Kia Ora everyone,
Welcome to Term 4 of 2016!
It’s hard to believe we are now in the final term of the year. The days are longer and getting warmer too!
Firstly, a massive thank you to you all for your support with an action-packed Term 3. With the NIWA Science Fair, Art and Dance splash, our Internet / Cybersafety inquiry, production and debating it really was a rather busy one. We felt incredibly well supported in all of these events and really appreciate all that you do to help us ensure we offer our students the widest range of opportunities!
The senior students also did us all proud this term, consistently managing all their responsibilities both in our syndicate and across the school seamlessly and with a smile!
As usual, Term 4 is set to be another busy one - especially for our Year 8s. 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.
Our major writing focus for the term is narrative – specifically exploring the art of the short story. We will explore rich examples of short story writing in Reading sessions also, discussing techniques that writer’s use to engage, hold our interest and create plot changes through time. The students will work on developing realistic characters and plots using rich language. We will also be investigating how sentence structure can be used for effect. The students will build up a portfolio of writing over the term which they can then select from to construct a completed short story.
Maths this term will continue to see students working alongside their peers on developing their problem solving skills and operational strategies, initially completing our focus on fractions, decimals, percentages and ratios. Towards the latter part of the term we will be revising any necessary key concepts from the year and exploring Algebra. We have been pleased with the increase in students’ resilience when tackling mathematical problems and their willingness to explore, explain and justify their strategies to one another.
Looking Into My Future: Careers Education
For the first 5 weeks of this term we will be focusing on Careers Education.
When a 12 year old child says “I’m good at fixing things, I could be a mechanic”, it is a realisation, not a decision.
Career education at years 7 and 8 is directed towards students gaining the skills, understandings and experiences that form the foundations of future successful career management. It is not directed towards making decisions or choices about future careers.
The focus for this unit is for students to:
· Ask questions of themselves and others about learning options, jobs and work
· Acknowledge and examine their own distinctive set of skills, strengths and interests
· Explore by researching, information gathering, finding and using resources about areas of interest and the working world
· Make connections with possible career pathways
· Understand the importance of ongoing learning
· Understand the importance of planning in achieving their goals and how to plan and prepare for change and transitions
During these sessions we are lucky enough to have a number of members of our school community coming in to share with students:
· What their career is
· Why they chose it
· What they actually do each day
· The strengths, skills & qualities they possess to do the job well
· What subjects they did in secondary school
· Their career pathway
Students will be encouraged to reflect on these sessions as well as taking part in a number of activities which ask them to explore their qualities and skills, future learning pathways and how they can be more prepared for secondary school. There will also be time for the students to reflect on their past year of schooling to identify all the opportunities they have been involved in and the successes they have had.
PPP - Personal Passion Projects
Due to popular demand we will be offering this opportunity for our senior students to delve into their passions once more. The teachers were blown away by the efforts of the students in Term 1 and how the vast majority were confident at directing their own learning. For homework in week 5 your child will be asked to develop and share a proposal with their teacher. This will be a plan of action that will spread throughout the next 3 weeks of the term. Students will have at least 3 afternoons 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.
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. We end the term with swimming again down at the local pool.
Inspired Life Pathways: Visual Art (Link to Careers Ed)
In this term’s integrated unit, students will create a ‘life pathway’ collage with the people, places, events and objects that have inspired them. They will work through a sequence of projects designed to get them reflecting on their pathways so far and into the future. Projects will be mixed media and with a specific focus on developing students’ understanding of texture and how this can be used to artistic effect.
Planning is well underway for the Year 8 Abel Tasman adventure and the Year 7 EOTC week. 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 EOTC week where both groups (particularly our Year 8s) will be walking for long distances every day.
Homework this term will be in two halves! In addition to the usual weekly, spelling/grammar/vocabulary practice, reading and Mathletics students will have an additional inquiry task each week. For the first 4 weeks this task will be linked to our Careers focus. In week 5 it will be preparation for Passion Projects and, following this, the focus will be on Passion Projects and preparing for our EOTC visits. Please remind your child they should be reading for at least 15-20 minutes a night and they will have at least 2-3 mathletics tasks to complete each week.
To help with our forward planning for 2017, it is useful to know exact numbers of students as far as possible. Please do let us know as soon as possible if you know that your child will not be returning to Muritai in 2017.
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 print or save their samples to a personal account or USB before the end the of the year.
Many students are now missing pens (red especially), 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 & Drink Bottles
It’s term 4 and each child needs a hat to wear everyday outside to protect them. Students not wearing hats have to stay in the shaded area. It is also recommended the children have their own named drink bottle at school. As the days get warmer it’s important they are fully hydrated.
Waste Free Lunches:
This is still a focus – as much as possible! When your child is making their lunch, please remind them to consider ways in which they can keep the packaging to a minimum. This link: http://www.wastefreelunches.org/parents.html has some good ideas!
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 - 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 questions regarding our classroom program 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:
Robyn: wellwood@ muritai.school.nz
Thank you again for your support,