Who we are: Unit of Inquiry Resources

Posted by year5

It is hard to believe that Term 3 has already begun! In Year 5 we are well into our Who we are unit about changes, and we introduced the ESF Relationships and Sexual Education curriculum before the break. Please see the attached documents about the launch of this unit and the rationale behind sending this content home to you.

To engage with this content, we have built a safe learning environment in our classes and inquired into puberty through the lens of a scientist. We would appreciate your support at home by asking your children about what they have learned.

Our doors are always open if questions arise for you or your child throughout this unit.

Year 5 Team

January Update

Posted by year5

It was a great start to Term 2 in Year 5 with everyone arriving back from the break with many experiences to share about their holiday adventures. We quickly got back into our learning and were ready for the excitement of the coming weeks. The first three weeks have flown by with Three-way Conferences, CCA and sporting activities, House and other special events, and for some, a highly successful Primary Young Performers Evening.

DC School Photos
By now you would have received the photo schedule for the first weeks back after CNY. Please take note of the days and times when your child will be involved in different photo opportunities as, apart from the class photos, students will be expected to present for other photos independently.

The Discovery Dome

This week the Year 5 students welcomed the Discovery Dome to DC. It was a unique opportunity to explore Earth as we watched and heard stories about how our planet was formed and the dynamic nature of our home in the solar system. It was the perfect way to consolidate our knowledge for the ‘How the world works’ unit of inquiry especially as we were presenting our summative assessment task.

During this unit, we have become scientific researchers by posing questions and using our research skills to investigating the different cycles and systems of our planet. By becoming experts on our home, planet Earth, we have learnt about the forces at work and have gained a deeper understanding of the natural phenomena experienced in different parts of the world. Just ask us, you’ll be amazed!

URSTRONG Friendology Programme

After the CNY break, all Year 5 students will take part in the URSTRONG’s Friendology 101 programme as part of Visible Wellbeing. Through a series of 8 sequential sessions your child will be inspired to feel empowered, develop a strong sense of self, and love themselves while learning to manage the most important thing to them…their friendships. URSTRONG is an internationally-recognized friendship programme that gives children the language, skills, and self-confidence to be better friends and develop healthier relationships.

We will be launching URSTRONG on Thursday 14th February with the students and invite you to join Mrs Tracey Chitty, our school counsellor, for a Coffee Conversation on friendships. This workshop is based on Michael Thompson’s book Best Friends Worst Enemies: Understanding the social lives of children running from 8:30-10:00 am. Please see the details for the Coffee Conversation below.

Here are details of the URSTRONG programme we will run in our classrooms and how the Year 5 students will be coached through the following session topics;

How to Get Real – focuses on the importance of being true to who you are, embracing your unique self, and dispelling myths around gender stereotypes.

How to Make Friends – focuses on the art of friendship-making starting with how to introduce yourself, find something in common, and have a conversation. Students also learn what’s normal in a friendship through the 4 Friendship Facts.

How to Be a Great Friend – focuses on the difference between healthy and unhealthy friendships using the Friend-o-meter, attributes of a great friend, and the importance of spending the most time in healthy friendships.

How to Put out Friendship Fires – focuses on putting a voice to your feelings and conflict-resolution using our step-by-step approach for putting out ‘Friendship Fires’.

How to be a Friendship Ninja – focuses on understanding the difference between normal conflict (Friendship Fires) and Mean-on-Purpose behavior. Students learn how to say a Quick Comeback and report to a grown up to combat unkind behavior.

How to Handle Tricky Situations – highlights hot topics and common challenges in tween friendships including how to handle being in the middle, managing birthday parties, how to say “No!” to friends without feeling mean, and how to keep friendships healthy online.

How to Take Control and Feel Heard – focuses on taking control of butterflies (i.e.anxiety) and strategies for managing those ‘movies’ in our minds. Students also learn the importance of expressing how you feel and being a good listener.

How to remember URSTRONG! – brings all the topics together by reviewing and reinforcing important concepts, recognizing the strengths in one another, and a chance for each child to showcase their “sole”.

Happy Lunar New Year
Kung Hei Fat Choi or Xin Nian Kuai Le to all Year 5 families. With the lunar new year fast approaching we hope the celebrations plans are underway and the Year of the Pig begins well for everyone.

End of Term 1 Update

Posted by year5

It is hard to believe that the end of term has arrived. It seems like only yesterday that we were welcoming the Year 5 students into our classrooms!

Term 1 has been a busy one and looking back we realise how much the students have achieved. In addition to our daily learning, field trips, the Year 5 camp and the recent Celebration of Learning, we have built positive relationships with each other based on kindness and gratitude, worked collaboratively to solve problems and even furthered our growth mindsets by building our learning stamina and finding strategies to get ‘unstuck’. Your support as parents and hasn’t gone unnoticed either, helping your child to become more responsible for themselves and independent in completing Home Learning requirements have been very much appreciated.

Much has happened over the past two weeks as you will see in the photos below. The love of learning character strength was very evident when our Year 9 buddies coached us to develop our sporting skills. Bravery and enthusiasm shone through when we joined Year 9 again for the DC Christmas concert singing ‘Jingle Bell Rock’. I’m sure you would agree, we ROCKED IT!
The last few days have been full of Book week fun and have included the character strength photo booth, visits to the reading camp, mystery readers from Years 12, 10 and 7 to share books with us, not to mention the daily quiz and library lunchtime activities. The character parade was a highlight, full of zest, enthusiasm and loads of creativity!

Holiday Home Learning
During the break, please take the time to share your child’s Term 1 report with them and discuss the next steps for their learning in readiness for the upcoming Three-Way Conferences.

If you are staying in Hong Kong, it is the perfect opportunity to explore one of the many libraries or other educational sites. Of course, whether you are in HK or travelling, DING is available for your child to access numerous online resources offered by the DC library.

While there is no Home Learning set for the holidays there are still a number of activities each Year 5 student can do DARE they say ‘I’m bored’. Here is a list of suggestions…
– Read, read, read (out loud and independently)
– Reflect on what is read by summarizing important
events, answering questions and discussing the content.
– Create Maths flashcards to learn basic facts or
practice multiplication tables
– Use dice to roll two, three or four digit numbers to
add, subtract, multiply or divide
– Practice number facts with Hit the Button
(online Maths games)
– Order numbers from smallest to largest
(especially with decimals…think money)
– Keep a holiday diary recording events and experiences

Most of all make sure there is lots of time connect with family and friends. Holidays are the perfect time to RECHARGE, RELAX and REFRESH.

Finally, we would like to wish every Year 5 family all the very best for the holiday season and hope you enjoy all the festivities with family and friends. See you all in 2019 when we do it all again!

STP Celebration of Learning

Posted by romanol1

On Thursday 29th November we welcomed the parents to Discovery College to celebrate the learning the Year 5 students have uncovered during the inquiry into ‘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.

Students were able to share their Visual Art work on microscopic cells and even demonstrated some of the processes they used for their parents. Everyone was very involved and interested in looking through the microscopes to zoom in on everyday objects. There were opportunities to sketch specimens and gain feedback on the scientific drawings. Jenga was used to build ecosystems and explain how the balance of organisms is vital for a healthy biological community. We planted flowers to encourage bees, discussing how they are interdependent on each other. The Canva ‘Did you know?’ posters had shocking facts about human impact on biodiversity but also practical ways we can become more responsible citizens of the world. Playing the biodiversity Kahoot quiz really made everyone stop and think further about this, while measuring our carbon footprints had a huge impact once we realised the extent of our energy use. Our students were knowledgeable and confident in sharing their learning, displaying courage, appreciation and enthusiasm as true scientists.

We hope all the families pledges can now become reality, where everyone works together by taking action to make a difference (no matter how small) and enable the biodiversity of our planet to thrive. The Year 5 students have become passionate advocates for nature as a result of our inquiry so we look forward to hearing more about the positive action being taken to make our world more sustainable.

To all the parents, we thank you for coming to share the experience and hope you had many ‘take-aways’ from the event. We are especially grateful to all those who worked with us to make the ‘Celebration of Learning’ so successful.


HK Wetlands Field Trip

Posted by romanol1

On Thursday 15th November the Year 5 students, teachers and some parent volunteers headed out to Wetlands Park in Tin Shui Wai. The 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 would like to share the day with you through these photos so please ask us about them.


Year 5 Assemblies

Posted by romanol1

We have been fortunate to have taken part in two Year 5 assemblies from 5LFR & 5AWD already this term. Assemblies are a fun way to gain insight into what happens in our classrooms so we can find out more about what our friends are learning and witness their talents firsthand. Both classes demonstrated this in so many ways, using their presentation and speaking skills to perform in front of buddy classes and parents who were also part of the audience.

Both assembly were written, produced and performed entirely by the students. They chose how to share their learning through various disciplines and identified which character strengths were needed to help them work to the best of their ability. We were very proud of the way in which the students carried out and reflected on their performance throughout this process, especially the way that they worked together to produce very informative and fun skits.

Congratulations to everyone involved!

5LFR Assembly


5AWD Assembly

Sharing the Planet – Biodiversity unit of inquiry

Posted by romanol1

The Year 5 students have recently spent time observing, recording and analysing parts of our ecosystem in connection with the current unit of inquiry, ‘Sharing the planet’. For our immersion activity, students spent time making observations at the mangroves, looking through quadrants in Siena Park and used microscopes along with magnifying glasses to investigate water, plants and insects. By identifying details including similarities and differences, students considered how they might connect with each other. It was a great way to begin thinking like a scientist for our biodiversity inquiry.



To begin the unit, students have been busy making scientific observations and recording these in their science journal. Over the coming weeks, we will investigate how scientists record their findings as we study biodiversity around us and continue to record our thinking in our journals.

We are very much looking forward to our field trip to the HK Wetlands on Thursday 15th November. It will be the perfect opportunity to continue to use our journals as we consider the biodiversity of the plants and animals we encounter there.


Transdisciplinary theme Sharing the Planet

An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things.


Central idea:

Sustainability of ecosystems relies on maintaining the interdependent balance of organisms.


An inquiry into:

  •       connections between organisms and their environment
  •       human impact on the balance of ecosystems
  •       human responsibility for the biodiversity of the planet


Teacher questions:

What are the connections between organisms and their environment?  

How have human interactions with the environment affected the balance of ecosystems?

What action can be taken to improve biodiversity?


Key concepts:





Learner profile:

Caring, Principled


Transdisciplinary Links:

Maths – data collection

Language – non-fiction texts, scientific journals, writing trait – organisation & convention

Year 5 Camp

Posted by romanol1

On Wednesday 24 October the Year 5 students, teachers and some parent volunteers left Discovery College for three days of camp in Cheung Chau. When we left there were mixed feelings of excitement, some anxiety, a bit of nervousness but everyone had great anticipation. The return trip on Friday saw very satisfying feelings of happiness, pride, exhaustion and achievement!


Our students spent their days busy walking, biking, hiking, swimming, shopping, studying temples and learning about the island of Cheung Chau. They were respectful of the environment and the people who lived or were holidaying there.


The teachers were very proud of students throughout the days at camp as everyone grew in independence, responsibility and commitment. Whether making sure their rooms were tidy by keeping control of their own belongings, getting ready for the day’s activities, even helping with setting or clearing up for meals, everyone participated with a friendly smile. It was very encouraging to see students work collaboratively and cooperatively by helping each other. Everyone made new friends in the day adventure groups and their night-time dorms.


We’re sure your child has already shared their camping experience with you and trust that you will continue to build on their newfound independence and responsibility at home. It will be important to be prepared, as there are many more camping experiences to look forward to in the coming years.


A huge thank you to the DC staff who attended, the educational assistants who helped prepare for the camp and the wonderful parent volunteers who gave up their time to make sure that this year’s Cheung Chau camp experience was so positive and rewarding. You can see what happened first-hand or relive some of our adventures by viewing our photo collection here.


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!