Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Working From Home - Message From Our Deans

Kia ora, 

As we enter into this time, I hope that you are all safe and well. There are a lot of changes happening all around us and having your young ones home it can cause some uncertainty with their learning. This email is to explain what is set up for our Year 7, 8 and 9 tamariki. 

Year 7/8 Students
All Year 7 and 8 students will be able to access Online Learning through the Working From Home SiteWork is set up with instructions and ready to access. There is plenty of work there to access, please tell your tamariki to not stress about getting through all the work. There is a range of activities that they can do both online and in a book. We do not want this to add any anxiety to them but just to facilitate their learning while they are away

Year 9 students 
All Year 9 students will be able to access Online Learning through their Hurumanu Site. Their Hurumanu teacher will be in contact with them about instructions but if they go to the Hurumanu they are involved in then work will be there ready to go. Again, we do not want students to stress about getting all the work completed, It is there to help facilitate learning through the lock down period.

No Access to Online Learning 
If access to internet or a device is limited here are some options.
1) Be active in the home - Cleaning, cooking, gardening, exercise 
2) Keep a diary - Write about their daily activities, what is happening 
3) Reading - Books, Newspaper, Comics

I hope this all works out, please if any of this is not clear, let me know. I will still have access to my emails throughout this time.

The most important thing is to take care, be safe and I will be in touch.

Thank you all

Terry Mitchell (Mōhua Dean)
Alby Wilson (Riroriro Dean)
Liisa Laycock (Tīeke Dean) 

Preparing for a "New Normal"

Kia ora everyone,

We are about 24 hours away from going into "Stage 4" isolation in Aotearoa New Zealand to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus. This is a strange and unsettling time, but I am doing my best to prepare for our new normal both as a teacher/kaiako and in my personal life. I do not want to talk too much about COVID19 or our impending isolation period, as I am not a medical professional, and honestly, do not keep as up to date with the news as much as I would like (perhaps I will have time to work on this over the next few weeks!) I realize I am not the best source for information, but that source can be found here: https://covid19.govt.nz/

At our school, we encourage our students to blog, to share their learning, to connect with others and to receive feedback, but with everything going on in a term, I find I am not always practicing what I preach, though I have my blog set up. That is not good enough, and I am seeking to change this. As I am preparing for this 'new normal' I have tried to set myself a bit of a schedule so that when times are trying or I am feeling out of sorts, as I anticipate we all will, I have some things to keep me motivated. I read somewhere that it takes 21 days to form a habit through repetition so I hope to use this time in a positive way to add positive habits to my life.

Things I will continue to do: 
- Wake up each morning at a reasonable hour
- Change out of my pajamas, wash my face, brush my hair - it's easy to get lazy when you are just staying home but keeping a routine will help!
- Make myself breakfast and a coffee and consume some media (read a book, listen to a podcast, watch a Youtube video)
- Dedicate time to work whether that is replying to emails, checking in with my students or reading some blog posts
- Go for a walk to get fresh air - while being mindful of the restrictions
- Read each night before bed
- Call and text with friends and whanau
- Do a face mask once weekly #selfcareSunday

New habits I would like to adopt: 
- Writing on this blog as a way to connect, and as some 'self-care' - I enjoy the act of writing
- Try some at home exercises through Youtube - yoga, Zumba, pilates etc.
- Cook some new recipes
- Working on my te reo Māori through an online course
- Reflect on a weekly basis of things I am grateful for

As a fan of history, I realize we are at a crossroads. This worldwide lockdown will be written about in textbooks and learned in schools of the future generation. This is a part of history and I believe the next month or so will be what we make it. While we have a variety of restrictions, we can still carry on our lives as best we can. We need to stay positive and socially connected, while staying physically distant. I hope you feel the same.

Stay strong (kia kaha) and be kind to others!

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

How to Preserve Meat - Scientific Method

Note, this is incomplete work used as an online modelling book for Bh/Ds/Lk.

Example of what your blog should look like: Year 7/8 Hurumanu

Intro - Today in Science we are learning to........

Aim - To learn how to preserve meat by dehydration

Prediction - My prediction is that it will dehydrate quickly because...


Method (instructions) *research*

Results *research what will happen*


Final personal comment/ask for Feedback

Remember, a great blog post also includes the following:
* sensible title
* photo or video to add meaning and interest
* labels 

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

2020 - New Year, Big Changes

Kia ora everybody!

It is a brand new year and we have been working hard to create new and exciting learning opportunities here at Hornby High School. Particularly we have added in Wānanga time for our Years 7-9 students and I am excited to be the Learning Advisor for a great group of learners. In total, we have fourteen groups consisting of nearly 300 pupils, this allows us smaller class groups and the opportunity to really get to know our learners inside and out!

Wānanga means "to meet and discuss, deliberate and consider". This will be an opportunity to work alongside teachers and peers to support learning from all aspects; academic, pastoral, community involvement, passions and leadership opportunities for all year levels involved. You may have come across this blog if you are a new student to Bh Wānanga, if so, welcome! I am very excited to work with you during your time at Hornby High School. Below I have included my introductory letter for this year.

On this blog you will find posts about what we are doing throughout the year, some student learning, perhaps some of my teacher learning and examples of some of the activities we will be doing together as a class. I hope you will follow us along on our learning journey.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

A Place to Visit

Kamusta readers!

I have been dreaming about my next holiday and was curious where 7/8Al would go if they could have a special vacation. I have asked them to create a well-written blog post explaining where they want to go and WHY?

Things I am looking for at Year 7/8:
- a properly structured paragraph
- descriptive language in your writing
- blogging etiquette - title, introduction to the task, asking for feedback, tags etc.
- examples of WHY
- photos or videos to make your post interesting!

I have already had the chance to read some excellent pieces of writing. I really enjoyed looking at Callum's post on Jeju Island, Vann's blog about Italy and Nici's writing about Berlin. These are three awesome examples of Year 7/8 quality blog posts!

I invite you to have a look on their posts and leave them some positive, thoughtful or helpful feedback on their work.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

What I Want 7/8Al to Know About Me

Kia ora readers!

This term I have the special opportunity to teach 7/8Al for one hour each week! I am really excited about this opportunity as I have not had the chance to teach many of these students before. I love getting to know other learners in Year 7/8 and getting the experience to teach them. I know many of the Year 8's in Mrs Allan-Fletchers class as I have worked with some of them last year for Passion Projects (stone carving) or Business and Enterprise kete where we created projects for Market Day. There are a few boys who I have taken for basketball for the past two years and I have really enjoyed getting to know Vann, Lars and Axle through sport!

I have a few things that I want 7/8Al to know about me as a teacher and a person:

1) I really love blogging and I think it is a great way to share our ideas in a fun way while practicing our writing.

2) In my spare time I like to read and I always like to talk to students about new books! I previously worked for Scholastic Books and I have read many young adult titles.

3) I really like to award CARR stamps for students I see showing our school values. I know I am so proud of my students when they bring me back full CARR cards from other teachers, so I would like us all to do the same for Mrs Allan-Fletcher and make her proud!

4) My favourite food is ice cream, even though it's not the healthiest choice! I like ice cream on a hot summer's day but also cozying up in winter time to watch a movie with a big bowl of ice cream. I wonder, how do you think we can have an ice cream party this term?

5) I love travelling and have been to a lot of different places. I have travelled to Samoa, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Australia and all over New Zealand since I moved here in 2017. A place I would really like to visit is Bali and the Philippines. If you are from a different country, I would love to hear all about it!

6) I can teach and give instructions best when the students are self-managing and showing 'active listening' on the mat. I love to answer questions and help you if you are stuck by explaining the topic in a different way if you are confused; don't be afraid to ask for help!

I look forward to spending 1 hour a week with 7/8 Al and have asked them to write a piece to me on their blogs sharing more about themselves and what I should know as a teacher in their classroom!

Friday, 9 August 2019

Deputy Principal for the Day

Kia ora everyone!

In Year 7/8 we have a Hui each week where all of our Year 7/8 students come together to share their learning, sing waiata, hear important notices and messages, and best of all, we have a prize draw! You should be familiar with our PB4L (Positive Behaviour for Learning) CARR card process. Students are given a CARR card which they collect stamps on for showing our school values, Commitment, Achievement, Resilience and Respect. After the student completes a full card this is given to their form teacher to be put in the draw for Wednesday's Hui. Alongside that, there are incentives for the more cards that get filled in:

- 5 completed CARR cards (50 stamps) - CARR postcard mailed home
- 10 completed CARR cards (100 stamps) - $5 cafe voucher
- 20 completed CARR cards (200 stamps) - $10 voucher, either to Hornby Hub mall or school cafe
- increments of 10 onwards - $5 cafe voucher

Our Deputy Principal, Mr Scott does our CARR card draw, one from each form class each week. These students receive a $2 voucher to our cafe. Each term we also have a value of the month, where students can get a one-off ticket for showing that value. These go into a separate draw where students can win a $5 voucher each week. This is pulled from a combined kete of all the Year 7/8 classes.

If that wasn't enough, Mr Scott has generously gotten us some 'big token' prizes such as sports balls, movie vouchers, board games, books, headphones etc. where a prizewheel is spun and 1 student from Year 7/8 is chosen from ALL the collected CARR cards and values tickets for the whole team each week. On the prize wheel there is also a special spot called "Deputy Principal". The student who spins the wheel and lands on this prize gets to shadow Mr Scott for a few hours and help make changes and decisions for Year 7/8.

We were very lucky to have one of our Bh students, Jrae, selected to be Deputy Principal for the day. Mr Jrae worked with Mr Scott and student Hamid from Tz for the morning and helped make some very important decisions. As follows is a short breakdown of the day:

- formal meeting, where ties were checked, hot chocolate was drank and an action plan was made
- they did a sweep of the staffroom to make sure all the teachers were on task
- planned a 'farewell to Jblock' party leading up to leaving our old buildings prior to moving into the new kahui at the end of this term
- special rewards for Bh and Tz; lollies (bought by Mr Scott) and 20 minutes free time

I was really proud to see Jrae step into this role, with a HUGE smile on his face. He had the chance to ask his classmates what they would like to see, and I can tell he used their feedback in some of the decision making process... who doesn't love lollies and free time!?

Great work Mr Jrae, I hope you had a lot of fun being the Deputy Principal!!