Once again Covid-19 played havoc with our plans and our Term 4 Year 7/8 trip was cancelled. So we put our heads together and came up with some alternatives. First up we got together with the Alpine Lodge and planned a formal dinner for the seniors. With a three course meal on the cards, the seniors dressed up in their black tie best and enjoyed a true dining experience. There was bubbly in wine glasses, toasts and a chauffeured ride home in style...well, in the school buses at least.
The kids had such a fabulous experience I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes an annual event.
One of the best ways to teach science with children is doing experiments with items they're familiar with...like food. So this is exactly what the juniors did this term. Some of their experiments were:
The juniors also invited some parents in to share some cooking from their own culture.
As part of our Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC) program the senior class spent last Thursday with the team at the Rotoiti Outdoor Education Lodge on their high ropes course and stand up paddle boards. First up it was the high ropes with the class splitting into two, one group heading to the 'Pamper Pole" where you climb and stand on top of a 5m pole then with trust in your teammates below you take a leap of faith to try and hit a dangling red buoy. The second group headed to the 'Dangling Duo' where working in teams of two they attempted to climb a dangling giant ladder with the rungs getting increasingly further apart the high you go. No only are you in a team of two helping each other up the rungs but you also rely on the team on the ground, not only to prevent you from falling but also to give you that added lift to get onto the next rung.
After conquering the high ropes, it was time to cool off so off to West Bay we went. Each student claimed a paddleboard or a spot on the giant paddleboard the 'Big Tahuna' and following the safety and how-to briefing they were off. While the sun was hot and the air warm the lake still had a bit of a nip to it, so getting on the paddleboards was accompanied by piecing shrieks as kids toppled off the boards...some more intentionally than others.
The paddle around the peninsular was fantastic with some paddleboard challenges thrown in, yogo positions on the boards, walking from front to back without falling in, switching between boards and for those that didn't fall in, well, they may have been splashed.
Following the paddleboarding the students were back on the high ropes with each group trying the different activity. Again there was heaps of encouragement and trust as the teams worked together to get pairs up the dangling ladder and support the jumpers on the pamper pole.
What a truly fantastic day and it really makes you appreciated the amazing area we live and go to school in.
It started with a call from the Ministry of Inspiration offering to come to school and run a aquabotics program for a day. Since we love anything to do with the swimming pool. we jumped on the opportunity and said yes.
Expecting simple plug and play robots we were pleasantly surprised and the kids were stoked to find out that there was a lot more involved in creating the robots. The kids had to cut pipes, solder and drill to build their robots and they did a really great job of it. Working in teams and autonomously following the instructions they built their robots until they were finally ready to test in the pool.
A bit of fine tuning and the robots were able to submerge and move around under the water. What a fantastic opportunity for the kids and a great way to learn new skills.
Every year the Rural Women donate their time and craft supplies to the children here at school and they spend some time working with them to make all sorts of Christmas crafts. The kids absolutely love this activity and look forward to it for weeks. The best thing about it they tell me is that you can create anything you want. You can put together your crafting supplies in whatever manner you want or can imagine. They love being able to get stuck into this activity without being constrained by instructions. It's always a fantastic time and we can't thank the Rural Women enough for coming in and running this for our children here at school.
The community field day was held on a Tuesday afternoon this year and despite to good weather we had leading up to it, on Tuesday it rained...and rained...and rained. This didn't stop the event though but we were grateful it was held at a community member's place where they had a big shed for us to shelter in and a gazebo on the deck to parade the animals through.
Dogs and sheep were popular entrees this year with a goat and pig making an appearance too. The kids also did a fantastic job with their art, colouring, photography, baking and craft entries.
Our surprise visitor this year was the Easter Bunny (filling in for Santa as he's been super busy this year up at the North Pole) who gifted each child with a book.
The overall Field Day Winner was Jessica McCrostie who racked up 18 points with her winning entries.
With the weather warming up (some) it was time to get Yachting NZ come to school again, as part of their Volvo - Have a go Sailing! initiative, to teach the seniors how to sail optimists. Although there wasn't a lot of wind on the lake the kids still had a go sailing the optimists not to mention flooding and capsizing them. The day always ends in big smiles as we start looking forward to the Thursday Community Sailing Nights.
This year as part of our curriculum we were able to invite local Ed Shaw from Bullock Road Bows to school to run an archery course for the kids.
Ed also runs a technology program for the Year 7 and 8s, spending a day with each doing woodwork. The Year 7s get to design and build a birdhouse and the Year 8s design and build a toy with moving parts. Some amazing creations come out of these days with the kids thoroughly enjoying themselves.
Last Thursday we held our annual book character day and book fair. The kids came dressed as their favourite book character and some of the costumes were truly amazing. It's great fun to hear the kids exclaim..."I know who you are!"...in excitement and see the puzzlement on faces as they try to guess more obscure characters.
Once again Page and Blackmore joined us in the village with a pop-up book store at the Alpine Lodge and after parading down the street to the Lodge the kids all got to browse all the fantastic books on offer. It truly was an amazing collection of books with something for everyone, sometimes more than one thing, I know I had to restrain myself!
Of course, Book Character Day is not all fun and games as once back at school the kids each got a chance to stand up and tell us about their character: Who they were; What book they were from; what happened to the character and why did they chose to dress as them? Nothing quite like putting kids on the spot!
There however can only be two winners for Book Character Day and this year they were:
Junior - Ginny Briggs as the witch from 'Room on the Broom' by Julia Donaldson
Senior - Jessica McCrostie as the horse Dandy from 'Dandy, The Mountain Pony' by Kelly Wilson
Congratulations to the winners and to the other amazing costumes, the competition gets tougher and tougher each year!