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

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  • 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.
    Emily
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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.

Emily
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.

Meshach
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.

Nina
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.

Last week’s writing – Olivia, Myah and Meshach

Here are extracts from Olivia, Myah and Meshach’s ‘warning stories’.  Have a read and comment during independent learning next week.  What do you think of these pieces of writing?  What are some of the writing skills your classmates are demonstrating?  Perhaps go back and have another look at your own story and reflect on whether there’s anything you might add or change if you wrote it again.

Here’s Olivia starting the story off:

“Don’t go near the river,” said my mother as she put juicy, delicious-looking strawberries inside my picnic basket.  “Don’t worry, I won’t,” I said solemnly, as she held out the basket.  “Good,” she said.  “It’s too dangerous.”  I nodded and looked out of the window – it was a hot, sunny summer’s day.

Half an hour later, I was walking excitedly through the woods.  The sun was very hot; the sunlight touched every single tree-top, making the bushy foliage even more green.  I could hear birds chirping and insects buzzing as if they were having a party – I was in paradise.

A refreshing breeze danced around the tree, making the leaves rattle.  I looked around.  The massive oaks were like giants standing in the humid ground; they looked as if they were 500 years old because of their strong, ancient-looking trunks and boughs.  I imagined one of the trees telling stories about the past and all of the things it might have seen: knights, horses, carriages, princes and princesses, other trees being burnt in the Great Fire of London or felled to make enormous ships for Nelson’s navy; it might have seen planes and bombs flying ahead in World War II, or even the 100 years war!  So much history in just one of these majestic trees!   How marvelous it might be to live for so long, I thought.  Before I carried on with my adventure, I hugged the tree; its warm bark pressed against my skin, making me smile.  I wished I could live in the woods…

Myah moving the story on:

Giving the tree a big hug to say goodbye, I set off to go and explore more.  As I ran through the meadow, it seemed like there was a ripple-effect of dandelions springing to life. Every time butterflies were nearby, it was as if the wind was creating a path for them.  As I made my way to the river, I found a rare white albino squirrel leaping from tree to tree with its young.  

There was something about the river that made it seem so inviting – maybe it was the reflection of the sun shining on the surface.  I felt like dipping my toes into the water, just to feel what it was like, but then I could hear Nzinga’s voice dancing around, saying not to go in.  Yet it looked safe where I was.  What could go wrong?

As I flung off my plimsolls, I couldn’t help but feel guilty for what I was doing – sneaking into the river.  When I jumped in, there was a sensation sliding down my back, making me shiver with fear.  I waded in deeper and deeper.  The further I got, the faster the current went.

 

And Meshach bringing it to a conclusion.  Do you think there is a final sentence or short paragraph that Meshach could add to round the story off?

I stepped on something hard and sharp.  I yelled for help but nobody was around so I fell.  I really wished I had listened to my Auntie because the water got deeper and deeper until I couldn’t touch the bottom.  My mouth was full of water so I couldn’t shout – I was going so fast it felt like I was going at 60 miles per hour.  When I opened my eyes, I could see fish, rocks and junk.  Then I had a vision that I was being saved by the tree.  I suddenly opened my eyes – I couldn’t remain any longer under water or I would drown…

 

Book reviews of the week – Meshach

Here’s the first of what will be a regular ‘book reviews of the week’ post, looking at what different members of the class think about some of the Rosendale Book Club 100 books.   Starting this week with Meshach, here are a few of his reviews that we particularly enjoyed.   Writing about Quentin Blake’s hilarious Zagazoo, Meshach says: “Zagazoo is a transforming mess until he turned into a nice, lovely, kind boy.”  Exactly!   Of Paddington, “He is such a nice bear to live with.”  A simple thought, but spot on!   And reflecting on Ted Hughes’ extraordinary The Iron Man: “Here is one question I need to ask myself: where did he come from?”  Good question!  You can read Meshach’s other reviews on his personal Rosendale Book Club webpage.

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