Welcome to Year 6!
Welcome to the Year 6 page. Please take the time to have a look at what we have been doing so far in Year 6 and also what we will be doing as the year progresses.
Our Teaching Team consists of Mr Cole, Mrs Mullins, Mr Dean, Miss McLernon, Mrs Formby and Mr Firth.
True or not true?
In Philosophy Club we have been discussing what we mean when we talk about the truth. What makes something ‘true’? And if we aren’t sure, where should we go, what should we read and who should we talk to, in order to find out what ‘the truth’ is about something? Perhaps we should just believe what we are told, believe everything we read in the newspapers or see on the internet. Alternatively, we could investigate for ourselves, and, equally importantly, think for ourselves - weigh the available evidence against our own experience before we make up our mind. And if there is not enough evidence to make a judgement? Then don’t make a judgement. In Philosophy Club it’s perfectly fine to say ‘I don’t know’.
We used a story called ‘Not True!’ to explore these ideas. In the story, a group of talking animals find a person’s shoe laying on a path in the middle of a wood. Even though they have never seen a human, let alone a shoe, before, the animals take it in turns to explain to the others what this strange object is. Reasonably enough, the animals rely entirely on their own experience, so one animal says it’s a piece of bark, another says it’s a strange plant, a third says it’s the shell of a nut. Plainly, nobody is interested in listening to anyone else's opinion. Just as the argument begins to heat up an owl appears. He has actually seen humans and knows exactly what the object is. He tells the animals what they are really looking at. And how do they react? Of course, they they turn their anger on the owl, tell him he’s talking complete nonsense, and chase him out of the wood.
After a discussion about what puzzled us or interested us in the story, we decided on a question to explore. The question that got the most votes was ‘Should the owl have told them the truth?’ Other contenders that gained fewer votes were ‘Why did the animals become angry?’ and ‘Can something be true one day and not the next?’ All nice, juicy, philosophical questions. The discussion lasted for two sessions and finished without any firm conclusion. This is quite common with the best philosophical questions.
The story itself can be traced back to the Ancient Greek philosopher Homer. He told a similar story, known as The Allegory of the Cave. Imagine that for their entire life a group of prisoners have been chained up in a cave, facing a wall. Their only experience of the world comes from a fire behind them that casts shadows on the cave wall of anyone passing by. Then one day one of the prisoners escapes. He leaves the cave and goes out into the real world, and to cut a long story short, he returns and tries to convince the other prisoners that what they are seeing is only a shadow of the real thing. Needless to say, like the owl they don’t believe him and in fact become very angry. They refuse to leave the cave, preferring their own ‘reality’ to the one described by the returning prisoner.
Does any of this sound familiar? Of course it should - the current debate around 'truth' is one of the hottest of our times. Next up in Philosophy Club, the story of the Old Woman Who Lived in the Vinegar Bottle - a meaty prompt for discussing themes such as greed, happiness and wants versus needs.
Philosophy Club is open to Year 5 and Year 6 children and will run again in the summer term.
For a recent homework assignment Year 6 were challenged to get creative with a recent piece of learning. They could present their learning in any format they wanted: a piece of writing; a poster or a PowerPoint; a painting or a piece of 3-D art. The main proviso was that the quality of the finished piece of work should be high.
An example of the work coming in is the excellent model in the photo below, made at home by Cameron W. in Mrs Mullin’s class. It is of Dustfinger, one of the main characters in the current Y6 class reading book, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.
Well done Cameron for making such a super model!