This term, the class has been asked: “Are all countries equal?” We have been investigating global inequality and poverty across the world. We have explored a number of texts and case studies that explore the life of people in different countries, as well as looking at different aid initiatives and how effective they are. The students have been keeping a journal to record their thoughts and we are taking note of aid programs we might like to support so we can make a difference. Next week, the students will compose a speech to try and persuade the class about what action we should take to help reduce global poverty.

The students also have a project on an emerging country to complete for homework. They have a handout with a task description, breakdown, due dates, criteria sheet and a note taking sheet. This will help inform their understanding of global inequalities but it also forms part of our You Can Do It unit, in terms of organising their time. We looked at what we had to complete for the task and broke it into smaller, more manageable goals. Each part of the assignment has a deadline. At the start of this week they had to complete their note taking sheet. By next Monday, they should have completed their presentation so they can begin rehearsing their speech. It is due in week 10. I welcome parent assistance with the project as it is a valuable learning experience but please help them complete it in the smaller steps we have arranged rather than leaving it to the last minute as this is a major part of what they are learning.

In maths we have been learning about how to calculate perimeter and area. The class has been designing the floor plan of a house. They have a price list of flooring materials, skirting boards, fencing materials etc, and they are calculating the cost of completing their house. Stage 3 students have different criteria and need to include triangular rooms.

We conducted a number of small group activities in a darkened room for science this week. Students learnt about how light travels in straight lines unless it is refracted or reflected. We split white light to form a rainbow and combined coloured light to form white light. We also learnt why we see different objects in different colours. We cleared up a significant misconception that some animals can see without light.