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Year 5 Update

Well, what an amazing, enjoyable and a ‘little bit strange’ few weeks we have had. We are heading into Week 7 of Term 1, and it feels like we have just begun! That’s how we think, and the students have all said that they feel that way too! It’s been a bit of a ‘time warp’ experience for everyone, and the wonderful Year 5 team, has demonstrated such resilience and determination to make the last weeks, including a lockdown, as positive as it can be.

Coming to school each day and being greeted by such heartfelt smiles and ‘good mornings’ makes us feel so humbled and grateful, and the students have said that they too feel very grateful.

A highlight of the last few weeks would be our walking excursion to Sweetwater Creek and the beach. This was such a unique way to explore where we are and who we are, change, and get to know each other even more. We loved revisiting Discovery Day sites, doing some Mindfulness in nature, and then making sandcastles and playing cricket on the beach. The highlight for the teachers was the surprise ‘splashing attack’ we gave to the children!! Hilarious!!

Homestead/Wellbeing

Each Monday morning, the 5/6’s meet to discuss the week ahead and share any other important announcements. Students benefit from having their Diaries at school on Mondays for this meeting, as it encourages them to be self-managing and organised for their week. 

We have also been working as a whole Homestead to create an art piece reflecting ‘The Essence of me.’ The Year 5 students have all interviewed and been interviewed by a Year 6 student. They have then planned and decorated a terracotta tile art piece that represents that person. This has been an ongoing project over the last few weeks, and the speaking and listening skills, confidence, and getting to know others’ have been outstanding. We can’t wait to see the finished tiles.

Inquiry - Who We Are

Our focus has been on ‘The Change in Me.’ Students reflected on the changes that occur to them, when, why, and how, and then discussed what supports and strategies we have or need to adapt to change. It has been fascinating to discuss why change occurs and how and then to relate this to our own changing lives. We have had some wonderfully thoughtful discussions, and conversations and some unique thinking has occurred!

Next week we will be starting our new Unit of inquiry, Sharing the Planet, where we will be investigating ecosystems and how they adapt and change.

Maths Highlights

We have had fun exploring and extending our understanding of number and place value through investigating ways to count extensive collections with efficiency and accuracy. 

A highlight was challenging students to count masses of objects thrown in piles onto the classroom floor! This was so much fun, and the excitement and teamwork shown by Year 5 students were terrific. This task was a hands-on, meaningful and fun way to apply and extend students’ skills and lead to a great discussion about different methods, trial and error, estimation, team collaboration, efficiency, arrays, multiplication, factors, and place value. 

We have also had a great time looking at data and statistics and the various ways data can be collected, represented, and interpreted. We enjoyed investigating and recording some ‘real life’ census data. We compared populations in local suburbs, read and compared numbers using place value, compared and calculated differences, and made a hypothesis about what the data collection was or could be used for. 

Year 5 and 6 students have also been working collaboratively on a Maths Inquiry Project focused on identifying the Homestead areas, such as the kitchen, 5/6 Sports, learning in the Homestead, and technology that they can gather data on. This data will then be used to help promote student agency and student-led changes in the Homestead. It was beautiful to see the collaboration between all students in the Homestead in the joint quest to find ways to use data to help make positive change.

Language Highlights

Our Language work has been integrated into our Unit of Inquiry. We have explored essential vocabulary relevant to our inquiry and discussed meanings, syllabification, and how this can assist with spelling, explore fundamental spelling rules, and explore how to build new words from base words. 

Our Writing sessions have focused on reflective writing and how this differs from recount texts. We have also really enjoyed exploring biographies and the language features and structures of these texts. The children loved reading and then sharing, Little People, Big Dreams series, where we explored biographical information texts and how key events in a person’s life have brought about change and growth. We have explored how to find the main points in a biography, looking at significant turning points in a famous person’s life and other changes in a lifetime.

Reading has been about encouraging each child to find a book they love and to share why. We shared a lovely book, Running with Horses, recommended by Sofia and discussed how we sometimes have preconceived ideas about a book and need to be open-minded before judging a book by its cover. 

A big thank you to everyone for attending Parent-Teacher meetings. It was so lovely to meet you all. There was overwhelming feedback about how happy and settled the students are, and for this, we are very grateful for your encouragement and support. 

Please remember Diaries are to come to school every day. Sports uniforms are only for Wednesday and Friday.

Our Assembly is NOW ON Thursday 18 March (8:50-9:20 am), and we are holding it outside so that parents can attend.

I hope you are having a lovely long weekend,

NOELEEN MARTIN & VANESSA HODGKISS
Year 5 Classroom Teachers