Thursday 19 March 2015

Kauri Whanau Sport

Throughout this term our children have been working with Georgia from Canterbury Softball. They had their final session earlier this week. Boy have their skills improved! When it rained, activities were modified so the children could still learn in the hall. This week it was silent softball, without a bat. Georgia was so impressed with how supportive and encouraging the children were of each other in the game situation.

We were very proud of our swimmers at the South Zone Swimming Sports on Wednesday. A special congratulations to Matt, Henry and Noah who were placed first and second in their respective events and will go on to represent us at the Canterbury Swimming Sports on the 30th of March.

We are looking forward to a great duathlon in the sunshine tomorrow, Friday. Many thanks to the parents who are helping out on the course or lending bikes.

We have had sign-up sheets for basketball out this week. There is lots of interest, so trials will be held next week. The basketball competition runs through term 2 and 3 at Pioneer Stadium, after school on a Monday or Friday.

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Police Competency Test

Our two Year 8 teams had a great day out at the Police Competency Test competition on Friday. A big thanks to Megan and Rachael for managing the teams.

Monday 9 March 2015

Writing Motivation

Today we paired up and took each other on a blindfolded 'trust' walk. This was our motivation for writing for the next two weeks. We also unpacked an exemplar based on the motivation, looking for the language features we will aim to include in our writing. These features include: similes, personification, repetition, short sentences (for effect), a variety of sentence starters and sophisticated language.

By Wednesday the children need to form an idea, around the motivation, that they can use for a writing topic. This could be about being lost, trusting someone or being in darkness.

The Exemplar

Blackness wrapped its cruel arms around me as I huddled beneath the rocky outcrop. I was trapped. Trapped in my uncomfortable shelter. Trapped with endless hours waiting for me to endure. Trapped by my fear. Far from my source of comfort.
The sky, black as coal, failed to emit even a flicker of hope. A blanket of threatening cloud had descended, covering the land with its cloak of darkness. To realise that above that cloud the moon shone like a beacon and the stars twinkled their comforting light, brought huge frustration. Reaching my hand out of my crude shelter, I hoped to feel a breath of wind. Some power that would pull the blanket of cloud away and reveal the light I so desperately sought. Stillness. No breeze. No hope. I was trapped.
My mind wandered back over the events that had led me to my current predicament. A late afternoon argument with my father had caused my blood to boil. What was the argument over? Pathetic really, a minor disagreement about Walter (my much loved border collie), but that was just the tip of the iceberg. We had been duelling for days. In the storm of the argument I had run off. Solitude and escape were what I was seeking. Ironically, it was the solitude that I now wanted to escape from.
Running through the cool enclosure of pines had felt good, so good that I had run for much longer than I intended. Tendrils of sunlight reached down through the canopy of pine needles, beckoning me onwards. As I sucked in the pine-scented air, my mind began to clear. Being away from my father felt good; I wanted that feeling to last as long as possible. So on and on I ran. The only company I would have liked was that of Walter. The forest petered out and I found myself in a more barren place. Clusters of rosemary bushes clung to the earth among the loose shingle that crunched beneath my feet.
Looking up, I noticed that an approaching canopy of dark cloud was overtaking the sun that scorched my path. Its approach was dramatic, and held my gaze a moment too long. A moment when I was suddenly aware that the ground beneath my feet was not there anymore.
Rocks, scrub, rosemary, clouds, flashed before my eyes, earth, sky, earth, sky … nothing.
Walter, where are you? As I slowly became conscious my heart yearned for my trusty companion. I didn’t need my eyes, as long as Walter was by my side; his eyes would be my eyes. Walter!

Saturday 7 March 2015

What an amazing week!

We have had a fabulous leadership week. It kicked off with our Year 7 Leadership Day on Monday. The children had loads of fun learning more about how to make great friends with Christian from This was followed by sessions learning about some of the '7 habits of highly effective people' in a very hands-on way. On Tuesday afternoon we all learnt about the 7th habit, 'sharpen the saw'. This included activities ranging from visualisation to mind games. The Year 7s spent Thursday in junior classes, running activities with children and helping them with their learning. We have had so much positive feedback about how organised, engaging and responsible they were. Brilliant work Year 7!

The Year 8s spent Wednesday and Thursday on leadership camp. On Wednesday afternoon they worked in small groups to complete initiative challenges. So many children stood out with their creative thinking and leadership skills. Dave and Lizzie spoke to us about the secrets to their success as world class buskers. We has a blast playing swimming and playing spotlight in the evening. After a series of team challenges at Spencer Park on Thursday morning we sat down and reflected on the ways we had used the 7 habits over the two days. Listening the the children speak, with confidence and enthusiasm, it was clear they had gained a great understanding of the value of the habits.

And then it was Friday. The heavens opened and the rain came down, but that did little to dampen our spirits at te Matatini. We experienced so much: amazingly powerful performances, educating experiences, loads of free stuff (!!) and so much fun on inflatable and bouncy stuff.

Phew, what a huge week!

Year 8 Leadership Camp

Year 7 leaders in junior classes.

Te Matatini

No photos of performances sorry, we weren't able to take any.