Wednesday 23 March 2016

Week 8 Update

Duathlon: Due to a wet weather forecast tomorrow, the Year 5 - 8 duathlon will be postponed until next Thursday at the same time. That means more chance for training over the Easter break!

Passion Friday Food Group: Next Friday, 1 April, for Passion Friday our food group has decided to have an appliance day. We are meeting this week to organise exactly which appliances will be brought in to school, and what ingredients we will need. I would love extra support for this session, to ensure that all appliances are safely operated. If you are able to help us out between 11 - 12:30 next Friday, please send me an email Many thanks in advance.

Home-learning: Maths home-learning went home on Monday and is due on the Friday after Easter. This will be the last maths home-learning sheet for this term. 'Fear' writing is due tomorrow. It would be great if you could look over your child's writing with them tonight, giving encouragement and advice.

Naming Jackets: Please check that your child has their name on their senior jacket. This is an expensive item to get lost and we have noticed a number of un-named jackets.

Swimming Lessons: We would like to give you advance notice of the swimming programme that will take place in term 3 for Year 5 - 8 students. Each child will have eight 30 minute lessons over a two week period from August 29th. These lessons will be tailored to the ability level of each child, thus being relevant and beneficial to all children.

Dunedin Camp: 

  • We are still waiting to hear if our funding application has been successful. Apparently that is a good thing, as it means we still have a chance. The cost of camp, taking fundraising into account, is $265. This will be added to your account. You are welcome to pay a little each week, if that works better for you.  
  • Thanks to those of you who have returned the tech permission form for camp, which was on the last camp newsletter. Please get the rest of these in before the end of next week.
  • A reminder to camp parents that we are having a meeting next Wednesday at 5:30 in our hub.
  • If your child does not have a waterproof jacket to use in Dunedin, please let us know, so that we can match them up with one.

Top Team Leaders: Nine of our children took the opportunity to put their leadership into action at Top Team last Saturday. The Top Team crew were full of praise for their efforts.

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!

Tuesday 8 March 2016

Getting Creative in the Intermediate Hub

Last week was art week in our hub. Children chose whether they wanted to learn about pop art, word art or street art. Once the choices were made the learning begun. Over five afternoons the children explored, designed and created beautiful art. There are a few finishing touches to complete and then we look forward to seeing everyone’s work displayed on our walls.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, all camp forms are due in. Please get any outstanding forms back quickly. There are spare copies on top of the filing cabinet in Room 16.  The second notice, which includes our programme and the gear list, will be coming home next week.

Choir gets underway this Thursday. Those who are not involved in choir will be doing an alternate music programme on Thursday afternoons.

A number of Kauri children have organised teams for the PTA Top Team event on Saturday March 19. There is still time to get your entry in. The PTA have asked some of our senior children to help with the running of the events. Children who do this will receive leadership points for their efforts.

Our school duathlon is on March 24th, the day before Easter break. Many children took entry forms home today. There are extra forms at the school office. Please return entries to the box in the office foyer by next Thursday. If your child is keen to take part, please encourage them to get underway with their training this week.

Our next writing motivation is on Monday. We will share the exemplar with you, to give you an idea of what we are looking for in the children’s writing. Please ask your child to show you their writing later in the week. We encourage the children to keep working on their writing at home.