Tuesday 15 March 2016

Week 7 Update

Zone Swimming Sports: On Monday a team of our talented swimmers competed at the Zone Swimming Sports at Jellie Park. There were 12 competitors, swimming in relays, freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke. All students represented Beckenham School admirably. Special thanks to Katherine Ryan for her tremendous help on the day, as well as Mary-Clare Delahunty, Rod Gray and Katherine for providing transport back to school from the pool. Congratulations to all of our students for qualifying for the South zone swimming sports, and especially to Felix Strahl, Oskar Frampton, Juliette Gray and Henry McMecking for qualifying for the Canterbury swimming sports. Unfortunately the Canterbury swimming sports is on when we are in Dunedin on camp.

Welcome: Mark Shin has joined us in the hub for the rest of the term. Mark is a student teacher, working with Tracy.

Dunedin Camp: The second camp notice, which includes a gear list and programme is coming home today, both digitally and on paper.

Home Learning is due in this Friday. We love it when children hand their home learning in early.

Basketball: The children continue to respond extremely positively to the weekly basketball sessions with the Rams. On Thursday lunchtime this week, we will be holding trials for our basketball teams that will play on Monday or Friday afternoons (half an hour between 3:30 - 5:30)  in term 2 and 3.

Passion Friday Foodies: It is the Mini Master Chef competition this Friday. The students are required to bring $5 on Friday to buy ingredients at New World. They are also bringing some ingredients and utensils from home. Please ask your child about this today, as they will have a plan they can share with you.

Writing: Yesterday we kicked off our latest writing topic with a 'Fear Factor' experience. Many children got to experience the butterflies in their stomach and the rush of adrenalin through their veins as their names were drawn from the box and they anticipated what would happen next. On Wednesday the children will start to write about fear within a chosen context. (We have restricted them for any death, blood and gore content!) The emphasis will be on descriptive writing, rather than narrative (story). Today in class we unpacked an exemplar, which is included in this post, below the photos. We are encouraging the children to focus on the following success criteria:

  • I have made a plan so that I know what each paragraph will be about
  • I have used strong verbs
  • I have included clues to help the reader infer
  • My punctuation assists the reader    

You can support your child's learning at home in several ways:
  1. Discuss ideas for the context of their fear writing today, Tuesday.
  2. Ask them to show you their doc, (or better still - if you have a google account they can share their doc with you) on Thursday this week and Wednesday next week, and discuss their progress. This writing needs to be finished by the Thursday before Easter. We emphasise quality, not quantity, and have told the children we do not want to see more than two pages of writing. A big part of the writing process is re-reading and revising what has been written.
  3. Encourage your child to spend some time working on their writing at home.
  4. Check with your child that on Thursday this piece of writing has been proof read (it makes sense, spelling is checked and punctuation is correct) and edited (strong verbs, sophisticated vocabulary, figurative language have been used - it is the best writing it can be!).

Fearful anticipation of the first challenge.
Finding the crystalized eye-balls in buckets of ice.

What's Tracy going to make us do??

9 innocent eggs

5, 4, 3, 2, 1 ... crack!

The unlucky one.
Not much fear on that face!

Its sooooo cold!

Searching for the 'worms'.

What is in those nappies?

Walking on the glass path.


Fingers trembling, Jasmine  fastened the strap on her helmet. Fear ran through her veins like liquid lead. Hands, upon which deathly white knuckles protruded, wrapped around the grips, strangling the handlebars of her bike. Inside her helmet all Jasmine could hear was the pounding of her heartbeat, echoing like a battle drum. She was terrified!

Looking around her she realised that she was not alone in her fear. The blood had entirely drained from Sam’s face; it glistened like damp porcelain. Jacky couldn’t stand still, jiggling from one foot to the other. Was it fear that prompted this erratic movement or was she wildly excited by the challenge that awaited them? Barry, not surprisingly, had a huge grin plastered across his face. Known as the ultimate adrenalin junky in the group, Barry was in his element. Jasmine despised him.

The warmth of the day had receded and a chilling breeze stirred the dried leaves on the forest floor. As it gathered momentum, the wind caused the upper branches of the pine trees to creak. The butterflies that were gathering in Jasmine's stomach began to move with greater intensity, dredging up a mild nausea that she fought to control. Dragging her gaze from the steep downward path, she breathed deeply to steady her trembling body.

As the last rays of light faded, a hush descended over the group. Robert cleared his throat to give the final instructions. Jasmine strained to hear; she needed every snippet of advice if she was to survive the ordeal that awaited her in the darkness.  Beside her, the vibrations of Sam’s chattering teeth competed with Robert’s muffled voice. In desperation, Jasmine ripped her helmet off in time to catch Robert’s final warning. His words hit her like a punch in the stomach, knocking the lastl shreds of confidence from her being.

Why, she asked herself for the hundredth time, was she here? Why would her parents want to her to suffer this ordeal? Why had she agreed to come? Why was she about to plunge down a steep mountain track on a flimsy bike, in darkness, with nothing but the erratic beam of an ineffective head lamp for guidance?  Why not? With a deep breath Jasmine released the brake from her vice like grip ... she was off! Wooohooo!

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