This year has certainly presented challenges and this is very much felt by the ten-year-old child. This is a time when the child feels the harmony and comfort of childhood slip away, and the realities of the broader world around them begin to fill their minds. This can be a lonely and difficult period for some children. Even for those not exposed to the news cycle, the events of 2020 have permeated their thoughts and dreams – the summer of fire and then a global pandemic that has thrown the lives of all those around them into chaos.
For Class 4D, the year began with a range of artistic and reflective activities based around the summer fires. The classroom became a place to consider what comes from fire – regrowth and renewal – and fire as a tool that when harnessed and respected is an integral part of the cycle of life. To help with the fear and concern many children carried, we made artworks to lift the spirits of those scarred by the harshest of summers.
The animal and human main lesson provided the children a wonderful respite, with an opportunity to delve into the diversity and wonder of life on earth. It was during this period that COVID-19 put a stop to face-to-face schooling, and again swept many of the children up in feelings of confusion and fear. Schooling went into the home and the children (and families) felt their way into how this new situation would work. Indeed it was a learning curve for all involved, but we as a class community did our best to ensure the children felt connected and that some normality remained in their shrinking world.
Class 4D enjoyed a shared autumn lunch (via Zoom) to create a feeling of seasonal festivity and shared experience. The Main Lesson moved into ancient Egypt where we were introduced to kings, pharaohs, new landscapes and animals, new crops and ways of writing, as well as monuments and tombs dating back 5000 years. We continued to explore the fascinating culture of ancient Egypt when we returned to our classroom last week.
The children returned with vigour, energy and engagement. Friendships were rekindled and stories shared. It was an absolute delight to see the enthusiasm and joy brought back to the classroom. We spent the first few days building shelters down at Grandfather Coolamon to really bring us back to our place.
The children of Class 4 passed on some of the wheat grain from last year's harvest to the Class 3 students last week, in a traditional handing over of the tasks of the ‘farmer’. This was a very poignant moment in a very unusual year, really bringing the children home to the embrace of our School community. It has been so important to model and share with the children that, although recent life may have been interrupted and difficult to understand, we can still share in the beauty and wonder of life that is all around us.
Class 4 Teacher