Is there a ‘right way’ to think and live?

Although China has had many violent periods in its history, there have not been wars fought in the names of the different belief systems that we have studied. The different ways of living (Buddhist, Daoist, Confucian) have coexisted peacefully and complemented one another.

Following from this, we discussed whether there is a ‘right way’ to think and live, which feels like an important question to ask at a time when London and many other parts of the world are subject to terrorist violence.

Here’s a selection of thoughts from the class. The general feeling seems to be ‘yes,’ there is a right and a wrong way, but not just one right way, an infinite number of possibilities – and the world is better for this diversity. As Faith says, difference is a good thing not bad.

Kaliyah. There are definitely right and wrong ways of thinking and some people have definitely passed the limit; they have started to do things that are totally unnecessary: terrorist attacks and killing. There is definitely not just one right and wrong way of living because everybody is different and their brain has developed differently. If we tried to make everyone the same we would fail because we aren’t all the same.

Sylvie. Different people have different backgrounds and different experiences and no-one is the same so why should we try to force people into thinking one idea, to one peephole on the world. Life is much richer if there are more possibilities. There is a line – you cannot accept racism, sexism, violence etc. – but the world is complex and one plane of understanding would be strange, almost inhuman as everyone’s different.

Jim. I believe there kind of is a right and a wrong way of thinking and living but I feel there should be more than one right way. But you should be free to think what you want to an extent. As long as you follow the basic rules of law and rights I feel that is the right way. No one is the same so everyone has a different interpretation of life. Jacob picks up the point about the role law, saying ‘Maybe in some ways all people are the same because of laws but if it wasn’t for laws there would be war at least once a year.’

Emily. There is no right way to understand the world. Everyone has different experiences, so everyone will believe different things because no two people are exactly the same. So if you take an extremist/terrorist and ask why are they like that, because people are not born wanting to kill, it is the people around them and their experiences who shape who they are.

Olivia. We all have different experiences, so having one right way of thinking and living is basically impossible, and it would make our world boring, and no-one would learn from their mistakes, making us unintelligent creatures who do only one thing.

Myah. I think that the wrong way is saying things like everyone should be the same and no-one should be individual, and the right way is persuading people to think for themselves.

Faith. There are 100,000,000,000 ways of thinking. Some people believe in monsters and spirits, some don’t. Different people believe in different things. It would be weird if everyone was alike in the world – our memories are different. Difference is a good thing not bad.

We’d normally stay away from politics on this blog, and President Trump does not get a good press from many in 6CM, but a post today from daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump, in response to the latest violence in London, feels helpful to our discussion.  She wrote: “Even if my neighbor doesn’t understand my religion or understand my politics, he can understand my story. If he can understand my story, then he’s never too far from me. It is always within my power to build a bridge. There is always a chance for reconciliation, a chance that one day he and I will sit around a table together and put an end to our history of clashes. And on this day, he will tell me his story and I will tell him mine.”




Art in the summer sunshine

Year 6 spread themselves, in the summer sunshine, along the length of the school’s bamboo hedge and made beautiful monoprints of the bamboo, using the handle end of paint brushes and palette knives to scrape images of the stems and leaves onto an inky surface and then print onto white paper.  Here are  prints from Rayyan, Reaiah, Patrick, Faisal, Sonny, Sarafina, Nina, Olivia, Emily, Nathan and Sylvie.

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Ancient Chinese wisdom

We’ve been continuing learning about ways of thinking and living in China.  Here are some of 6CM’s interpretations of ancient proverbs from the Dao De Jing.

Dao de jing

The wise man is one who knows what he does not know

  • No-one knows everything in the world so we should learn. (Nathan)
  • If you think you know everything and don’t listen, you won’t know everything, because everyone has their own talents and life experiences, so everyone is worth listening to and an intelligent person will know that. (Emily)
  • It means that you might think you know a lot but there is more you need to know. (Reaiah)

The truth is not always beautiful nor beautiful words the truth.

  • It means the truth can be horrible.  And not everything is good.  It also means that just because something sounds the way you want it to sound, it does not mean it is true. (Jim)
  • I think that it means that the truth can be anything; maybe you won’t like the truth, but you have to accept it.  You can’t change it or shape it how you want it – it doesn’t have to be beautiful, but it’s still the only truth. (Sarafina)
  • When someone tells you something, it won’t always come out how you want it. (Nathan)

Do you have the patience to wait until the mud settles and the water is clear?

  • Sometimes your mind gets clouded up with things and feelings, which can be confusing, but if you wait, eventually things will settle and come clear and show you what to do.  (Ellie)

A journey of 1000 miles begins where you stand

  • Every journey has a beginning – no matter how far or how big it may seem, there is always a first step. (Nina)

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.  Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt

  • You can only do so much.  If you keep trying so hard to make it good, it will turn bad.  When you strive for perfection, it will never be perfect.   Everything has balance. You do this; this will happen. (Sarafina)
  • I think this means you should never have too much of anything, you should have the right amount of it and your life will be good.  Also, if you try too hard to find perfection your attempts might turn against you, making your life worse. (Olivia)

When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.

  • Just be yourself around other people and then they will like you because you don’t try to change who you are. (Faisal)

Balance in life

Exploring what it might mean to find “balance” or “harmony” in our lives is at the heart of the study we are making of Chinese ways of thinking and living. Here are some very interesting opening thoughts from the class.

  • I think the balance is you can’t have too much of one thing but you need a little bit of everything. You also need to have a back-up plan for your normal plan because you don’t know what’s ahead of you. Life is full of surprises, so whatever the world throws at you, you have to go through it with courage.   Meshach
  • Your life shouldn’t be so dull and balanced [that it becomes] boring like a straight line. But it shouldn’t be too chaotic and erratic either. It should be up and down, with some scared moments and some happy ones.  Sarafina


  • I think balance in life is not necessarily focusing on just one thing…. As humans, I think we don’t want chaotic lives but we don’t want perfectly sane ones either. Also we want a balance between work and play – we don’t want all-work-no-play lives, nor all-play-no-work ones, because we need balance in our lives.  Archie
  • I think that balance in life means you can’t have ups without downs, or downs without ups. And not everything is perfect. I also think it means if you want something you have to fight for it instead of just getting it. For example, if you want a future job you can’t just say you want it but you have to work your way up to it. Myah
  • I don’t believe the way of living life is as simple as “balance.” My view is probably not to shape life into an equal, samey life but to let it flow. Sylvie
  • You can’t aim for one thing because life is unpredictable so you need other plans. You can’t always be angry, you need happiness as well. You can’t only look at your views, you have to look at the other person’s argument… You can’t only look at yourself, you need to realise there are other people, and that you have to learn and care about others as well as yourself.  Gabriel
  • I think you need balance in life to have a happy life because you always need an opposite like fire and water – you need water to put out the fire. Ignas
  • To be healthy you need to be even in your mind and spirit.  Faith
  • Everyone has a different balance because everyone likes and needs different things.

Weekly round up

Congratulations to everyone on completing the SATs – and without any fuss and bother 🙂

We’ve started a new project on ‘Ways of thinking and living in China’.  Here are a few opening thoughts and comments from Nell, Sylvie, Zeca, Ellie, Patrick and Emily:

  • I think we can learn from China by looking at their different culture and they looking at ours – maybe adjusting ours as well.  Nell
  • I think if people learn their [Chinese] ideas, thinking and opinions, and they learn ours, it could bring the world closer together and create a better understanding between different ways of life.  Sylvie
  • We can learn about their types of medicine, their lives, routines and more.  Zeca
  • I definitely know that we can learn from the Chinese because they believe in Daoism – and that’s the flow of the universe – instead of just inventing and building for the sake of it like we do.  Ellie
  • I think we can learn from the way Chinese people live, and they can learn about how we live, because we still live in the same world and people should learn not to be prejudiced.  I think that England should start thinking more about other countries’ lifestyles because we don’t have all the ideas.  You need to listen to others to make the world better.  Emily
  • I think we can learn how Chinese people think and live, and experience the way they live and how it is different to our lifestyle.  Patrick


Children should be taught more PE in schools…

With all the preparations for SATs this half-term, here are heart-felt arguments from Emily, Meshach and Nina for more sport and PE.   Please find time in independent learning to read their arguments and post a comment.  Focus on the way the argument flows, the tone they achieve and the punctuation they use.

For as long as anyone can remember, children have been the victims of heaps of tedious maths and English taught by teachers who have forgotten how it is to be young. The result of this is PE is pushed to the sidelines to be taken over by more tedious lessons – making the school days dull and keeping children stuck in a boring classroom.

There are three main reasons given for increasing the amount of time schools spend on P.E: it improves pupil’s physical and mental health; teaches valuable life skills; and helps children make friends for life. Of the three reasons, health and fitness benefits is arguably the most important. In the UK, millions of people are overweight or obese, making them at risk of diabetes – which is costing the NHS billions of pounds a year. Evidence shows PE would help reduce this cost, helping children develop healthy habits that may last a lifetime. On top of this, mental health is becoming an increasing problem and it has been scientifically proven that if you are obese you are more likely to suffer depression.

Not only does PE help improve pupil’s physical and mental health, but it also provides children with an opportunity to develop important life skills. When playing sport, students have to work in a team and coooperate. These skills are vital in all walks of life and will ensure you have a better future and a better job – all employers want someone who can work in a team.

Turning to the third and final argument, sport allows students to expand their social circle inside and outside school. In PE, children have the opportunity to try new sports; then, if there is one they particularly enjoy, to join clubs, enabling them to make new friends while doing sports they love.

In conclusion, increasing the amount of time schools spend on PE would be good for the following reasons: it improves physical and mental health; develops important life skills; and helps young people to expand their social circle. For these reasons, it is clearly the case that the time schools spend doing PE should be doubled to four hours a week so that children and young people can lead a happy, healthy life.

Children have been taught maths and English for many hours every week. The government thinks that they should be taught PE only two hours a week. Two hours is just not enough. Learning is a great thing, but so is sport to keep you healthy.

There are three main reasons to increase the amount of exercise in schools: it teaches you new life skills; helps you make friends; and keeps you in shape. Starting with fitness, more PE would stop millions of people from being overweight and becoming ill. At the moment, the NHS (National Health Service) isn’t managing very well with people coming through the door and complaining they need medical attention. If we get more children to get involved in PE, it will help solve this problem.

Turning to the second main argument, not only does PE help children’s mental and physical health but it teaches new and valuable life skills that are crucial for the future. Whilst in the job market, companies look for not only good education, but good life skills like emotional awareness that are crucial in the workplace.

Moving now to the third argument, PE also allows children to expand their friendships through clubs inside and outside of school and possibly make life-long friends through sport. Not only that, young children have a chance to join teams.

In conclusion, there are three main reasons why the amount of PE should be increased: to improve the physical and mental health of children’ teach new life skills for their future; and, last, to open a door to new friendships.

For as long as anyone can remember, children have been taught long and tedious hours of maths and English. Children should be able to be free to run around the fields playing sport and enjoying themselves. Instead they are stuck inside a classroom with only two hours a week of physical education (P.E.) and exercise. Sport should be a big part of a child’s life.

The three main reasons for increasing PE are the following: it improves mental health, teaches life skills and brings a range of social benefits. Turning to the first and most important reason to increase PE and sport in schools, huge numbers of people are becoming ill because of lack of exercise. The NHS has been struggling with this national obesity crisis. Teaching PE at school can help children when they’re growing up to stay fit and healthy. Exercise will lead them to a healthy, happy life.

Moving to the second argument, not only does PE improve health it teaches life skills for the future. If children play sport when they’re younger it can develop cooperation, teamwork and emotional intelligence. These skills will be of benefit later in life. Businesses want people who can work in a team, who can cooperate with others and who have good personal skills. If children learn P.E., they will have an advantage in the job market.

Lastly, the third and final argument, sport helps expand children’s social circle and helps make them new friends. If children do P.E., it can encourage them to join clubs outside of school. They will make new friends that they could keep forever.

To summarise, PE should be increased for these reasons: it helps with your health and keeps you fit; it can teach life skills for the future; and it helps young people expand their friendship groups. That’s why experts say PE should be extended to four hours a week to keep children fit and to make sure they have a happy life.

Macbeth’s sililoquy – the girls

We’ve really enjoyed studying Macbeth.  Here are some of the sililoquies that Shakespeare might have written… look out for Temmyyaa’s BRILLIANT AND HILARIOUS Scottish accent and some wonderful dramatic performances