Thursday, 19 October 2017

Monday, 16 October 2017

Looking to the past when we anticipate possibilities for the future

MOTAT is New Zealand's largest transport and technology museum.  Today the pupils in the senior school visited it in order to discover just how far things have come since settlers first came to New Zealand. If you were given a huge number of cogs, could you arrange them to operate in unison to do work?  The trip's purpose was multi-dimensional - we also explored the way technological development has transformed the way we live now, and will continue to impact our lives as we move towards the future.

The interactive displays encourage innovative and divergent thinking: given a fairly unlimited number of virtual gadgets could you build a modern day butterfly net?   That's what the students were invited to do when they stepped up to the interactive screens/displays in 'The Idea Collective'.   The children were awed by a very young inventor who built a tool to help you to safely cut wood into kindling for fires.  Another group of young and ambitious inventors had created an interactive game that promotes fitness by being paired to a trampoline you are required to 'play' on.   All of these displays have one purpose in mind - to inspire... and to give the children a glimpse into the future.

Ruby 'playing' on the tramp

We hope to take the learning back into the classroom.  From tomorrow the students will start to think about the way they can affect change through their own technological imaginings, investigation and innovation.

Brayden B as inventor

M.O.T.A.T Madness

The same question kept coming up, "How do you take a selfie?" Liam and Skylar discover how cameras operated in the old days (or should that be ye olde days?) and also about their limitations. ;-)
Before Facebook and Instagram and texting there was the phone; it only had one purpose (communication) and no internet options.  Kees, Jacob and Brayden were fascinated by the 'brick'.
Thank you to all the parents who came to M.O.T.A.T to support our learning: your enthusiasm was much appreciated.
A trip on the tram was an unexpected bonus.
Most of the children showed impeccable Sunnyhills manners. ;-)

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Snakes for snake's sake

Kids happy 'cause they've got snakes
Key Competencies - Participating and Contributing, Managing Self, Relating to Others, Having Fun
(Okay, I just added the last one!)

Monday, 18 September 2017

There's something about Buddy Class

       Once a week we have buddy class.  Buddy class is great and it's a chance to build bonds between the kids.  It's fun and it develops confidence and social awareness.  
       There's something about buddy class.  I have witnessed it and it's a truly curious phenomenon.  The big kids love to do the crafty activities at least as much, if not more, as the junior kids. This week it was snakes. The sound of kids issuing instructions, folding paper and laughing at the snake expressions they created, filled the room with a vibrant hum.  It was a series of happy moments as I was asked to meet Mr. Giant Snake, twin baby snakes and many snake families (and that was just the big kids).
         The Year 2s packed up and left with their snake families, leaving my kids to ask, "Mrs Wallace, can we make some for us this week too?" 
         Yes, school is about learning, but sometimes that learning can come in the form of celebrating the place of fun, and about laughter, and about finding pleasure in the simple things - like folding two piece of paper to make a snake.  Yes, yesterday the lesson was mine to learn. Remember that your Year 5 and 6 kids are still kids and make sure you acknowledge this need in your planning, Mrs Wallace. Don't forget that frivolous fun is a vital ingredient in making a child truly engaged in the Sunnyhills School experience. 

Yip, kids, snake making is locked and loaded for Friday afternoon!

Sunday, 3 September 2017

An Audience with Stu Duval

What an awesome afternoon!  Today the Senior School had the pleasure of hearing Stu Duval give a taste test of his upcoming novel - working title 'The Flax Cross'.  
               Man, it was awesome; it possessed so many of the elements we explored when we studied narrative.  There was the protagonist, Red McAllister, who is sent to Botany Bay in Sydney for stealing bread thrown out by a London baker; the menacing antagonist in the form of the Reverend Scree, who has clawed hands and dresses all in black, and Red's love interest, the beautiful, but downtrodden, Sarah. There was excitement, there was drama .... there was true and enduring love.  I won't give away the story, but needless to say we were all captivated, and a few tears were even shed. I think there will be no argument when I say we are all waiting with bated breath for Stu to finish the writing and editing process, before sending it off to his publisher. 
                There was a quiz and prize at the end of the session.... So which class won?  Well, that'd be the best class in the school, of course.  Thank you Cailan and Jacob for your efforts in winning us this original Stu Duval artwork.  You guys rock!!!!

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Farewell Aimee

The last of our international students left on Friday.  It was a pleasure to host you, Aimee