Y5 & 6 Homestead

How great it has been to finally have students filling up our classrooms, playing on our grounds, asking questions and learning cooperatively! There's been such joy on the children's faces as they have come together and reconnected with each other. While our final term is moving quickly, we are making the most out of every minute in the classroom.


Our Year 5 Groups have launched into an 'inquiry deep dive', experiencing different ways to express thoughts, emotions, ideas and personalities, through the arts. We have viewed mini-documentaries produced by Cirque de Soleil to challenge and extend our thinking around creativity versus artistry. We have reflected on our emotional response to music, creating a 'word could' of our responses, and we have started experimenting with different art materials and mediums. During the immersion phase of the inquiry process, this experimenting phase is vitally essential to extending our thinking. We value all the work that has been developed during this stage, and we are displaying the student's work so that each learner can see the creative process.

During our Arts Investigation sessions, students, with the support of the teachers, self-direct their inquiry. Some of the art provocations set up include:

  • Shoe design
  • Colour Challenge (a stimulus and 6 provided colours)
  • Wire sculpture
  • Paper folding
  • Construction
  • Wool weaving
  • Pixel Art
  • Street Art

This investigation time is messy and loud and, to some, might look chaotic, but to Matt and I, we see experimenting, collaboration, discussion, trial and error, reflection and artistry.


We have used our return to the classroom as an opportunity to revise concepts taught during remote learning, particularly the four major operations, to ensure mastery and check for any gaps in understanding. It has also been a good time to rebuild computation speed through a range of maths games so the children can play collaboratively and practise fact fluency in a fun and engaging way. We have enjoyed using many manipulatives that we have not been able to use during remote learning, such as MAB blocks, money, fraction wheels, dice, cards and counters. The children have been enjoying learning in a more hands-on way and testing their skills against their peers.

Our inquiry focus of 'How We Express Ourselves' has also given us a great link to mathematics by exploring shape, line, symmetry, flips and rotations through artwork and patterns. We used pattern blocks to build complex patterns and then used our knowledge of fractions being part of a whole to calculate the value of our designs. We also inquired into expanding a square by using lines of symmetry and flipping shapes to create artistic designs. Some of the children came up with some stunning work!


Our focus for English this term is using English to express ourselves creatively in the narrative format. By linking to our inquiry focus of 'How We Express Ourselves', we have challenged ourselves to use descriptive language to create interesting settings and think creatively to develop interesting characters and problems. We have also been learning how to use dynamic dialogue to enhance our writing and mastering the punctuation required to write a direct speech. The children have enjoyed acting out scenarios such as 'breaking a sibling's favourite thing' and then turning their acting into writing.

It has also been an excellent opportunity to 'get back to basics' in some areas of English as we return to learning in a physical world rather than a digital one. This has meant a renewed focus on handwriting, correct punctuation and avoiding 'text talk' when writing. Some of these fundamentals went missing from our work when using the computers, so it has been an excellent opportunity to practise these skills in a hands-on way.


All of the students at Penbank have begun preparations for our end of the year, artistic celebration of learning. This is an essential component of the curriculum, and it is an expectation that every child participates. There is a broad range of artistic experiences planned that have been carefully selected to reflect our students' current interests and strengths. These considerations are in place to accommodate everyone, from our budding performers to our most reluctant stars.

In 2021, CREATE will be presented as a movie. Each child will contribute to telling the story and explore the ideas and themes in the story within their class and the library, music, and art lessons. Students will learn songs, dances and acting parts over the next couple of weeks, and their performance will be filmed in mid-November (Weeks 6-8). Some of our actors went 'on-location’ this Thursday to film 6 of the scenes.

While we do our best to provide costumes for our actors, the roles the Homestead students are acting in mainly require street attire or clothes sourced from home. Keep an eye out for any emails outlining what might be needed.


After a turbulent year with some recent wild weather thrown in recently, it has been a triumphant return to school for the Homestead. Our classrooms are open and airy, which has seen the Year 5s creatively working with art provocations out on the veranda, and the Year 6s take their learning 'alfresco onto the wings of the Homestead. Again, we've been active together, enjoying the beautiful playground and teaming up for our annual Friday Frenzy (friendly sports competition). Our Central Ideas and Lines of Inquiry has been full steam ahead, with the Year 5s exploring the wonderful world of the Arts and the year 6s researching energy and sustainability.


Being face to face has allowed us to get hands-on with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

We have been discussing and questioning;

Maths and Science - can you find connections?

What is a constraint? Some problems have many possible solutions.

We did a great activity called "Hole in one" Working within specified constraints, students invented a device to propel a marble along an obstacle course and into a container. They then assessed and compared their devices, measuring angle, speed, distance and drop.


It is an exciting time for the Year 6s who have worked on writing and learning scripts for CREATE. They are also busy reflecting on their experience throughout primary school and projecting to the future, writing comprehensively about their hopes and goals for Secondary School and beyond.

Student Examples

Hi, my name is Luke D-T. I have been at school for 2555 days, and I am so happy to be part of the Penbank Community.The past few years haven't been thebest,but I still had a lot of fun playingMinecraftwith friends most days.

I will remember my mum helping me cope through covid-19, andif I needed help with a question, the family would always be there to help me.

My most outstanding achievement would beall my friends and how many I've made over the years.

Joe F

Hi, my name is Joseph F, but people call me Joe. I have been at Penbank for nine years, and it has been amazing to be a part of the Penbank community. Next year I will no longer be part of the Penbank community. Moving to High School will be hard as I have never moved to school before, but I am ready for the challenge. I must remember that I've still got another six years of school left, so many more opportunities are to come. My times at Penbank have been the best in my life. I hope to come back to visit one day.

Inquiry - Sharing the Planet

Energy consumption requires sustainable solutions

We are in the middle of exploring our' Sharing the Planet' unit of inquiry. We are looking at various resources, including the documentary film, 'Biggest Little Farm'. It is a study of the challenges and obstacles in running a farm. The film follows two dreamers and a dog on an odyssey to harmonise their lives and the land. Their journey takes them out of the city and onto 200 acres of barren land, naively endeavouring to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete coexistence with nature. The students have been writing their responses Ollie' They made barren land into green land filled with plants and animals. I like that they are giving life to the land'.

Jai' They are bringing life back to the land, regenerating the farm, saving wildlife and making it a better place'.

Maia 'I think it is very important that they are getting lots of animals on the farm and living a sustainable life.'

The students have conducted their research into energy, with each child presenting their chosen energy source to their class, explaining the process, and providing examples.

We will continue to research sustainable habitats and positive renewable energy solutions for our future.