Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Mayor Ray Wallace comes to Muritai

On Monday afternoon Mayor Ray Wallace kindly came to visit our school.

Well done to our school leaders who organised an afternoon tea and tour of the school!

Many thanks to all the teachers and students who represented our school so well.








Thursday, May 17, 2018

Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths - An Action Packed Day!

Today Team Kāhu had a truly STEM - packed adventure!

First we visited the Roxy Cinemas in Miramar courtesy of the Docs4Schools program which offer free screenings of documentaries from the DocEdge Film Festival for primary schools.

We watched Point of No Return (click here for trailer) and were treated to a Q&A session with the directors to follow!!

Hopping back on the bus, we raced to Weltec for a rotation of incredible demonstrations and 'hands on' activities in their laboratories - with the focus being exploring how testing materials relates to engineering in 'real life'!

Enormous thanks to our wonderful parent helpers; Mary, Dechen, Emily, Sarah, Kathryn, Hayley, Jo and Mel and the incredible team at Weltec who made such an incredible day possible!

Some photos of the action.... (more to be added as we receive them!)




























Wednesday, May 16, 2018

What we have been up to...

Well done to our Charity Group & community for providing 15 boxes of clothing to support those who are in need in Lower Hutt!


Our second Tech rotation is half way through and the team have been cooking up some delicious treats!




Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Creating AI models

In Room 21 this afternoon, the students had the opportunity to create a simple model linking to science in the everyday world.

We decided to discuss the role of Artificial Intelligence and how that is being used and how we can use it to our advantage, before looking at the negatives of using AI.

The challenge that was set, was that in groups they would be given a bag of random materials, which were all slightly different. In their teams they needed to construct an AI model by using all the materials, they could be as imaginative with their ideas as they wanted.

  The teams had to brainstorm all the possible models they could create, pick one and then think about how their model would work.










The groups had 40 minutes to create their models and present to the class.




The end products were incredibly creative, we had housework robots, dancing robots, a robot butler/piggy bank, a thought machine and a robot to help injured animals.


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Science - Baked Alaska Experiment

Today, Team Kahu undertook a food science experiment.

Students were shown different elements of food; sponge, eggs, sugar and ice-cream.



They were asked to make prediction on first what were we making, and what was going to happen to the ice cream when we put it in the oven to bake. The students overall prediction was that the ice cream would get hot and melt in the oven whilst the rest was cooking.


Students had the opportunity to come and help create the baked Alaska, with the results looking good. Next step was for Ms Algar, Mrs George and Rio to whip up the meringue to go over the cake, ready to go into the oven. 


They came out looking amazing!

The students were then asked what their first prediction was and whether or not it was going to be correct. They stuck to their gut and thought the ice cream would come seeping out the middle when Mr Mackie cut into it. 


Students were asked, how is that possible! Ice cream is cold and surely it should have melted in the oven, since the  meringue was so hot! 

How was this possible? The answer is thermal insulation. The meringue took all the heat from the oven, leaving the ice cream to stay cool on the inside. 

And of course, the students got to have a taste, just to confirm that the ice cream was indeed cold!


This lesson, was the introductory lesson for science this term where students will be looking at change and fair tests, with a focus being on thermal insulation.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Welcome to Term 2!!


Dear Team Kāhu Families,

I hope our students have all enjoyed a well earned rest and are raring to go for Term 2!

Term 1 certainly flew by with plenty of excitement;

The students have gelled well as a group, across as well as within classes, and they are thinking innovatively about how they can maximise their impact for the wider school through their leadership roles.

We all enjoyed our ‘Waka Odyssey Visit’ and the chance to celebrate this special Wellington event early in the term.  As usual the students were a credit to our school and community and it was great to see some get their ‘moment of fame’ speaking so articulately on the New Zealand National Commission (UNESCO) video!

Your support in encouraging the students to take an active role in the Learning Conferences after Easter is greatly appreciated.  It is fantastic to see the learners themselves leading the conversation about their celebrations and next steps and being encouraged by your positive responses and questions.  Our aim in taking this approach is that the students will take increasing ownership of their learning throughout the year. 

We were most impressed with the incredible artefacts, depth of knowledge and understanding displayed by our students as a result of Term 1’s ‘Hands of Time’ Inquiry, which culminated in the incredible ‘Muritai Museum’.  All of Team Kāhu stepped up enormously to support with this event at the end of a busy term and it was a wonderful celebration of the learning.  We were overwhelmed by the incredible support of our community - from the fascinating artefacts that were loaned to us, to the moving stories shared with us by visiting community members, written accounts or through homework interviews.  As a result of this, our students’ sense of connection with their own community and the events of that day in 1968 was tangible - Thank you!

Looking ahead to this term, we are delighted to welcome Jon Mackie to the Kāhu teaching team!  As you may know, Jon will be teaching in Room 22 from Monday - please join with us in making him welcome as a much appreciated member of the Muritai whanau!

Term 2 is set to be a busy one with a strong focus on the classroom programme. Below is a run-down of what your child will be focusing on.

Inquiry. 
Term 2 is all about Science!
‘Eureka!’ is the name for this term’s Inquiry.  Within the context of ‘The Material World’ strand - focussing especially on insulation, and interwoven with our Maths and Literacy program, we will be exploring change and how this can be observed, measured, controlled and responded to.
The big idea: ‘To answer their questions, scientists use ‘fair tests’, comparing their results by measuring them’, aims to develop the following key understandings for our students:
-       To answer a question scientists plan carefully designed investigations
-       A fair test involves controlling all the variables except those that are manipulated and responded to
-       Scientists measure, compare and interpret their results to arrive at conclusions
-       Observing, measuring, controlling and responding to change is a key element of science
-       Scientific knowledge and skills help us to make informed decisions about our own lives and cultures and the world around us
Students will learn how to conduct fair tests and record scientific investigations, including drawing accurate labelled diagrams. They will learn to observe, make inferences, critique data and interpret scientific representations. 
The culmination of this learning will be a student led investigation into an area of interest and presenting findings to an audience.  Students will either continue along the Science line, if they wish to compete for a place in the NIWA Science Fair (early in Term 3), or branch off into a Personal Passion Project (more about these below).  Finished projects will be on display for you to view during our ‘Celebration of Learning’ towards the end of the term.
Calling Community Experts!
We are on the hunt for experts!  In the spirit of last term’s place based inquiry, we are always keen to connect with the wealth of expertise in our local community.  If you have a background in this field and you would be willing to come in and talk to our students as a ‘real world expert’, or work alongside them in their inquiry, it would be hugely appreciated.  Please contact your child’s classroom teacher or Annette on the email given below.
On the scrounge!
To allow all this exciting learning take place we need equipment that can be used for exploring insulation.  If you have any of the following, please do ask your child to bring it to their classroom teacher:
     Yoghurt pottles
     Wool, cotton, foam (from old cushions or stuffed toys), an old duvet, polystyrene, polar fleece
     Fabric scraps

STEM Visit

As an additional layer to developing our students understanding of the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths), on Friday 18th May all the classes will be visiting the Roxy Cinemas for a ‘Docs4Schools’ free screening of the documentary ‘Point of no Return’.  You can find out more and view the trailer for this at: http://docedge.nz/schools/docs-4-schools-in-theatre/. 
In the afternoon, we have been very fortunate to have been offered a session with the experts at Weltec in ‘Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer’, where students will see the testing of materials in action as well as how insulation is incorporated into engineering, construction and architectural design.

We will require 5 parents to support us on this trip.  If you are able to come along, please let your classroom teacher know ASAP.

Writing. 

We will be focusing on two main genres in Writing this term, beginning with descriptive writing - using the senses and close observation.  The focus here is to develop the use of rich and descriptive language and get to grips with the more sophisticated demands of paragraphing, punctuation, spelling and grammar required in this genre.  Following this, students will have the opportunity to put their scientific knowledge to good use in explanation and instructional writing, which links naturally with our ‘Eureka’ Inquiry.  The aim of  these lessons will be to build students’ capability in nonfiction expository writing; planning and organising ideas in paragraphs and following an appropriate structure.

 Reading.

Reading will continue to be used across all areas of the curriculum.  In addition, guided reading groups will focus on developing students’ evaluation skills (making generalisations based on the ideas and information given, and backing up their thinking with evidence from across a text).  Making the link between Reading and Writing, students will analyse the features of descriptive, explanatory and instructional texts to synthesise these in their own writing.  Students will actively participate as part of reading groups exploring the ideas, features and structures of both fiction and nonfiction texts, as well as using a range of web based reading resources, which allow students to interact with texts online.

Mathematics.  

Students will continue to develop their strategies for solving problems in a range of of contexts.  They will be encouraged to discuss, explore, question, clarify and explain their thinking as they work, demonstrating their strategies through multiple representations: materials, pictures, words and symbols. Students will work both individually and in groups, with ‘workshops’ that address specific areas of need. We are looking forward to building students’ flexibility with knowledge and strategies from Term 1, with a particular focus on developing number (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) alongside measurement which links to our ‘Eureka’ Inquiry.

During Term 2 we will also have a visit from the ‘Get Wise’ crew to develop students financial literacy.

 PPP - Personal Passion Projects

This project is an opportunity for our senior students to learn through delving into their passions! We will introduce this to students at the end of Week 4.  For homework in Week 5 (from 28th May) your child will be asked to develop and share a proposal for their project with their teacher. This will be a plan of action that will spread throughout the next five weeks of the term. Students will have at least one morning each week dedicated to working on their passion project but it is expected they will also need to use some of their own time at home to complete it.  Students who have elected to complete a Science Fair Project will do this instead.

The Arts. 

This term our Art focus is heavily entwined with our Inquiry.  Students will be taking time to closely observe and draw and recognise the difference between a drawing and a diagram.
Music will be provided by Carol Algar during our Technicraft rotations.
Kapa Haka also kicks off this term in preparation for Polyfest.


Physical Education. 

This term our focus is Cross Country and Gymnastics. Fitness is programmed in for every morning (weather permitting). We will also be cross country running to build up our fitness in preparation  for the Year 3-8 School Cross Country event on Thursday 24th May.  Suitable footwear for running will need to be at school every day. 

Health

From the middle of the term we will be running two programs which are underpinned by the health curriculum:

The NZ Police Kia Kaha Program to support students understanding of bullying - what it is, how it can impact students and their peers and exploring strategies and skills for preventing or dealing with bullying.

The Family Planning ‘Sexuality Road’ program.  This is a sequence of 11 sessions that we will run over the coming three terms.  During this program students develop competencies for health and positive sexuality, build resilience, learn to demonstrate empathy and develop skills that enhance personal relationships.  Many of you will have attended the Year 5-8 workshop run last year about this program, but should you wish to find out more about the program or view the resources, please do not hesitate to get in contact.  borgonje@muritai.school.nz

More information around this program will be sent out closer to the time.

Technicraft.

This will continue as last term with students rotating through; Fabric, Woodwork, Music, French and Cooking.

Other things to note... 

Trips -
On Tuesday 22nd May those students who have put their names down for National Young Leaders’ Day will be taking the bus to Te Rauparaha Arena in Porirua for a day of inspiring speakers and activities aimed at developing the leadership of young people.  To find out more http://www.nyldnz.org/about/
Please note that this event is now full.


 Homework.

Weekly homework will be set this term.  This will continue to comprise of a reading log and maths practise (focussing on their identified knowledge goals from in class) using a range of websites.  In addition to this there will be a spelling, grammar or punctuation task to be completed.  Additional Inquiry work may also be included throughout the term.  From 28th May onwards this will include preparation work for, or work on student’s Personal Passion Projects or Science Fair Projects.  Please take it as given that there is homework EVERY week unless you receive an email to specifically say otherwise!  We are always happy to negotiate homework with families on an individual basis.

Wet Weather. 

With the winter months fast approaching, many of us start to get a bit touchy being stuck indoors all day! Wet lunchtimes can often be difficult so we welcome students bringing to school indoor games, such as board games or cards.

 Learning Journeys and Celebration of Learning. 

At the end of this term the classrooms will be open for the afternoon for your child to share their learning with you from the first half of the term. Your child will have two platforms to record and share their work with you; their clearfile and online on Google Drive. The date for this celebration is still to be confirmed, but further information will be sent out from the office.  We will be asking the students to reflect on their next steps from the Learning Conferences so they can update you on their progress in Term 2 as part of the celebration!  We will, of course, be available to talk with you too should you have any questions. So go on, ask the boss if you can leave work an hour early to join us!

Finally if you have any concerns or questions regarding our classroom programme or your child's learning, please don't hesitate to make contact with us. Feel free to pop in before or after school, or the easiest way to touch base with us is email:

Jenny (Rm 21): george@muritai.school.nz
Annette (Associate Principal): borgonje@muritai.school.nz

Thank you again for your support,

Team Kāhu Teachers