Monday, 19 February 2018

I would not be here if...

I would not be here (in Te Pahu and the family I am in) if...

  • My parents had not both gone to teachers college.
  • A lady I knew didn't tell me about the job going here at Te Pahu.
  • I did not play the drums, as I would not have been in a band where I met my wife.
  • My Poppa's Mum did not decide to move from Guernsey to New Zealand. 
This was the fascinating question the students answered to start them thinking about what has shaped them and brought them to live here in Te Pahu in the family they are in. It was an interesting look into how decisions change the future and helped the students realise that there is so much they do not know about their history. 

The students are now, for homework, completing a map tracking one line of their family tree. They will identify the locations their family has been in throughout history. I am really looking forward to the interesting stories that come from this.

Our inquiry throughout much of this year will be looking into our identity - our place in our families, in Te Pahu, in New Zealand and in the world.

Book studies

Most students have just started some book studies which is exciting. These books really open your eyes to different issues around the world and gets you thinking about your own situation in comparison to theirs.

One is a novel called Boy Overboard about some refugees. After completing the book study the students will do more research and inquiry around the issue of refugees in our world today.

The other book is called I am Malala and is about a young Pakistani girl who fights for girls education, despite the danger and threats to her life.

The students have been learning how to answer short answer questions. This includes putting the question into the answer, writing full sentences, and backing up your ideas with evidence. This will be something they practice throughout the book study.

Our 2018 Leaders!

Here are our 2018 student leadership roles for the first half of the year. Well done guys! We all look forward to seeing you grow in your leadership skills and attitudes.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Rotopiko Bloblitz - Environmental Leader trip

The Environment Leaders had an awesome afternoon today being scientists. They went to Lake Rotopiko (near Ohaupo) and joined in with the species inventory. They got to speak with scientists, find species (plant and animal) and get them identified. They also got to see displays, look at bacteria and fungi through microscopes, view some relevant Science Fair projects, and view scientists climb trees to identify species high in the treetops. A big thank you to Nardene and Liz for helping with this and sharing their expert knowledge. A great way to inspire you and start your journey as Environmental leaders.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Whenua, placenta, land, and turangawaewae.

Today we had an interesting discussion around the Maori word for land - whenua. Interestingly Maori have the same name for the placenta. We discussed the placenta and the amazing job it does in nourishing, protecting, and growing a baby. We made the connection to our relationship with the land - whenua.

‘Te toto o te tangata he kai. Te oranga o te tangata he whenua.’ 
(The lifeblood of a person is derived from food; the livelihood of a people depends on land.)

We then discussed how places can be significant to people because of their connections to it. We explored the question 'Why do people sometimes kiss the ground?' I discussed the significance of my childhood home, the city of London I spent 4 years in, and the Tongariro National Park which holds many memories and stories in my life. The students then discussed significant places in their lives. 

Tūrangawaewae (a place to stand) In the Māori world view, much of life is about finding one’s tūrangawaewae, one’s foundation and place in the world. This is traditionally expressed through a people’s relationship with particular places, such as a mountain, a river and other important sites.

This will all be leading to the students creating a 'mihi' or 'pepeha' (an introduction of themselves so people can make connections with them) that is really significant and meaningful for them. 

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Introverts and extroverts

We had an interesting discussion today about introverts and extroverts. We explored what they are and how they can affect group discussions. The students identified where they felt they sat on a continuum and then we discussed the disadvantages and advantages of both. We talked about how in group work extroverts need to learn to hold their tongue so they can listen and introverts need to grow in courage to share their ideas.

We then put our learning into practice and completed a group task requiring lots of opinion sharing. The students were given the task of deciding from a group of 14 brief profiles which 7 should be chosen to leave a sinking ship and go onto a lifeboat. There was some fascinating discussion but what was so great was watching everyone sharing including our introverts! Well done guys.

I hope this helps us build a class where everyone feels their opinions are valuable.

2018 here we go!

We have kicked off 2018 with a great bunch of kids who I am sure will inspire us all with their attitudes.

The students completed some challenges to help develop their team work skills. They had to work together to get their team across an area with one student being blind, one mute, and one without arms. It took some clever thinking, planning, and team cooperation. Well done guys. It was exciting for me to see you working together so well and it made me look forward to what you will achieve together this year.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Te Pahu Challenge almost complete!

It has been a big week with the Te Pahu Challenge. The students have presented their hobbies, handed their community service forms in, learnt to surf and went paddle boarding. What an awesome week. The final challenge is the 7km challenge this coming Monday. Well done guys. You can all be really proud. I just loved watching your hobby presentations and was really inspired by the variety and progress you made. It was also awesome to see everyone surfing and picking up new skills so quickly. Well done!

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Concert 2

We had another awesome lunchtime concert yesterday. There were performances from the orchestra, the singing group, and Ruma Kokako. Well done guys, I was so impressed. The Ruma Kokako piece was a piece based on something Joshua made up. Thank you Bevan. Awesome!

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Lunchtime concert

Bevan and Mrs May have been doing some awesome work teaching music and dance at school and the students put on a concert at lunch to display it. Well done guys, awesome!

What to do with 1 million dollars.

We had some great discussion today around the above scenario. There was lots of discussion around the benefits and disadvantages of the different options. This included the value of things rising, when you will most need the money, emergencies, experiences vs things, accrued interest, long term and short term thinking, etc. There was a spread of decisions however the one with the most votes was the 20 year option with allowance for 2 access times (5% interest per year).

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Ag day

What a great agricultural day we had today. Well done to those with lambs, kids, or calves. You put in so much work and it was great to see the relationship you had with your animals.

Well done to those who had completed alternative challenges. There were some awesome electronic constructions, textiles, and a garden sculpture. Thank you for all your help being runners and helpers with the Ag day rings and the PTA.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Te Pahu Challenge - SAIL

Half the class went sailing today for the Te Pahu Challenge (the other half will go this Friday). It was such an awesome day with perfect wind and weather. It was a challenge at first but the students quickly picked up the skills and learnt to use the wind and rudder to move around the lake. There was new language to learn such as mainsheet, tack, centreboard, and boom. They learnt to tie knots, set up the sail, turn a capsized boat upright (with varying success!), work as a team, and duck to avoid getting hit by the boom! well done guys. You can be proud of yourselves.

Thank you to the coaches from the Volvo Give it a go programme. There is a free open day at the Ngaroto club on the 28th October if anyone wants another turn.


Thursday, 28 September 2017

Solar or wind?

The students have mostly finished their Solar or Wind Power for Te Pahu project. It proved to be quite challenging both in the complex maths and getting the required information. It was really interesting to see the differences between solar and wind and in general it was quite clear that solar is a more viable option for Te Pahu School. Creating an infographic was a new thing and there was plenty to learn around selection of content and layout. It is something we will come back to as it proved quite challenging.


Friday, 22 September 2017

Scale - accuracy matters!

Some of the students have been learning about scale and are completing a task which involves measuring the classroom and doing a scale drawing of the floor plan. They had to work out what units of measurement to use and an appropriate scale. They then had to draw it accurately and work out the carpet and lino areas.

This has been challenging and has really shown the importance of accuracy. The students have compared their drawings and identified where things are different and why.  Well done guys! You are learning such valuable skills. Here are a few of the finished ones.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Student teachers

The above article shows just how beneficial teaching others can be for your own understanding. At the moment some students have been consolidating their understanding of different writing skills and planning a lesson to teach some of their classmates the skill.

So far Lola and Antony have each run a lesson with 3 students on personification. Well done guys! You had a good clear understanding of personification and taught your classmates in a really clear way.

I look forward to more students being teachers!