With eager anticipation for the beginning of a new learning theme, Year 6 recently embarked on their ambitious quest to answer their latest driving question: How can we make small changes to make a big difference to our planet? This broad, open-ended question saw Year 6 students motivated to respond to the challenge. They expressed their desire to improve the world they live in and set out to find their own answers to the driving question. Beginning with an ‘entry point’ celebrating people who have been the change they wish to see in the world, Year 6 students considered the actions of Colin Kaepernick, Greta Thunberg and others. People all around us are making small changes, whilst impacting big differences!
Year 6 students then jumped straight into their exploration of the challenges that we face in order to sustain, maintain and improve our planet. They used recycled materials to create landscapes of the natural world. Students also learned about the impact of oil spills on our oceans through a scientific investigation where they observed the difficulty of removing oil from water or fur. Year 6 students were shocked about the scale and prevalence of oil spills in our oceans and were quick to consider the small changes that could be made to help reduce the impact of oil in our seas. Students then used their artistic skills and scientific knowledge to create their own micro-organisms, gaining empathy for those who are tasked with developing vaccinations or medications which make big differences in our global communities.
Year 6 students’ energy and enthusiasm for their new theme was evident through their follow-on questions at the end of a full day of learning: “With all of our knowledge, why do we continue to destroy the planet?” and “How can we influence others to make positive changes?”. These questions will guide the learning throughout the remainder of Term 2, ensuring that Year 6 students have ownership of their learning, and of the fate of the planet!