What a diverse and beautifully rich learning environment the class 8 schoolroom has been this first term. The students found themselves in the throes of civil uprisings between the 16th – 18th centuries which lead to the Dutch and French revolutions and the English Civil War. This main lesson stirred many thoughts and feelings within the class 8 students, which inspired fruitful discussions related to revolutions and challenging the status quo. In class 8 students continue developing their emerging individualities and studying the great revolutions of history provides a wonderful opportunity for self-reflection and enquiry regarding their own values and need to question and challenge what they are told.
From here we ventured into the realm of anatomy and exploring the incredible human body. Our approach was carried out with great reverence and respect as we investigated what makes humans similar to other living organisms, what makes us different and how is it that our body does what it does. The class 8 students enjoyed discovering who had the most “Fibonacci-esque” bodily proportions. They also had a wonderful time getting to know Harry our visiting model human skeleton who didn’t say much but smiled the entire time.
From History to Science to Mathematics, the class 8 students finished this term off immersed in the world of platonic solids. This main lesson brought the big picture of form, beauty and the natural order of geometry inherently present throughout our physical world. Why is it that some viruses or semi-precious stones or microscopic sea creatures exist in the shape of an icosahedron or octahedron? This and many other fascinating questions were contemplated as the students practiced the art of geometric drawing, bisecting angles using a compass and ruler. We explored the concepts of two and three dimensionality of form by drawing polygons and constructing polyhedrons out of paper as well as dowel. Instead of teaching the students to blindly accept mathematical formulae, we as a class demonstrated and proved the formulae in a very “hands on” manner which provides a tangible sense of mathematics as a living universal language. The students will complete their platonic solid constructions in woodwork by creating a beautiful dodecahedron lantern in time for the winter festival.
We have thoroughly enjoyed term 1 with class 8, getting to know each individual just that much more and welcoming Joey into the class from Dorrigo, and Catrine back into the class. They are a wonderful mob who demonstrate a thirst for knowledge and enjoy many a good chat. We are very much looking forward to the next three terms and all the adventures which await us.
Soli and Sean