Sunday, April 28, 2019

Term Two Newsletter


Kia Ora Team Kāhu Families,

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

It was lovely to have many of our Kāhu students take part in the Eastbourne ANZAC ceremonies on Thursday. They represented our school well with haka and waiata, being a considerate group throughout the whole ceremony. Thank you to all students who took part, especially with ANZAC day falling in the school holidays.

We had a busy and productive Term One. Our focus on forging positive relationships across the syndicate and promoting learning mindsets was an excellent way to ignite the term. Our leadership teams are active in the school, thinking innovatively around how they can be a positive influence in their area of responsibility.

Learning Conversations
These take place in Week 1 and Week 2 of this term on Wednesdays. Bookings were made last term. We look forward to sitting with you and your children around their learning. The students will share work they are proud of and discuss their new goals for this term. We will be able to share assessments to support your children’s discussion around their learning. Please ensure you are on time for your interview, unfortunately if you are late we will not be able to make up the time on that particular day.

We will be asking the students to reflect on their next steps from the Learning Conversations so they can update you on their progress in Term 2 as part of the end of term celebration!  We will, of course, be available to talk with you too should you have any questions.

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
We continue with our focus on the Social Sciences of “Knowing Me Knowing You”, and our understanding of our place in the world. Students were given a holiday task to complete an interview with a family member or close family friend. From this we are looking to develop a deeper understanding of local identity and how we contribute to a community. Our aim, to identify the essence of what it means to be connected in a community.
Through the arts we will be looking at a variety of ways to tell what it means to be connected in our local community. We also will be looking at the diversity we have as well.
Week 5 onwards, is all about Science! We start with a week of wonder, exploring a variety of hands on Science activities.
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.  
Calling Community Experts!
We are on the hunt for experts!  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’(especially during Week 5 the 27th-31st of May), it would be highly appreciated.  Please contact your child’s classroom teacher.
The culmination of this learning will be a student led investigation into an area of interest and presenting findings to an audience.  Students will 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.

Writing

We will be focusing on two main genres in Writing this term. We begin with biographies, tied into our Knowing Me Knowing You Inquiry. We will then move into explanation writing to support our Science inquiries. The aim of these lessons will be to build students’ capability in nonfiction writing; planning and organising ideas in paragraphs and following an appropriate structure. All students will continue to build positive writing attitudes through the use of quick writes.

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, biographies, 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. All students have a read theory account to support reading comprehension online.


Mathematics

Students will continue to develop their strategies for solving problems in a range of contexts.  They will be encouraged to discuss, explore, question, clarify and explain their thinking as they work. Students will work both individually and in groups, with ‘workshops’ that address specific areas of need. We will be particularly focused on developing measurement competency, with linear measurements, area, volume and then extend student understanding of proportions and ratios, specifically fractions, decimals and percentages.

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 your child will be asked to develop and share a proposal for their project with you and 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.  

The Arts

This term our Art focus is heavily entwined with our Inquiry.  Students will be taking time to develop stories through a variety of art mediums. They will also continue their visual arts focus with Eve Owen. Music and Performing Arts continues to be incorporated in our Technicraft rotations, as do our “Introduction to Spanish” lessons.  Kapa Haka also kicks off this term in preparation for Huttfest, formerly known as Polyfest. This will be on Monday afternoons, initially for all students and then, from Week 4 onwards, only for those interested in participating in the Huttfest.

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 Tuesday 21st May with a postponement day of Thursday the 23rd of May.  Suitable footwear for running will need to be at school every day. 

Health

This term we start with our first lessons from the The Family Planning ‘Sexuality Road’ program.  This is a sequence of 11 sessions that we will run over the coming next 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.  Should you wish to find out more about the program or view the resources, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

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, Spanish and Cooking.

Other things to note... 

Trips
On Wednesday 22nd May is National Young Leaders’ Day. We 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/
This day is for our Year 8 students only, if we have any spare slots we will offer them out to Year 7 on a first come basis.  More information about costs to come shortly.

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, but specifically http://ixl.co.nz.
Additional Inquiry work will also be included throughout the term.  From Week 5 onwards this will include preparation work for, or work on student’s Personal Passion 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. It is also important that all of our students have jackets in their bags. We do cross the main road to get to the library, hall and buddy classes, given that we have to be careful around the crossing this allows plenty of time for our students to get wet if they do not have the appropriate clothing.

Phones
We understand the need for students to have access to cellphones for after school contact. While students are at school it is expected that all phones are turned off and are in the student’s bag. You should not get a phone call or text from your son or daughter throughout the day from their cellphone. Any calls regarding sickness etc will come from the school office or your child’s teacher.

Early Arrivers to School
As we head into the colder and darker months of the year and whilst we love seeing the grounds used productively, it would be appreciated if students arrived at school at 8am at the earliest. We cannot guarantee to have teachers on the senior site prior to this.

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 year. 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.  

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:

Chantel (Rm 21):     lyons@muritai.school.nz
Jon (Rm 22):             mackie@muritai.school.nz
Ruth (Rm22):            hooke@muritai.school.nz
Stephanie (Rm23)    lamborn@muritai.school.nz

Thank you again for your support,

Team Kāhu Teachers
Jon, Ruth, Chantel and Stephanie



Sunday, March 10, 2019

Term One Week 1 - 6


Welcome to Team Kahu's update for Term One 2019

We have been busy getting to know your children over the last 5 weeks. From the first day of the year we were in the pool with our swimming programme, we have been on a ridge walk, made some protocol videos for how we work, discovered what technicraft is and competed in a swimming sports. Additional to this we have been setting up learning routines in the classroom and ensuring we get to know your children's strengths and areas of development. Here are some pictures of your children in action....

Technicraft












Lunch Time Fun
Ridge Walk


Friday, October 12, 2018

Term 4 in Kahu

Kia ora koutou!


Welcome to Term 4 of 2018. It’s hard to believe we are now in the final term of the year.  It was wonderful to see so many of you at our Production at the end of Term 3 - thank you for coming along to celebrate the wonderful creativity of our students. 

With this term being only 9 weeks and 2 days and including Abel Tasman, Year 7 EOTC and the Year 8 Formal, it is certainly set to be a busy one!

Below is a run down on the term. Feel free to contact your child’s classroom teacher if there is anything you wish to discuss further.


Literacy

Our writing focus for this term is poetry, where we will be exploring exploring a variety of figurative language using this context to consolidate through reflection the years spent at Muritai for our Year 8s and the ambitions of the Year 7s as they enter their final year. We will also be continuing our focus of persuasive language, using what we learnt last term to assist us with our debates. All students will participate in a debate at the class level with 2 students from each class at each year level being promoted to enter the finals across the syndicate. 
We are continuing to develop comprehension skills through our reading programme, where we will be exploring poems, and looking at novels using reciprocal reading strategies. Reading is also integrated across our inquiry topics.


Numeracy

We start the term revising some key concepts from the year. We will be focusing particularly on fractions, decimals, place value and operational strategies. In addition to this students will be covering the strand of Algebra. We also aim to give students some experience of open ended mathematical inquiry within our programs this term, while building their knowledge and flexibility with strategies.


Inquiry / Integrated Studies

Sexuality Road continues in Term 4. We have our last 4 sessions to complete our unit called ’Discovering Me’ Throughout these sessions we will be discussing communication and decision making, reproduction, what support networks do I have? and then a session to round up all 10 previous sessions and allow for any final questions. Once again, if you have any questions regarding this unit, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

***Integrated Inquiry- Careers and Personal Passion Projects

We start the term with a focus on careers with a focus on ‘Developing Passions to Career’. We have a variety of people coming in to talk around their careers, what they actually DO everyday, how they got there, and any tips or advice for students making the most of their next steps at school. Students will be booking into career workshops delivered by our own community- this should be exciting. We will be offering the opportunity of Personal Passion Projects with our senior students to delve into their passions once more during the last half of the term. We were very impressed by the efforts of the students in Term 2 and how the vast majority were confident at directing their own learning. We will be asking students to think about how their passion could be developed into a career in the future or how their passion could direct them towards something fulfilling that may already exist. The students will be completing their proposals during Week 4 of the term for homework and start these at the beginning of Week 5. They will have 3-4 full sessions a week over Weeks 5, 6 and 7 or 8 (depending on EOTC arrangements) of the term to work on these, but it is likely that they will also need to use some of their own time at home to complete it. This will be the major component of homework at this time. We will share to our school community at the end of this period and invite you in for celebration night at the end of the term. 



Physical Education
An exciting term for PE is planned, starting off with Athletics. The children will be taking part in Long Jump, High Jump, Vortex, Shot put, Discus and Sprints.  This leads in nicely to our school athletics day on Thursday 25th of October. We end the term with Swimming starting again down at the local pool. For swimming we are focusing on instruction and stroke correction and for many swimming fitness and distance. Each session will have a water safety focus as well, with the final session being totally focused on water safety. We will be having 6 instructed lessons over a two week period from the 12th of November to the 2nd of November. 

EOTC

Planning is well underway for the Year 8 Abel Tasman adventure and the first full parent meeting is being held this coming Thursday at 6:30pm in Room 22. The purpose of this meeting is to explain how the camp runs, the reasons for going and the equipment your child needs to be warm, dry and well equipped for all activities. We leave on the 2nd of December and arrive back on the 7th of December. The Year 7 EOTC week planning is also well underway and is going to be conducted over Week 7 of the Term (26th of November to the 30th of November)   

We will be meeting with the students regularly to ensure they are fully prepared for the exciting week at the end of the term.

We are also planning on taking advantage of our stunning local environment by utilising the Eastbourne bush tracks. This is excellent preparation for the EOTC week, especially for the Year 8s, as they will be walking long distances each day of the Abel Tasman.  


Other opportunities

This term brings the opportunity for our two teams of students to participate in the Epro 8 engineering challenge.  This event will be held at Wainuiomata Intermediate School from 5pm on Wednesday 7th November.


Reporting to Parents

Teachers will very shortly start writing academic reports for each student. This is a summative assessment on the progress and achievements your child has made throughout the year. These reports will be coming home at the end of the term. Also at the end of the term, students will bring home their clearfile with work samples from throughout the year. Along with this hard copy, students will also have work samples in their Google Drive account. We will be encouraging our Year 8 students to download their samples to a personal account before the end the of the year. 

Stationery Check

Many students are now missing pens, pencils, rulers, plastic pockets and calculators. These are necessary for everyday class work. Can you please ask your child if they need any items and replace them. Thank you.


Sun Hats, Sun Block and Drink Bottles

It’s term 4 and each child must bring a hat to wear everyday.  Students not wearing hats have to stay in the shaded area. It is also recommended the children apply sunblock and have their own named drink bottle at school. As the days get warmer it’s important they are fully hydrated.

Footwear and clothing (personal hygiene)
All the children will be a lot more active this term and when the weather starts to get warmer we all start to sweat (and smell) more. We are recommending that students bring a spare change of clothes and suitable footwear for exercising at school. For many students it is time to start using roll-on deodorant (please no spray deodorant, on their own they smell nice but 30 plus different fragrances wafting in the air can be a bit overpowering)- we are more than happy for them to use this at school. Please ensure your child wears shoes that they can comfortably run in. Jandals and boots are not appropriate.

Finally, if you have any concerns or worries (or indeed if you can support us with any of the activities for the term!) please contact your child’s teacher by leaving a phone message at the office or by email: teachers surname @ muritai.school.nz.

Jon Mackie- mackie@muritai.school.nz
Carol Algar- algar@muritai.school.nz
Jenny George - george@muritai.school.nz

Thank you as always for your continued support,

The Year 7 and 8 team