Thursday, 21 February 2019

Filtration Blog Post - EXAMPLE

Aim: To make a filtration plant using household materials

What is filtration? Filtration is separating solids from liquids by adding a medium through which only the liquid can pass. 

Examples are:

  1.  Teabag
  2.  Coffee plunger/coffee filter
  3.  Swimming pool
  4.  Kidney


1. dirty water
2. filter paper
3. sand
4. pebbles
5. cup
6. scissors
7. bottle
8. funnel
9. coffee filter

Process - ( use verbs or doing words in each step )


Cut the bottle in half.


Put the top half upside down inside the bottle.

Step 2

Add layers of filter paper then add your sand/pebbles.


Get 1 cup of dirty water.


Pour dirty water into the filter inside the upside down bottle.


When Mr Palmer did his experiment today, his filter did not work well. The water went too quickly into the bottle and it was still brown. This experiment was not a success. Next time we could try to make a stronger filter so the water was more clear. 

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Tuesday's Task | Gratitude

In our Morning briefings, staff are given a daily anecdote to help our wellbeing, for example, Mindful Monday, Tuesday's Task, Thought for Thursday etc. Today our wellbeing team has asked us to think of 10 reasons why we are grateful for our job. I thought it would be a nice thing to share on my blog, as there are many reasons why I am thankful for the opportunity to teach.

1) I am grateful to have a career that I am passionate about and that excites me every day.

2) I am thankful for the opportunity to work in such an amazing and forward thinking school environment.

3) I am grateful for the fact that we have the most amazing young people at Hornby High School and I feel lucky to work with them every day.

4) I am thankful to work with colleagues who are hardworking and passionate about what they do across the entire school. Our differences create a cohesive whole.

5) I am also thankful for the camaraderie, the laughs and the support that I have specifically within my Year 7/8 team. I am lucky to have an amazing teaching whanau.

6) I am grateful for the kind words I receive from students, it reminds me that I am having a positive impact (which is what we all want as teachers!) For example, today some former students emailed me small notes or memories to improve someone's wellbeing as part of their Health class. This made my morning.

7) I am thankful for the professional opportunities we are provided, and encouraged to take, in order to better our teaching practice. For example, PLD, conferences, committees within the school.

8) I am grateful for my class, both this year and last. They are the reason I come to school each morning excited for the day. I couldn't ask for more wonderful students to teach!

9) I am thankful for our beautiful new school buildings and the rebuild we are continuing to have. I cannot wait to see the way it comes together and the impact it will have on the students, staff and wider Hornby community.

10) Lastly, I am most thankful for those who have supported me along the way. I would not be here without the endless support from my own teachers, family and friends, professors through uni, the senior leadership team at Hornby High School who took a chance on me last year and of course, the staff and students here. I am most grateful for the people.

He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Home Chemistry Chemical Reaction EXAMPLE Blog Post

Kia ora everyone. 7/8 Bh and 7/8 Tz have been working on a Home Chemistry module as part of our Hurumanu this term. Today we looked at an introduction to instructional or procedural writing. We had observed our science teacher, Mr Palmer, mix two household chemicals together last week.

I am creating this blog post to share what the blogging expectations are for this task. This would be based off the writing plan we completed in class. Students, make sure you are expanding off the ideas from your plan and writing a clear paragraph (6-8 sentences for this level). This write up is worth 1 point towards your science badge.

Success Criteria: clearly include all parts of your plan in your paragraph. For example:

Aim/Goal: to see how two household chemicals will react
Materials: two cups, vinegar, baking soda, measuring cups, tray
Steps 1-5 

In Week 2 during Hurumanu we mixed two simple household chemicals together to create a reaction. The materials you will need to complete this experiment are two cups, vinegar, baking soda, measuring cups and a tray to keep your materials in so that the reaction does not make a mess. First you will need to set out your ingredients. Next you will measure the baking soda into one cup and vinegar into the other cup. This means you can do the experiment twice and compare what works better, baking soda in vinegar or vinegar in baking soda. Once you are set up, you can slowly pour the other ingredient into the cups. Wait to see what will happen. In our experiment, the chemicals made a fizzy reaction and overflowed out of the cup. Now that you have done the first reaction, repeat your steps to complete the second reaction. You could record your experiment on a video or write about what happens on your blog. 

Total sentences: 9

This is what a Year 7/8 quality blog post should look like. To make your post even better, you could include a picture or video that relates to the topic. 

Spelling Programme in Year 7 and 8

This year all Year 7/8 classes will be working on a Spelling programme which has been developed by our Deans to help students learn spelling words at their own level. Each term, students will receive an Essential Skills Spelling test which will allow us as teachers to see which levels students have mastered and which word list they will use for the term.

Students will work on their words 4 days a week during class time and will work within their groups to have an end of week test. Each week students will master 10 new spelling words from their Spelling lists. We will also be including "People and Place" words which will allow students to focus on words in their every day vocabulary. These consist of Hornby High School teacher's names, the different suburbs within Hornby, New Zealand wide cities, countries in Australasia and more.

Our aim is to help student's increase their confidence with their Spelling which will help to improve their writing by providing them with more vocabulary words to choose from. This will also help accelerate their reading.

Students are not required to complete any Spelling work at home, however, feel free to use the resources on our 7/8Bh class website under the Spelling tab if you would like to provide additional support for your child.

If you have any questions or comments about our Spelling programme, please feel free to contact me and I would be happy to answer your queries. I am really looking forward to rolling this out within our class and am hopeful for a very positive impact on our students' writing.

Uru Manuka | Cluster Connections 2019

Kia ora everyone! 7/8 Bh are excited to be partnered up with two classes within the Uru Manuka Cluster for 2019. This allows us to share our learning, comment on each other's work and to complete some tasks that represent what learning looks like in the different cluster schools.

For our first task we have created shared slides which represent ourselves as in introduction to our buddy classes. On each of our individual slides you can find the link to our personal learning blogs. Please leave some positive, thoughtful or helpful comments on our work!

We would like to say hello and thank you in advance to our Cluster Connections: Te Ropu Whakamanawa (Ms. Waho's class) from Gilberthorpe School and 7/8Sh (Mrs Shehata's class) from Hornby High School who are our next door neighbours.

Monday, 11 February 2019

Hurumanu Science

This year our Year 7/8 curriculum has undergone some exciting changes. We are working collaboratively as a staff and allowing students the chance to work with a buddy class for some of their subjects. 7/8Bh and 7/8Tz are working with myself and Mr Palmer (Science Teacher, Year 10 Dean and SENCO) on a Home Chemistry science module.

Here is an example of what a quality blog post would look like:

Home Chemistry

Home Chemistry
Aim: looking at 10 household chemicals

Listed below are the common names and the chemical names for 10 household products we will use in our experiments.

  • Salt, Sodium chloride
  • Surf, Sodium Aluminosilicate
  • White Vinegar, acedic acid
  • Baking Soda, Sodium hydrogen carbonate
  • Baking powder, sodium bicarbonate
  • Cleaner sodium hydroxide
  • Detergent, carboxylic
  • Lemonade, citric acid
  • Sugar, Dextrose
  • Citric acid, hydroxypropane
    Thank you for taking a look at my science blog post. If you have any suggestions for what I could do better next time, please leave me a comment below. 

Welcome Back!

Kia ora everyone and welcome back to another school year! I have really been enjoying getting to know my new class of Year 7 and 8 students. We have been spending some time talking about Hornby High School and our CARR values; Commitment, Achievement, Resilience and Respect.

Our class is getting to know each other and we are learning to work with other people who we might not know yet. What better way to do this than by collaborating to create a presentation for our values? I really enjoyed watching the way students shared ideas, took on leadership roles and worked together for a joint outcome. Our values were shown in practice, and for some, we got to be reminded and see the importance of respect and commitment in a practical way.

Students had a choice of what product they would like to make; a dance, a skit, a video, an animation etc. Below is a great example of  a video created by one of our groups. I invite you to visit the Share page of our class website where you can find individual students' blogs.

Feel free to leave them a positive, thoughtful or helpful comment on their reflection of the CARR values project.

I look forward to sharing more student work with you this year, and being able to provide an example of the Learn, Create, Share pedagogy in action.

Friday, 1 February 2019

Meet Miss Birtch - 2019 Welcome

Hello, Welcome, Kia ora, Kumusta, Malo e lelei, Bula vinaka, Talofa lava, Ni hao, Namaste!

My name is Miss Birtch and I am so excited to be your teacher for next year! This will be my second year teaching at Hornby High School and I know that you are going to have an amazing time next year.

I wanted to tell you a little bit about me, in case we haven’t had the chance to meet yet. I am originally from Vancouver, Canada but spent 6 years living in Toronto, Canada.  I came to New Zealand in 2017 and this will be my third year living in Christchurch.

Last year I taught a wonderful class of Year 8 students at Hornby High School… maybe I even taught your older brother or sister! This year our class will consist of both Year 7 and Year 8 students. I am very excited for this new opportunity! :)

I love to dance and last year I ran the Year 7/8 dance group. I also helped with the hockey team and the  boys and girls basketball teams by supporting them at games and scorekeeping. I hope to continue both of these activities in 2019.

I love to travel and have been to 17 countries including Australia, Samoa and Fiji. This year I will be going to Rarotonga. The country I most want to travel to is the Philippines. I love meeting new people, exploring new places and learning about other cultures that are different from my own! I look forward to learning a lot from you as well.

I hope that you are feeling excited for the new school year and the opportunities that will come your way. I look forward to having you in my class and all of the memories we are going to make together as a Year 7 and 8 class.

If you have any questions, or if you would like to introduce yourself, you can contact me by email at: I would love to learn a bit more about you!

Enjoy the rest of your summer holiday and I look forward to welcoming you to our class at the end of January. See you soon!