This term in Class 5 our focus has been on rhythm, repetition, consolidation and learning. The unprecedented times that we find ourselves in have presented numerous challenges for the children and for their teachers. Amidst this uncertainty, the return to the classroom and the wonderful school environment of Shearwater has meant a return to the comforts of our regular routines and rhythms.
This term began as a time to remind ourselves of what is really important - rekindling relationships and rediscovering our place here at school. However, as much as our class has continued to be a sanctuary of learning and a space to experience the joy of being an eleven-year-old; it was impossible for our children not to feel the heaviness in their community. With this as a backdrop, we delved into a weather and climate Main Lesson — an amazing opportunity for the children to connect, through observation, with the natural rhythms of our world; to discuss and predict the inherent actuality of what presents each day. Beautiful metaphors for the world around them at this time. The climate is what we can predict. But the weather is what we get.
As the children of Class 5 move into the final weeks of this year, they have truly arrived at their eleventh year with a newfound vigour for exploring abstract concepts and expanding their thinking. In maths, we have been looking at 2D and 3D shapes, as well as exploring our understanding of place value and the numerous tricks one can apply to vertical sums encompassing addition, subtraction and multiplication. Suddenly we can do really big sums if we stick to the processes!
Games have been a big part of our term in maintaining our interpersonal connections, allowing for competitiveness (a natural part of being this age), challenging our thinking and strategising. Chess has proved very popular and Finska has had us working in teams and individually to out-play and out-wit our opponents. But it has been Capture the Flag that has taken our competitive spirit to another level! The children have played a couple of epic battles that have gone on for five games with the entire class involved.
A wonderful part of the rekindling of relationships for Class 5 has been the return to guiding our Class 1 buddies. The children love seeing their buddies and helping out with craft, reading, drawing or simply playing. The classes have shared a couple of afternoons at the creek immersed in the amazing natural surroundings - so wonderful to witness these moments in the knowledge of how divided much of our adult community was at the time.
This has been an extremely difficult period for many in our school community. It has been the children who gave me the impetus, the desire and the energy to return each morning to undertake my tasks. It was the children who most often ‘kept it real’ for me and I thank them so much for this.
Class 5 Teacher