working cooperatively and creating original art pieces. We have investigated many areas of the Arts and have taken risks to attempt these skills ourselves. A variety of artworks has been discussed and appreciated. In Year 5, ‘The Thinker’ by Auguste Roden provided an in-depth conversation about what he could be thinking. In Year 6, the works of Banksy and Vexx have been popular among the students.
Our focus on student interaction and collaboration since our return has ensured everyone is beginning to feel part of a group once more. Many questions have been posed to encourage deeper thinking. We have all commenced our final research project for the year, focusing on an area of interest related to our Central Idea. It is lovely to see such varied topics and students learning from each other. We are currently undertaking the Post It Note art competition, an annual event in the Homestead. NAIDOC week has been a time for us to focus on ‘how we can learn from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples when looking after Country.’ This year’s theme of ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’ ties in nicely with our focus on traditional land care practices. We provide opportunities to compare how we care for our environment today with how the land was managed in the past. This was an area of great interest to many students, especially Year 6, with their connection to the Wugularr community.
With only a few short weeks to go, we are still looking forward to many things this term. Our CREATE showcase is quickly approaching! There has been an enormous amount of effort put into scriptwriting, acting, filming, and editing. We are all excited to settle in at the Dromana 3 Drive-in on Monday 7 December to enjoy the final product. The Year 6 students are also looking forward to their graduation, with preparations underway. The night will look a little different this year, but we will be sure to reflect on a most extraordinary year and send the students off in style!
We would like to wish everyone a happy and safe summer holiday break.
LORRAINE, MATT, MICK, ASHTON, FRANNY & CHRIS