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Year 6 explore systems

Last week, Year 6 compared the leaderships qualities of people like Donald Trump, the Queen and Quentin Bryce, as part of their latest PYP unit of inquiry into How We Organise Ourselves.

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Year 6 are exploring the central idea: Human-made systems help us operate as a community. They are pursuing the following lines of inquiry: How and why do alternative government systems work?
Human-made systems allow global connections between people and places. And the management of places and environments has a global impact.

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The students started out by exploring the concept of leadership. Across the four classroom spaces, there were posters of different world leaders, with everyone from Joe Biden to Angela Merkal. It prompted the students to think about what constitutes a leader? Is it something you are born to or can you just become one? What makes a good leader? If you are born into a leadership position like, for example, the Queen, does this make you automatically a good leader?

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Across the four Year 6 classrooms, there were posters of different leaders on display, with various questions about leadership. For example, What makes a good leader? What learner profile attributes does a good leader exhibit? Does being born into a leadership position make you a good leader? As they reflected, Year 6 took advantage of pen and paper to record their thoughts and observations.

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In order to spark Year 6’s curiosity about human-made systems, Teaching Assistant Ms Butler-Nixon used her incredible curation skills to mount a thought-provoking display of posters and objects. She covered a long table in the Year 6 breakout space with white paper and placed a seemingly random array of objects down the middle.

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Next to a sign for Waste Management, there was a pile of empty bottles, jars, wrappers and even a discarded emery board. Next to a Transport sign, there were two Opal cards. Next to a Food sign, there were bottles, cans and tins of food. And next to a Taxation sign, there were Tax File Number application forms. Each display prompted Year 6 to think, wonder and reflect.

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Year 6 were encouraged to write down their thoughts next to each object. What was it and why was it important? How did it help us operate as a community? How did it connect us? What would happen if we didn’t have these man-made systems? How would this affect our lives and would this have an impact on the planet?

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As part of their Unit of Inquiry, ‘How We Organise Ourselves’, Year 6 will be exploring different human-made systems worldwide that help us stay connected. They will examine the roles and responsibilities of local, state, federal and international governments, and consider the related concepts of fairness, prejudice and discrimination.

And finally, they will imagine what would happen if Tasmania were no longer part of Australia. They will have an opportunity to create their own country, complete with their own systems of government, communication, transport, waste management, border controls, taxation and much, much more. Will they be dictators or democratic leaders? What systems will then create to protect the environment? How will they divide their country up and how will the connect it?

We can’t wait to see just how far Year 6 goes with this!