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

Year 2A News

In our last Unit of Inquiry, 'How We Organise Ourselves' the central idea was focused around: public spaces, people and the community. The boys started the unit with a provocation walk around Scotch and Lake Claremont. The key concepts of function, connection and responsibility played an important role with the children through their understanding of public spaces and their uses. On evaluating each public space, the children observed:

  • How does the space work (function)?
  • How is it connected to other things (connection)?
  • Who is responsible for the space (responsibility)?

These questions were the focus through the whole unit, with the boys seeing public spaces in a completely different way and each of the boys learning to be being more appreciative of the space and how they are also responsible for looking after that space.

Following on from the provocation walk, the boys wrote their own surveys which they conducted with the boys from 5C and Pre-Primary. The data they collected enabled the boys to design and make a 3D model of a completely new public space based on the conclusions and feedback from these surveys. Discussions on what the public needed and what they wanted were held. The needs included: toilets, first aid centres, and shelter being the most important things. Creches and no adult zones were thoroughly debated as a need but the outcome was a want. Finally, 3D nets were given out and the room was buzzing with activity.  All boys were exceptionally proud of what they came up with. The hope is that some of their collective ideas will come to fruition when they join the outside world in 10 years' time.

In addition to the key learning objectives the boys pursue, mindfulness has been the key to a calm classroom this year.  The boys are encouraged to take responsibility for their own behaviours and emotions and through the use of mindfulness techniques this is showing the boys how to do this. Every morning the boys practice daily meditation to help them to be present in lessons. Understanding how the brain works have also led to the boys understanding their own emotions and their reactions to these and one can often one can hear in the class, "is your prefrontal cortex engaged in a positive way" or "is your amygdala taking over"? Well done boys on being so mature and learning the benefits of such a useful tool in life.

Finally, the term saw the second meet up with the boy's Year 12 buddies which is a highlight for the class. Marshmallow and spaghetti towers made together in a competition to find out which tower could hold an egg for the longest being a firm favourite! The Year 12 students were certainly grateful for the mindfulness activities Year 2 have been partaking in as they were focused and calm to begin their tower challenge and remained so for the task. In 10 years' time when Year 2 graduate from Scotch this cohort of Year 12 students will be invited to come and share their own personal stories of the outside world.  What a lovely and important relationship to cherish. The boys are looking forward to their next catch-up with Year 12 , where they will be sharing their favourite stories and will go to a 'secret place' in the school.

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Mrs Fiona Alexander
Year 2 Teacher