Year Four is a vital time for the development for students’ work and study habits, ability to exercise self-control, and social skills. Invariably the children we see coming to us are very different people at the end of Year 4. It is with pleasure that we observe these changes and experience some of the potential that is gifted by God to all children.
As Christians God has given us stewardship over the environment He created and as such we must use it wisely. Our actions will affect the standard of living future generations are able to enjoy. In Unit 1 students acknowledge and understand that God has created the earth’s environment to sustain all life, and that He has given humans a personal accountability and responsibility for the environment in which we live. We look at how the earth’s environment sustains all life. We also focus on developing students understanding of sustainability which is about the ongoing capacity of the environment to sustain human life and wellbeing. Students recognise that people have different views on how sustainability can be achieved. They learn that sustainability means more than the careful use of resources and the safe management of waste, and they develop their understanding of the concept by exploring some of the other functions of the environment that support their lives and the lives of other living things. They investigate the custodial responsibility of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their past and present views on the sustainable use of resources.
Our world is a multicultural world with each culture having unique features. In our second unit, Aboriginal Culture and Heritage, we explore the heritage of the Australian Aboriginal people. Students are given the opportunity to explore the traditional environments, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours of the Aboriginal people and their contribution to our Australian heritage.
In Semester 1 we embark on 2 amazing journeys in Christian Studies, looking at our responsibility for the earth God created and the wonders of prayer, the call for Christians to be involved in spreading their faith, whether to neighbours or in foreign lands. It is often in these studies that students are really challenged to think most deeply about who they are and what they are called to. Our topics facilitate discussions that are significant and deep, a testament to the fact that the Year 4 mind is searching for meaningful spiritual knowledge and fulfilment that is eternal in its significance.
For most of us, the most profound memories we take from school are the social experiences, typically identified with excursions and incursions
A highlight of Semester 1 is the incursion conducted by an Aboriginal elder where students are taught and involved in various traditional Aboriginal cultural activities including fire making, face decorating, and spear and boomerang throwing. The students gain valuable knowledge from this incursion as they learn the significance and purpose of some Aboriginal cultural activities. Because the activities are largely interactive the students leave this experience with memories that will last them a lifetime.
One of the great rewards of teaching is seeing the students develop in so many ways, and Semester 1 is a time of profound growth and character development in many of the students.