Building a new Civilisation

Posted by lindsayfisher

Creating Weslandia

Last week, Year 5 had an exciting start to our new unit of inquiry, Where we are in place and time.

The central idea is: Connections between past civilisations and present-day societies influence the future

The Year 5 teaching team, along with Mrs. Sercombe, Mr. Eastwood, Mrs. Agars and Mrs. Drew invited all one hundred and twenty students to the foyer for a powerful and action-packed provocation. To pique the students’ interest, the teachers read the first part of a book called Weslandia, where a young boy has become disillusioned by his current life and sets off to build his own civilisation.

Our turn! Down to the foyer, everyone!

Using an array of equipment such as cones, boxes, ropes, drawing materials, cardboard, hoops and mats, they were tasked with getting into groups and building their own civilisation. There were no specific instructions, and the teachers did not answer any questions about what a civilisation is or should be, as we wanted to stimulate student thinking and get an idea of prior knowledge.

As the building was busily happening all over the foyer, the teachers were circulating and conducting interviews to gather student thinking. Students approached the task in a variety of ways. Some immediately obtained a rope to create a border, others built buildings and bridges and some groups had distinct regions in their civilisations for various purposes. Currencies were developed, borders were patrolled and transport systems were put into place. The foyer was buzzing with creativity, teamwork and enthusiasm.

Where to next?

Back in class, students reflected on the experience and a collective understanding of what constitutes a civilisation is beginning to take shape. Students shared their thinking around the features of civilisations, and are beginning to use solo taxonomy thinking maps as important ways of synthesising their understanding.

This provocation was a thoroughly enjoyable and worthwhile activity. The students developed their cooperative teamwork skills such as resolving conflict, respecting others and sharing equipment. After more investigating into ancient civilisations, students will choose and inquire into a feature of ancient civilisations to identify important connections between civilisation and legacies that have been left for us to enjoy today.

What legacy will we leave behind?

Parent Information Fair 2018

Posted by lindsayfisher

Thank you for coming!

It was a pleasure to meet so many of you at last Thursday’s DC Parent Information Fair. As promised, here is a copy of the slides that were presented. If you were not able to attend the information fair, you can find some of the Year 5 highlights as well as key people and dates in this slideshow.

If you are interested in being a class parent representative (CPR), or if you have any other general questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your child’s teacher. The email addresses can be found on the Communications slide. One of the most common questions that came up at the Info Fair was around homework and access to Google Classroom. Please rest assured that the teachers are supporting the students in class with this transition to online homework, and we are continually refining the process to ensure that all students can access the homework independently. That said, please get in touch with your child’s teacher via email or by writing a message in their diary if you continue to have issues with either Google Classroom or Khan Academy at home.

Year 5 is off to an exciting start!

Our final units of inquiry for this school year!

Posted by year5

As we head into our final units of inquiry, Year 5 students will be investigating what it means to be a responsible consumer. Through a variety of trade games, we hope the students will learn that fair trade is important for everyone in our world, either in a local or global capacity. Through empathy, integrity and reflection, we encourage students to be responsible and fair in the participation of trade.

As we investigate narrative writing we will be focusing on the writing trait of sentence fluency, the rhythm and flow of our word choices in sentences.

How probable is it that ……….?
Can you describe and measure 2 and 3D shapes?
These questions will need to be answered through words, fractions and games as the students look into the world of shapes and probability!

Transdisciplinary Theme: How We Organise Ourselves

Central idea:

Consumer responsibility impacts local and global trade

What lines of inquiry will define the scope of the inquiry into the central idea?

An inquiry into:

How trade works
Factors that influence trade
Our responsibilities as consumers


Causation, Function, Responsibility

Related Concepts:

Demand, Resources, Consumption, Supply, Fair Trade

Learner Profile and Attitudes:

Principled, thinker, reflective

Integrity, cooperation, empathy


Shape and measurement

Analyses, classifies, creates and describes 2 and 3 dimensional shapes using geometric vocabulary
Estimate, compare, classify, measure and construct angles


Identifies and describes chance in daily events
Represents probability using fractions


Asking questions is at the heart of all learning. Readers and writers can use questions to clarify new ideas and discover/present new information

Oral Language Speaking and Listening
Written Language Reading and Writing
Visual Language Viewing and Presenting

Genius Hour presentations

Posted by year5

What creative thinkers we have in Year 5! Today we shared our genius hour projects with each. Slide shows, movies, books, models, posters, quizzes and much more were on display for us to enjoy and wonder over. After many weeks of inquiring, reflecting, wondering and creating, our students presented with pride and confidence their achievements, their challenges and their wonderings. Each student was assessed and given feedback from a group member and so we all learnt something new to take forward in our learning in the future.
Well done Galaxy 5!

Year 5 Parent Celebration

Posted by year5

Today we welcomed Year 5 parents to school to celebrate the learning that our students have been inquiring into during the unit ‘Sharing the planet.’ Year 5 ‘scientists’ led their parents through a variety of interactive stations, demonstrating their understanding of the importance of biodiversity and our responsibility in sharing the planet with all organisms, plants and animals.

Everyone was very involved and interested in looking through microscopes, sketching, building ecosystems, planting flowers to encourage bees, playing Kahoot and measuring our carbon footprints. Our students were knowledgeable while displaying curiosity, appreciation and enthusiasm as true scientists and environmentalists.

We hope that all the families who made pledges today work together to make the biodiversity of our planet thrive.

Thank you for coming and to all those that made our morning so successful.

Sports Day

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Another great day was had by all today as the students ran, hurdled, threw and pulled their way through 6 activities on the foreshore. House points were up for grabs as well as chances for fun, friendship and sportsmanship.
Year 5 put all their energy into competing to the best of their ability as they anxiously waited for score updates throughout the morning. We will have to wait a little longer until the Year 1-3 results are added to our scores but whatever the results, we congratulate all Year 5 on a wonderful effort today.

HK Wetlands Park

Posted by year5

Yesterday Year 5 students, teachers and parent volunteers headed out to Wetlands Park in Tin Shui Wai. Wetlands Park is a conservation and education centre that demonstrates the diversity of the HK wetland ecosystem and highlights the need to conserve them.

Throughout the day we were able to observe, record and question the impact of human interaction, both positive and negative, highlighting our responsibility to the biodiversity of the planet.

Our scientific journals will show evidence of stream, river, mangrove, plant and mudflat ecosystems. We observed, sketched and identified birds, fish, butterflies, waterlilies and lots of insects throughout the day.

We hope to share our day with you at the Parent Celebration next month.

Thank you to our parents who put in a long, hot day to help make this trip possible.

Parent celebration

Posted by year5

Y5 STP Celebration Save the Date 2018

We hope to see you at our celebration of the unit of inquiry, ‘Sharing the planet’. The students will guide you through some observations and hands on tasks as well as sharing with you their new understandings of biodiversity and our responsibility in sharing our planet with nature.

Please save the date now so your ‘scientist’ can introduce you to and help you to appreciate our world,

Year 5 teachers.

Studying our ecosystem

Posted by year5

On a fine and sunny afternoon, Year 5 spent time observing, recording and analysing parts of our ecosystem. They spent time at the pond and looking through quadrants, microscopes and magnifying glasses at water, plants and insects and identifying details, similarities and differences and how they might connect with each other.
Please remind the children that they can use their scientific journals over the holidays to observe and record anything of interest from wherever they might be.

On Friday, Jonny Haines and Tim Tait, teachers from DBIS, along with 3 students came along to speak with our students about their paddle around Lantau Island. Their discoveries were very worrying, with the amount of plastic and rubbish ruining our island, beaches and sea life. They have inspired our Year 5 students to raise awareness and to take action to help eradicate this problem that affects us all. We will be working with DBIS and other schools in the future.

I am a scientist!!

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Today classes 5TES and 5LFR took advantage of the weather and went outside to begin work in their scientific observation journal. Without any instruction the students were asked to record what they could see around them in their journal. Some wrote lists, others drawings and some diagrams.
Over the next weeks we will investigate how scientists record their findings and as we study the biodiversity around us, we will record our thinking in our journals.
Our field trip to the Wetlands next term will be a perfect opportunity to use our journals but the children are encouraged to use them at home on any appropriate outings as well.
I am sure your children will enjoy sharing them with you at our Parent Celebration.

Our new date for the Year 5 Parent Celebration is Tuesday May 8th at 1.40pm. We hope to see you then.