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

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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

The Dao

In our project on ways of thinking and living in China, we are trying to open our minds to new ideas and ways of understanding the world.

Is this a good or a bad place for a tree to grow?  Ask your children to give you the Daoist perspective!
tree on rock

Here are some of the class’s thoughts on the unfathomable “Dao” and the yin and yang.   They said the Dao is

– how we are all connected to nature and everything around us (Olivia)
– the rhythm of nature and Earth (Sarafina)
– the way of life and nature (Kaliyah)
– a big world, small people (Reaiah).

On Yin and Yang, that they
– show how even opposite things need each other…. how everything in life is linked (Olivia)
– are opposites but need to be in balance to be right (Ignas)
– are the balance in the world (Ellie)
– show how opposites cannot live without one another (Kyrell).

 

Somebody or nobody

6CM performed a class poem entitled Somebody or nobody at this morning’s Rosendale ‘poetry slam’ hosted by poet and rapper Breis.

 

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We used Emily Dickinson’s I’m Nobody! and Muhammad Ali’s Last night I had a dream as inspiration and wrote poems about being a ‘somebody’ or a ‘nobody’.  There are a series of poems that respond to one another.  Breis gave special mention to Myah (for her performance) and Jim, Archie and Nathan (for their words).  Later, Breis came into the classroom and read the children’s poems back to them – which was exciting to listen to.

Here are the poems in the order they were performed.

Somebody or nobody?

Why be somebody
When you can be nobody.
Why have fame
And have many know your name.
Why not be backstage –
Instead of in spotlight’s cage.
So why be somebody,
When you can be nobody?

Nina, Olivia and Sylvie

I love to be in the spotlight
I love to have fortune and fame
I love to be up on stage in sight
So people can call out my name.
I love luxury and riches
No matter the cost or price
Sometimes it lands me in stiches
But I don’t mind rolling the dice.

Nell and Sarafina

Sometimes it’s nice to be simple
Who needs fame and fortune
Just to live a simple life
And one you won’t regret.
Who needs to be in the newspaper
Who needs to be on TV
Just live a life – a simple life
And that’s the one for me.

Ellie

I’m great, unlike you!

You crumble like cake
You got jealous of my hair
Whilst you wear a wig
Like Donald Trump
You think you’re so big
I’ll get you a grave to dig
And your wallet’s getting thinner
Mine’s bigger
Like my lyrics

Archie and Jim

We are cool
We left school
We lurk late
We strike straight
We sing sin
We drink gin
We jazz in June
We will die soon.

Caspar and Mohammed

My name’s Nathan
My cut stings
Like a bee
I’m just a wannabee
Stop trying to steal my sweets!
You can’t see me
In my lambourghini
Which is black
I’m black
I’m invisible
So you can’t see me
So stop trying
I’m perfect
So crown me.

Nathan

The spotlight shines on you
For you crave it.
You are a somebody
You hate the gloom
And I’m a nobody
At the back of the room
Watching you walk
Listening to you croak your name.

Ignas

I’m angry, I’m angry
And I just can’t keep it in
I wanna scream and shout
I really wanted to win
Then rain falls down
Filling my shoes to the brim.
How lonely I am
As the anger kicks in.

I’m angry, I’m angry
My life is a lie
My brain keeps teasing me
I wish I could die!
I am so weary
I sleep in day
And wake up to the sound of a light.

I’m happy, I’m happy
I’ve just had an idea
How about I make some friends
And do it with cheer.
Little did I know,
There was someone at the door,
And I didn’t hear.

Myah

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

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Nature versus nurture

We talked today about how we are shaped, as human beings, both by our genetic inheritance and by our environment (our life experiences and the choices that we make). reaiah

The children had to try to say which – genes or life experience – they thought was a more important influence on their development as a person.  Most thought it was their environment.

  • Zeca:  I personally think that the way you were born doesn’t matter.  The most important thing to me is nurture.
  • Sylvie:  I think the most important is probably environmental because it’s how you’re brought up that determines how happy you are or how your personality is built.
  • Faisal:  I think environment more than genes because you choose what you want to do and you choose the path you want to follow.
  • Sonny:  My life is more important than my genes.
  • Sarafina.  Environment shapes you as a person.  You kind of have a growth mindset if you believe in nurture.  If you don’t it’s a bit like you’re saying ‘I’m born this way and I can’t change it.’
  • Jim says that he’s grown up in a protective environment with caring parents.  He says, ‘Even if I had been born in a  troubled part of the world, and had the same parents, I would still be roughly who I am now.’
  • Nina gave this careful and balanced assessment:  I have inherited my mouth, teeth, nose, and eyebrows from my dad.  I got my eyes, hair colour and ears from my mum.  My parents both run and I think that I inherit half of that from them but I train and do a lot of cross country running to help…. and get lots of encouragement.   I personally think that you could be born with a talent and not practise or you could not be born with a talent but train really hard and succeed.  I think that envrionment and nurture is more important because it’s your choice of what to do or be.

Add your own thoughts by replying to this post.  

Bonus question: which member of the class has evolved from this young lady?

claire