The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Year 5C News

5C have enjoyed a philosophical approach to inquiry learning this semester. These deep discussions have been a powerful method of learning which are leading us towards the grand finale of the PYP, ‘The Exhibition.’ Taking a fresh look at the learner profile, transdisciplinary themes and approaches to learning have been important as it has provided an opportunity for revision and a starting point for our bright-eyed new students.

The year’s learning started with the philosophical question ‘what are the biggest problems in the world?’ This led to our first inquiry unit, ‘How We Organise Ourselves’, where the boys were able to develop political parties, lead campaigns and then vote for their preferred candidate. Environmental policies featured prominently throughout the class. Following this, we asked the boys about the impacts of settlement during colonisation. This next unit on ‘Where We Are in Place and Time’, featured a visit to the Fremantle Prison and the Shipwreck Galleries. Powerful provocations provided the boys with a deep understanding of the Swan River Colony, enabling them to write historical diaries from the perspective of an early settler, convict or Aboriginal person.

Our current unit on ‘Sharing the Planet’ has seen the boys explore the central idea that ‘sharing resources may challenge communities to consider different perspectives.’ Through a cleverly designed website by the talented Ms Louden, Year 5 have combined classes to role-play different countries in order to explore causes of conflict when sharing resources, conflict and resolution, environmental considerations, and, rights and equality. Initially, the boys completed research in order to understand some background information on their country as well as some of the global inequalities. The role-playing has involved boys taking on a specific role within their country: journalist, prime minister, ambassador to the united nations, defence minister, trade minister, finance minister or welfare minister. The game has included the use of tokens to represent water, resources, military etc. in order to determine what is gained and lost due to crises faced or provisions of humanitarian aid. The countries faced different hypothetical scenarios which then required philosophical discussions in order to work out solutions. The game has involved a United Nations assembly, trading and whole cohort discussions. Alongside these sessions, the boys have been writing a formal information report on their country. The critical thinking skills, research skills and collaboration skills that are at the fore of this inquiry have been essential in helping the boys to prepare for the upcoming PYP Exhibition.

Clearly, 5C are a hardworking bunch. The level of higher-order thinking that is happening in Year 5 is impressive. We are looking forward to a fun end to the semester with our assembly item featuring on the last day of Autumn Term. We are excited to finish off the term on a high before a well-deserved rest.


Ms Renae Cirillo
Year 5 Teacher