Tuesday 31 May 2016

Week 5 Update

Science Fair Projects: Over the past four weeks we have been scoping the topic of energy with the children in science. We have looked at different types of energy, how energy can transform from one form to another, renewable and non-renewable energy, and yesterday we had a visit from Eugene, an energy efficiency engineer.

Yesterday we introduced the idea of science fair projects to the children and they started browsing selected websites for ideas on which to base their projects. Please ask your child to show you their science fair document in Google Classroom, which has the outline of the process they will be working through. Here is a youtube clip which explains the process; start it at 2:50. This week their goal is to decide on a topic, a focus question and a hypothesis. It is really important that their questions is specific and something that can be measured and tested through an experiment. We will be looking at this in class on Wednesday or Thursday. Your support with discussion and ideas at home would be very much appreciated. This is an individual project. While we will be working with the children on their projects at school each week, we expect them to be putting in some time at home as well. We will update you each week on where they should be up to.

Writing: This is the final week to work on recount writing. The majority of the children are well underway and we are impressed with the quality of their writing. This writing needs to be finished by Thursday. Please ask your child to show you their writing and encourage them to work on this at home if required, so that they can have this completed on time. Each child will have 60 - 90 minutes of writing time over Wednesday and Thursday.

Sport: During the week, most children have lunchtime sports practices. If these are on the field, they will need to have a spare set of clothing to change into for this practice. Please remind your child to be prepared for this. On Friday when we travel for winter sport, every child must have a drink bottle. If they don't they don't go. Last week we had several children without drink bottles. All children should have water bottles in their buckets, so this shouldn't be an issue. Please check your child is prepared with a drink bottle at school.

Choir: Last week notices were sent home about purchasing tickets for the South Zone Music Festival on June 28th. If you have any queries about this, please contact Jarred. jarred.skelton@beckenham.school.nz

20/40 Hour Famine: It is less that two weeks until the Famine weekend. If your child has signed up for this, please encourage them to keep going with their collecting of sponsors, so that they can make a difference for the refugees in Syria.

Staff Student Netball Match: On Monday the Year 8s challenged to the staff to a game of netball. While the students had speed on their side, the staff had the height advantage. This time the game went to the staff. The students are already plotting their next challenge.

Looking great in our new basketball uniforms. The Beckenham Blazers are a very enthusiastic team, who are improving their game each week.

The Beckenham Ballers have had a great start to their season, with two wins so far.

Monday 23 May 2016

Where are we going?

Writing Motivation: What an epic time we had at the Margaret Mahy Playground on Monday. Thanks to the slightly inclement weather, we practically had the place to ourselves. The children had a blast! Lots of good experiences to draw on for writing over the next couple of weeks. The task will be to write about a memorable activity / event that the child has been involved in recently. It could be Monday's outing, or it could be something else that was memorable. Brainstorming and planning happens on Tuesday and writing will begin on Wednesday. Talking about experiences at home would be really helpful. The exemplar is copied below the photos.

Tracy's exemplar:
Success Criteria:
  • Writing is in chronological order
  • Write in the past tense
  • Include strong verbs
  • Use first or third person
  • Include details to add interest to reader
  • Use time connectives; next, meanwhile, within hours, soon afterwards
  • Link the conclusion to the introduction

It didn’t matter that the sun wasn’t shining. Who cared? Golden rays of sunshine were not necessary for this exciting activity that the Inwood family was about to embark on. As the speed boat motored out across the undulating blue expanse, smiles on dials reflected the feeling of the whanau.

After half an hour, Sam, their driver, signalled that they had reached their destination. On the surface, nothing indicated the treasure trove they were about to discover below.

Donning the necessary equipment, Kate was ready first, and gracefully slipped over the side of the vessel into the ocean. Jonny and Phil quickly followed suit, leaving Tracy struggling with her floppy flippers. Minutes later, Tracy joined her family overboard. However, as she swam towards her husband, she felt a prickling sensation on her arms. It felt like she was being shocked by hundreds of tiny electric currents. Alarmed, she called out to Phil, who reassured her that she was swimming through a swarm of pesky sea lice, and that further ahead the water was fine.

Meanwhile, Kate and Jonny had powered ahead, and all that could be seen of them were their blue snorkels poking out of the sea like submarine periscopes. They had discovered the coral reef, and were gleefully exploring the underwater garden, pointing out wonders to each other. Blue starfished extended their spiny arms, hiding ineffectively. Transparent, black striped fish darted by, very close to the surface. A deadly black and white banded sea snake slithered peacefully over the sandy bottom, keeping to itself. It was almost impossible to track the multitude of colourful fish, floating lazily or swimming with purpose through the coral reef.

An hour snuck by, and soon the underwater spectators were being recalled to the boat by Sam. It was a quick dash through the stinging lice to reach safety. Clambering aboard, flopping onto the deck like seals, everyone stripped off their snorkel gear, ready to continue with the adventure of the day.

When you visit Fiji, it would be wrong not to go snorkelling. Combining the silent peacefulness of being underwater, with the close proximity of so many beautiful fish, is truly uplifting. Flying freely among such stunning marine animals is an experience not to be missed!

Thursday 12 May 2016

End of week two news from the hub.

Hi everyone,

We have had a really good start to term two in the intermediate hub. Next week, we are looking forward to catching up with you all at learning conferences. Remember the early finishes, 2pm, on Tuesday and Thursday.

Cross country was a great success yesterday, with many children really challenging themselves. The top six place-getters in each race were given a notice about zones today. If you haven't seen it, please ask your child. This event is at Halswell Quarry on Wednesday morning. If you are able to help out on the course for the morning, please contact Tracy.

20/40 Hour Famine: On Tuesday, Harley, from World Vision, came to talk to us about how we can help the Syrian refugees by getting involved in the 20 or 40 Hour Famine this year. Having studied this last term, the children were particularly engaged in what he had to tell us. Many children have already signed up for the Famine, and have been given their packs to collect sponsors. If your child would like to be involved, but hasn't got a pack, then they need to see Jarred.

Water Bottles: Many children are now organised with water bottles at school. By next Monday every child needs to have a named water bottle in their bucket. Please check with your child to see if they are sorted.

Hillview School have invited us to the dress rehearsal of their production of 'Joseph and his Amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat' next Thursday morning. We will walk to Hillview, leaving school at 10am and returning by 12:30. We would like some parents to accompany us and stay to watch the show. Please email Nicky if you can come along. Each child is to bring a gold coin donation.

Maths home-learning is due tomorrow. Your child should nearly be finished their dream accommodation writing. We have 40 minutes of scheduled writing time for this assignment next week. Please ask them to show you what they have written so far.

Next week sport gets underway. The Breakers first basketball game is at 4:30pm on Monday, children will need to be at Pioneer by 4:15. The Ballers and the Blazers draw is yet to arrive, but their first games are next Friday. Winter sport also starts on Friday, May 20th. Children will need to be prepared with water bottles, and sports specific equipment such as mouth guards (rugby, hockey) and shin pads (football, hockey).

We have been learning two songs in sign language. The children have done really well with this.

Tuesday 3 May 2016

Term 2 Hub Newsletter

It was great to welcome the children back to school yesterday. We hope everyone had a refreshing break. This post outlines important information about the term ahead.

Morning snack and water: As part of the initiatives being put in place to increase student focus across the school, we are making some changes to eating times. The children play first and then eat back in class, at interval and lunchtime. This means their morning tea is eaten at 10:50am. If your child needs a snack before then, they can eat a fruit, vegetable or bread snack at 10am, between maths and reading. This snack must be put in their buckets at the start of the day and it needs to be a quick eat.

All children need to have a named drink (water) bottle at school, that they will keep in their bucket. It was great to see a number of children with these on Monday. We would like everyone to be organised with bottles of water by the start of week two.

Learning Conferences: We are looking forward to catching up with you all at learning conferences in week 3. As your child has different teachers for maths and reading, as well as their home-group teacher, who focuses on writing, it is tricky fitting a conference into 15 minutes. We ask you to allow 30 minutes for your Year 7 & 8 conference. This will give enough time for your child to share their learning across a range of subjects with you, and for you to touch base with your child’s home-group teacher and maths teacher, and possibly their reading teacher. If you have yet to book a learning conference, please go to www.schoolinterviews.co.nz and enter the booking code zxg6a, or give Jackie a call in the office.

Cross Country:  Cross country training started on Monday. Our focus is for all children to participate to their potential and our training is designed to meet the varied abilities of our children. Please make sure your child wears suitable shoes for running. Our school cross-country is on Wednesday May 11th (next week), in the afternoon. If you are able participate on Wednesday afternoon, by helping to be a marshall, please email Tracy

Winter Sport: Winter sport begins in Week 3, Friday 20 May. We have 13 teams travelling to Hagley Park this year, which is fabulous. In the Intermediate Hub we have two football teams, two netball teams and two hockey teams. Thank you to Sonja Sintmaartensdyk, Jenni Adams and Fred Simpson for coaching/managing teams this year. Trials are being held this week to decide on teams, and then it will be straight into training. Hockey and rugby players require mouth guards and hockey and football players require shin guards. Those travelling will incur a bus charge. The bus will leave school at 12:35 (with the travelling children eating at an earlier time - no lunch orders that day!). Games will begin at 1:15 and will be at Hagley Park, apart from hockey. We have yet to be notified where we will be playing for hockey, either Spreydon Domain or Nunweek Park. We aim to be back at school by 3pm.

Basketball: We have three teams entered into basketball competitions at Pioneer Stadium, one team on Monday and two on Friday. Practices get underway at 12:30 break times this week. Games begin in week three. Both Friday teams, (the Ballers and the girls team) will be playing in a zone competition at Hillview next Monday afternoon, from 12:30. If your child is in one of these teams, and you are able to help with transport, please email Nicky.

Writing: We are underway with our first writing topic of the term. This is a persuasive piece of writing based on a dream holiday accommodation. The exemplar is posted at the end of this newsletter. Please discuss with your child their ideas for the location and features of this holiday home. They will start writing at school on Wednesday.  Please  ask your child to show you what they have written at the end of Thursday.

The Science and Technology Fair will showcase the children’s learning in science at the end of this term. Our science focus is on energy. We will spend the first few weeks of term immersed in learning about this broad topic. Mid-way through the term, the children will each choose a science project to work on, based on an aspect of energy. This individual project, which will include a practical component, will be worked on both at school and at home. More information will come out to guide topic choice in a few weeks.

The Kauri Choir will be ramping up their rehearsals this term. We are working towards our performance at the South Music Festival in week nine, Tuesday 28th of June. Ticketing details will be released soon. It is very important that the members of the choir are practising at home. We will be performing eleven songs, two of which are our individual pieces. All of the choir members have had a powerpoint shared with them through Google Classroom; they are able to access the lyrics and music from here. Please encourage your child to practise as much as possible. We look forward to performing for you all later in the term.  

Self-defence: We are excited to have Lynda Maindonald from Self Defence NZ working with our Year 8 girls this term, on Wednesday afternoons. Lynda has been running self defence classes for our Year 8 girls for a number of years now. The girls have found these sessions to be very empowering and enjoyable.

People-savers course: For three Thursdays, starting next week, each homegroup will have one day focused on learning basic first aid skills with a trainer from Red Cross.

Spelling: At learning conferences, you will be given the list of Commonly Misspelt Words, with indications of which words your child still needs to learn. These words will be tested at school at least twice this term. Once the children achieve 100% they are exempt from future tests. This list of words can also be found on the spelling tab on this blog, so the children can start learning these words at home this week.

Dunedin camp photobooks: The 44 camp books that were ordered at the end of last term, arrived yesterday. If your child has not brought yours home yet, it is waiting for them to collect in the Think Tank. If you have not sent money to school, $27 will be added to your account.

Show-case evening: On the evening of Thursday June 30th, we will be holding our annual Year 5 - 8 Showcase. This is an opportunity for our performance groups to share their talent. Groups performing will include the choir, Te Whanau Mahi Tahi, the drama passion group and a group from the band. We will also be sharing outdoor education experiences.

Cashmere High Open Day: Tuesday May 24th from 4 - 6:30 is an opportunity for families to look around Cashmere High and hear the principal, Mark Wilson, speak. Mr Wilson will also be coming to one of our team huis to talk with the children and answer their questions.

Leadership Awards: We congratulate the following students who will receive leadership awards at our Celebration Assembly (9:30 - 10:00am) this Friday.
Bronze: Liam, Vita H, Olivia P and Amos
Silver: Oakley, Dominic, Lachlan, Breeze, Iluka, Conor P, Oliver, Oskar, Jessica, Zoe, Ruben, and Georgia
You are most welcome to attend this assembly. It follows the Welcome Assembly that starts at 9:15.

Term 2 Diary

Sat / Sun
2 May
Year 8 Girls’ Self defence starts
6 Welcome assembly
Our assembly
Hockey coaching
Bball Zone Tournament

Canty duathlon
Cross Country
People Savers Forest, all day

Hockey coaching
Zone netball trials
Zone CC 9 – 11:30
Year 8 Girls’ Self defence
People Savers Coast, all day

Hockey Coaching
Cashmere High Open Day 4-6:30
Year 8 Girls’ Self defence
People Savers Mts, all day
Hockey coaching
ICAS Science
1 June
Year 8 Girls’ Self defence

Queens Birthday
Teacher only day
Hockey Festival
Year 8 Girls’ Self defence

Canty Cross Country am
Court Theatre Matariki
School Disco
South Music Festival
Year 5 – 8 Showcase
1 July

9 / 10

Writing Exemplar
This writing assignment is due on Friday May 13th.

Success Criteria:
  • Use personal pronouns, e.g. you, your, us
  • Write in present tense
  • Include strong verbs
  • Organise ideas into paragraphs
  • Use persuasive tools such as: repetition, rhetorical questions, quotations and / or alliteration

Do you need a break from the hustle and bustle of city living? Do you need to be surrounded by tranquility and nature? Do you need a well-deserved break? The Tree-house of Tranquility is where you need to be. Escape from the reality of your everyday life in this woodland paradise.
Welcome to your home away from home! After a brief tramp through the Waipoua forest, you will arrive at your destination. Nestled in a clearing of beech trees, kowhai and silver fern, the Tree-house of Tranquility sits proudly. The majestic kauri, that is the heart of this home, is surrounded in a glass cocoon, ensuring a comfortable stay, no matter what weather nature decides to turn on for your holiday.
Let us go on a tour of your holiday retreat. Starting outside, you will find a babbling stream flowing over a bed of rounded pebbles. This peaceful stream fills a refreshing swimming hole, the perfect place to cool off after a bushwalk or awaken you from an afternoon doze. For those of adventurous spirit, the swimming hole can be entered via a water-slide that wraps itself around the cylindrical exterior of the Tree-house of Tranquility.  Staying outside, you will notice the large flat rocks that surround the swimming hole, nestled within the moss and fern that edge the pool. These sunbaked rocks are a perfect place to lie back and view the many shades of green that make up this beautiful forest. Or if you would prefer a more cushioning seat, make your way inside the House of Tranquility and venture up to the third floor.
On the third floor of the Tree-house of Tranquility, you will find the sky-walk bridge. This bridge leads you beyond the glass exterior, to a floating circular deck, furnished with luxurious cushions that surround a deep piled rug. From this vantage point you can lie back with an engrossing novel, selected from our extensive Tree-house of Tranquility library, or simply enjoy the birdsong of the forest from the chorus of tui, bellbird and kaka.
Inside the Tree-house of Tranquility, five floors of luxurious living await your discovery. Two levels are devoted to sleeping zones, one specifically designed for the young at heart. Giant leaf-like hammocks, accessed via climbing steps carved into the bark of the mighty kauri, will ensure your off-spring enjoy a peaceful sleep. Baskets brimming with forest themed toys, such as remote controlled weta, will entertain your children for hours. Climbing on the travelator, that winds its way around and up the inside wall of the glass cocoon, you will find: a rustic themed kitchen and living room with all the modern conveniences, an entertainment floor, where the glass exterior of the Tree-house of Tranquility will be transformed into a 3D movie screen and finally, a sky top observation deck where you can relax, perched at the top of the forest canopy.
What are you waiting for? It is time to discover for yourself this wondrous woodland getaway in the heart of the Waipoua forest. ‘The Tree-house of Tranquility is simply the best way to experience New Zealand’s beautiful forest life.’