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

Update from Class 2A

In our latest 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 College and Lake Claremont. The key concepts of function, connection and responsibility played an essential role for 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 discovering how they are responsible for looking after that space.

During the online weeks, the boys spoke to members of their family about what they would like in a public space via FaceTime, in-person or over the phone. Following on from this and now back in class, the boys designed a class survey. They surveyed the boys from 5C. The data they collected was then graphed and used to create a 3D model of a completely new public space, based on the conclusions and feedback from these surveys. We held discussions on what the public needed and what they wanted. Needs included: toilets, water fountains, ramps and shelter. Finally, 3D nets were given out and the room was buzzing with activity as they completed their 3D model. All boys were exceptionally proud of the result. Hopefully, a seed has been planted into these curious minds and we will see some of the innovative designs coming along in a few decades.


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 behaviour and emotions. The use of mindfulness techniques supports students to develop strategies to deal with challenging situations. Every morning they practice daily meditation to assist them to be present in lessons. Learning how the brain works has given the boys an understanding their own emotions and reactions, and one can often hear in the class: "is your prefrontal cortex engaged positively?" or "is your amygdala taking over?" Well done boys on being so mature and learning the benefits of such a useful tool in life.

Year 12 Buddies

Finally, the term saw the second meet-up with the boys' Year 12 buddies — a real highlight for the class. The buddies built marshmallow and spaghetti towers and competed to discover which could hold an egg for the longest time. The activity was definitely a favourite!

The Year 12s were undoubtedly grateful for the mindfulness activities the Year 2 boys have been partaking in, as they were focused and calm to begin their tower challenge and remained so for most of the task. In 10 years when the Year 2s graduate from Scotch, this Year 12 cohort will be invited to come and share their personal stories of the outside world. What a lovely and vital relationship to cherish. The boys are looking forward to their next catch-up with the Year 12 students, where they will be sharing their favourite stories and will visit a 'secret place' in the school.

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Mrs Fiona Alexander
Year 2 Teacher