Dear Parents and Caregivers,
I hope you all had a relaxing Easter break and managed to get out and enjoy some of the fine weather we had!
Term 1 certainly flew by and we seemed to pack a lot in! We have a very positive and proactive group of leaders this year and it is exciting to hear their plans for the year ahead. The students have settled well as a group and are extending their friendships within and across classes.
We were most impressed with the dedication of the students in completing their various projects leading up to the end of Term 1. The EMRSA ‘New Zealand’s Involvement in Passchendael’ essays were of a commendable standard. The Young Reporters for the Environment Competition entries (articles, photos and documentaries) were locally themed, relevant and well composed (look out for some of our articles in the Eastbourne Herald!). Those students who entered the Roxy Short 5 Film Competition, though their entries remain ‘top secret’ until they have been through the competition, impressed us with their independent management of this project. Although managing these projects was a fairly challenging task for some, they persevered and we hugely appreciated your support in encouraging them to see this challenge as a rich learning opportunity.
We had a wonderful visit to the Capital E Arts Festival at the end of March, where the students, as usual, were a credit to our school and made the most of all the varied performances. During our visits to the Life Ed bus earlier in the term, we also explored some key themes around puberty and making informed choices.
We would especially like to thank you for your support in encouraging the students to take a more active role in the Learning Conferences in the last full week of the term. The students really rose to the challenge of leading the conversation about their celebrations and next steps and it was evident how much they appreciated your positive responses and questions. The feedback from families has been positive and we hope that this will motivate the students to take increasing ownership of their learning throughout the year.
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.
Term 2 is all about Science! Within the context of ‘The Living World’ strand, and interwoven with our Art and Literacy program, we will be exploring Adaptation. Students will learn about life processes, classification, variation and adaptation in the living world. They will make close observations of creatures, use keys to identify them and consider their role in ecosystems and food chains. They will also consider the human impact on ecosystems.
We are on the hunt for experts! We have a couple of speakers organised to come in and talk to us, both scientists with backgrounds in ecology, biodiversity and biosecurity but 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.
As part of this inquiry, on the 16th May all the classes will be visiting the Roxy Cinemas for a ‘Docs4Schools’ free screening of the documentary ‘Bugs’. You can find out more and view the trailer for this at http://docedge.nz/festival-old/docs-4-schools/ In the afternoon, we will visit Te Papa to explore the concepts of ecology and adaptation further.
We will require 3 parents to support us on this trip. If you are able to come along, please let your classroom teacher know ASAP.
We will be focusing on two main genres in Writing this term. Our main focus is narrative writing. This will give the students the opportunity to develop their use of rich and descriptive language and the more sophisticated demands of paragraphing, punctuation, spelling and grammar required in storytelling. Secondly, we will be exploring explanation writing to link with our Science Inquiry focus. The aim of these lessons will be to build students’ capability in nonfiction transactional writing; planning and organising ideas in paragraphs and following an appropriate structure.
Reading will continue to be used across all areas of the curriculum. In addition, guided reading groups will focus on developing students’ inference skills (reading between the lines to gain the deeper messages in text) and evaluating texts (making generalisations based on the ideas and information given). Students will actively participate as part of reading groups exploring the ideas, features and structures of both fiction and nonfiction texts, as well as our CSI Literacy cloud-based resource, which allows students to interact with texts online.
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 statistical literacy and investigations.
Mathletics will continue to be an integral part of our Maths programme. Each child will have tasks assigned to them by their maths teacher which will need to be completed for homework. The tasks that are set relate to work that is happening in the classroom so it provides you with a useful platform for seeing what your child is focusing on in the class.
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 in Week 4. For homework in Week 5 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.
This term our focus is painting and mixed media, and links directly with our Inquiry. We will be exploring the creepy crawly world of Insect Art! As well as taking time to closely observe and draw insects we will look at the work of several well known artists who use bugs as their inspiration, including James Nicholls and Richard Killeen. Students will have the opportunity to experience different techniques for creating art on the theme of insects before choosing one of these to produce a final piece.
This term we will also be creating our calendar art.
Ruth Hooke will continue to work with our students on performance arts.
This term our focus is Cross Country and Gymnastics. Fitness is programmed in for every morning (weather permitting). We will be cross country running to build up our fitness in preparation for the Year 3-8 School Cross Country event on Thursday 18th May. Suitable footwear for running will need to be at school every day. In the second half of the term we will be focusing on large ball skills. Our sport programme will continue on Wednesday afternoons.
This will continue as last term with students rotating through; Fabric, Woodwork, Ukelele, Computer Coding and Cooking.
Other things to note...
On Wednesday 17th 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.
Weekly homework will be set this term. We will be issuing students with a novel to read during the term. Each week they will need to read two chapters and answer comprehension questions. There will also be a spelling or grammar task to be completed. Additional Inquiry work may also be included throughout the term. From 29th May 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!
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; in their clearfile and online on Google Drive. The date for this celebration is Wednesday 5th July (3pm - 6pm). 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 on the 5th!
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:
Julie (Rm 24): firstname.lastname@example.org
Melissa (Rm 22): email@example.com
Annette (Rm 23): firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth (Rm 23): email@example.com
Thank you again for your support,