Years 5 & 6 Homestead Group News

Since last touching base, we have enjoyed settling into the Homestead and getting to know each other as a 5/6 community. We have shared many beautiful experiences; School Meetings, iSea iCare, Lightning Premiership training, Book Clubs and some Friday activities. Our Homestead building felt a little quiet and empty with our Year 5 students and staff enjoying Wilson's Promontory during Week 5. Since their return, it has been wonderful to hear about the experiences they had.

Maths, Year 6

The Year 6 children have worked alongside the Year 4 students to research seasonal Autumn seeds to create a shopping list for our school vegetable garden. The students had to stick to a budget of $200.00, purchasing seedlings and seed raising mix. Throughout the session, our Year 6's acted as leaders, helping the younger students research prices on Bunning's website and putting them into a table to accumulate the costs. 

Linking to our inquiry focus on community and belonging, our students spent time researching data to learn more about their peer group. Regarding the Census, we discussed the importance of collecting and analysing data to make informed decisions within a community. The data collected by the students ranged from finding out where we lived in relation to school, our favourite scents, hobbies we participate in, and family structures. This data was then mapped and graphed before analytical and comparative statements were made about our findings. 

Linking to our place value focus, we have extended our thinking into the sub-zero realm. We have played strategy Maths games with negative numbers and explored the negative temperatures reached on our planets within our solar system.

English & Inquiry, Year 6

Linking to our inquiry focus on 'Who We Are', in English sessions, we have focused on writing in an informative style after researching our family history and delving deeper into some of our interests. We have investigated the differences between a right and responsibility, looking into what it means to belong to a community group. As a Year 6 group, we have discovered that we belong to many different communities and groups across and beyond the Mornington Peninsula. Using the website Pobble365 for visual inspiration, we have also commenced a narrative story and enjoyed sharing our varied plot and character ideas, all stemming from the same initial image. Through our class novel 'Danny the Champion of the World' and weekly viewings of 'Behind the News', we have practised the skills of note-taking and summarising a passage, or new story, in sequential order. In our weekly Class Meetings, the students have demonstrated respect when listening to others' viewpoints and have shown greater confidence in respectfully voicing their own opinions. 

Inquiry & Maths through Camp, Year 5

What a great environment for our students to experience the outdoors. Penbank students have been camping at Wilson's Promontory since 1982. This camp links in so well with our unit of Inquiry – 'Who We Are' and finding out more about themselves and what strategies we can employ to cope with changes. Hands-on activities in the outdoors stimulated all senses and facilitated our learning. The hiking was tiring at times but so rewarding when the students achieved their goals. There was a range of activities on offer that many had not tried before, including canoeing and surfing. Even trying new foods was an experience for some. Camp food was terrific, and there was certainly no shortage! 

Activities were structured to focus on fun, which magically covered up the fact that the students were also learning teamwork and social skills. The talent quest and trivia nights were full of laughter and challenges. There was the opportunity to strengthen established friendships as well as developing new ones.

It was beautiful to see the perseverance and enthusiasm for new experiences shown by all of our students. Several students had never been camping in tents before, and for others, it was the first time being away from their parents for a week. It was an excellent chance for kids to become more independent in taking care of themselves and doing things on their own. Washing dishes and keeping a clean tent were a challenge for some!

Before camp, researching the history and flora and fauna of the park gave the students the knowledge to appreciate their surroundings and care for the environment during the week. 

Maths was also integrated into our learning at school, as we looked at maps of Wilson's Prom and then created keys to match. We also plotted the route to Wilson's Prom on Google Maps and then solved some elapsed time-related questions about our trip. While on camp, the children had to familiarise themselves with the timetable and also had the opportunity to test their map reading skills with an orienteering challenge. The students were exposed to authentic nature-based experiences led by Park Rangers, which relates to our next inquiry unit, 'Sharing the Planet'. 

Rufus wrote this story for the talent quest at camp. Appreciated by all, he was the winner on the night. 

"Caaaaaaaaaaaw," the seagull screeched as it flew around, attempting to make a show for the humans who might feed it.

It was rather annoying when it had to go fishing to get its own food.

It also felt like some of the humans were more willing to feed the seagull, but it knew they were being held back by an odd human concept, called 'teacher'. The seagull noted that the teachers were often referred to as Lorraine, Pete, Matt, Andy, Gayle, Franny or Chris.

Of the humans who were sitting in a circle around the seagull, there was at least three people who were attempting to scare the seagull and its friends away.

Nearby there were lots of pyramid-like structures called "tents". Some looked rather scary on the inside, and some were very neat and homely.

The seagull found it very strange that in some of the places, humans lived in fabric boxes and others in very tall cubes. 

The seagull decided that it would tell the owl about the fascinations it had seen. 

English, Year 5 

Our focus for the remainder of this term will be on reading and writing informative texts. Taking action through letter writing and reports related to our unit 'Sharing the Planet' will also be a significant focus. We will continue expanding our vocabulary through reading and comprehension activities and studying words related to our spelling sessions and inquiry topic.

We are looking forward to an excellent finish to Term 1 in the weeks ahead. We have several upcoming activities, including Body-Safe, the District Swimming Carnival, a virtual incursion from the State Library and Surf Life Saving for our Year 6s.