Thursday, 5 July 2018

The end of an era...

Five students in Room 1 are moving on to Room 2 after the holidays.  Today they had a taste of Room 2.  They greatly enjoyed it!

I wish you all a great learning time in Room 2.

Our big learning theme for this term has been: Reach for the stars.

Or as the Maori people say:
"Whaia te pae tawhiti kia tata, Whaia te Pae tata, Whakamaua kia u, kia tina. Reach for the horizon, for the stars, to bring them close and to hold them tight." 

All around us we can see proof of this throughout the ages.  There was Kupe reaching for and navigating by the stars until he reached the shores of Aoteroa.  Then there was Rongowhitiao with his dream of starting a school.  And Clara Hazhard who had a dream of becoming the first female principal of New Zealand. Look and see all around you, and within you, what aiming for the stars in the past has given us today.

We have been aiming for the stars in class by learning about our solar system, by listening to Maori myths and legends about Ra, Marama, Papatunuku and Ranginui. 

Papatuanuku has always been one of  my passionate loves, one of my stars to reach for. Some of you might still remember that we reached for the stars when becoming an Enviro School.  With the help of Environment Waikato, this was in 2007, we investigated water quality in local streams and how to improve this. This was a term long school investigation, which was called “Rivers and us”. At the conclusion of this unit we were successful in acquiring funds to purchase our plant growing unit. With the help of the local Pokaiwhenua nursery,  who has been gifting us tiny native seedlings each year, we managed to plant around 400-500 trees each year.That’s quite a lot of trees, that’s quite a barrier against erosion and it increased water quality.

I fondly remember the many meetings my students had with Gordon Stephenson, who taught us much about local flora and fauna and weeds!  My team of eager students managed to get Bronze, Silver and then Green Gold status.
Art has always been my passionate love -  art in all its forms. Art is one of the the stars I have been reaching for and hold tight. We don’t know what jobs the future will require, what the future will even look like...  Nurture your art, reach for the stars. Nurture creativity in all its forms.  It makes for happy people and outside of the square thinkers.  It is what we need for a new future! Make out of old and create something new that touches your soul – and others! Reach for the stars!

In Room 1 we have been reaching for personal stars, learning stars,  self assessing our work and reaching and aiming higher and higher, improving all the time as we go. 
You do not need to be a student for this,you see, teachers, your Principal, your Board, and your parent support group are also aiming for the stars. To be the best, to teach the best, to learn the best, to give the best.

On a personal level Ievel I am also aiming for the stars.  When we came to Aotearoa so many many years ago, we had a dream of living of the land, of being self sufficient of making and creating.  Life got in the way, there were many different stars to reach for.
Now we have come back to our original dream.  of moving onto our land,  of building a little environmentally friendly house on our land, which we have called "Wawata"…"Day dream"! Another star to reach for.

I wish you all well, keep reaching for those stars, nurture your special talents, be passionate about the different, be creative... be a maker and a shaker, our future needs you!

Kia kaha Waotu friends!

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Reach for the stars

Learning about Marama, who is at the center of our Solar System!

And learning about Vincent Van Gogh and his life story...

Wednesday, 27 June 2018


Some of our Matariki work and a wonderful book we used as inspiration for our writing and art works.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Writing in Room 1

Students in Room 1 love to write!  They come in early in the morning and start writing straight away! They write messages to each other, ‘reports’ for parents and each other, messages for parents, and the most loved activity.... free writing!

A long story by Louis about him and his Dad visiting the moon...

No time to take my bus vest off,  I must write!