It’s All Coming Together

The third term is that lovely term where much of the learning journey we have been on since January begins to really fall into place…there are new confidences and fluency about our skills and understandings. During our small group conferencing, many students are reporting things are ‘easier’ or ‘faster’ or they simply ‘got it’. This fills us with warm feelings of accomplishment and pride, yet also leaves space for new goals in Term 4.


Design Thinking

This week we were lucky enough to have a  guest speaker who is a problem solver. A woman who works with a team to find solutions or develop products based on her clients’ needs. Jane Nguyen Head of Design at Digio spoke to the 5/6 Neighborhood about the design cycle and the need for respectful interpersonal skills to work efficiently.


“What’s the most important part of the design process for you?” Opal

“I have to understand the problem…any solution I offer otherwise…I’m making up!” Jane

While Jane had some very clear advice about the importance of observing, then asking (given most people tell you what they intend to do rather than what they actually do) to understand a problem, she also reiterated that many of the design phases need to be revisited a number of times. One of her mantras to her own team is, “If you get it (the solution) right the first time, you probably didn’t get it right!”

Equally interesting was Jane’s message about the quality of the people in her team can easily outweigh knowledge and skills. She went on to explain that having people in her team that are good at their job but are horrible to everyone in the process is demotivating and prevents teams from developing to their full potential. People who can collaborate and encourage each other to be their best moves everyone forward and helps achieve a better result. Jane also highlighted the need for diverse team members if we are to explore ideas and think outside our own perspectives and skillsets.

Jane’s advice is extremely helpful as we begin our design project in Math and further our design thinking next term.

“I’m going to actually build my chair! See all this wood I have collected.” Otto


Furthering Inquiry

As we continue to use the Compass Thinking Tool to vary our perspectives within our inquiry groups, we will regroup in our last week of term for a selection of Top of the Hill Summits. These summit meetings will address a range of real-life scenarios using the Compass perspectives (N: Natural Environments, E: Economy, S: Society, and W: Wellbeing).  The goal of these events is for us to vary our perspectives and identify a range of needs related to world issues and events. We can then begin to consider how we might offer balanced solutions to these problems.

“Using Compass helps to give me more ideas, and different ideas in relation to people and problems” Opal


We have been working to further research an Agent of Change who has sparked our curiosity. We are in the process of drafting biographies to share the life stories of these individuals. We are growing curious to see if any patterns emerge as we compare childhoods, education (or lack thereof), careers, and opportunities. We have also tuned into the ‘catalyst’ for driving change and will be excited to see if all individuals identified such a moment in their lives.

Next term, we would like to adapt these life stories into a filmed monologue to share with our school community. The holidays would be an ideal time to explore costume possibilities and possibly craft interesting props.

Auto Biographies

Also, as a result of researching and exploring the life of others, a few students have requested to write their own autobiographies. This will be our first writing task of Term 4. 

Given the digital age we are working in, your child may need some help navigating digital files to resource baby photos, images of their first day at kindergarten or school; significant homes, holidays, pets, and the like. It would be helpful if you also take time to revisit fun or important memories as a family, to support the narrative of their lives so far. We feel a family film night coming on!

Finding Online Resources

This last week has been a full week of exploring our new online resource. We have connected with EPIC! This collection of online texts, audiobooks, and videos have been super inspiring for some readers.

“I like the audiobooks. I have been listening to new books as I work for something different” Poppy K

“I like the challenges posted on EPIC! It’s given me motivation to read more!” Mila L

For those readers who need support and regular texts in which to practice their reading skills, EPIC! offers a range of fiction, non-fiction magazine, and graphic novels that support our inquiries, our English tasks, as well as a range of personal interests. Families are encouraged to make good use of this resource while access to our local libraries is limited.