Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Is there anything in the box.

Our inquiry this term is on the material world and we started off by looking at whether a box with no object in it is actually empty. Is air something or nothing? We learnt that 'matter' is the world all around us. We can tell if something is matter by whether it, TAKES UP SPACE and WEIGHS SOMETHING. So we tested this with air and found that, yes, it does take up space and it does weigh something. Here is a video of some of the things that helped us learn this. Sophie helped us see that it is impossible to blow up a balloon in a bottle as the air in the bottle has nowhere to go. We shrink wrapped some students to explore how air takes up space and we used some balloons to see if air weighs anything.

 Wonderings: I wonder if there are places with no matter at all? Does air weigh the same when it is polluted? Or hot?

We have also had a great discussion around which of these (below) are matter and which are not. The ones that really got us thinking were smell, electricity, anger, heat, and a shadow. A great discussion for helping us understand what is matter and what is energy.

We are going to explore all sorts of other things about the material world, including zooming into the particle level of atoms and molecules.
Well we finally made it to some snow. After a few mountain postponements we made it to Snow Planet. It was so good to see so many first timers progress through the day to being confident going down the slope. Well done guys for persevering and taking on the challenge. It was also great to see the more experienced ones learning new skills too. Thank you to the parents who helped make the day possible. 

Thursday, 27 September 2018


Well done Ruma Kokako! Great team work, great acting, great props. You guys can all be really proud. Each time you got more confident and produced a higher quality performance. The video below is of our class skit.

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Same Same But Different

Same same, but different is a saying you will often hear in places where they sell fake products. 'Are these real Nike shoes?' "Ahhh same, same, but different.'

We have been looking lots at culture and how we are shaped by it and how it helps make up our identity. Today we did a task where we looked, not at the differences between all people and cultures, but what is actually common between all people. How are we all the same? In what ways are we all just like each other? It was fascinating to see the discussions develop from surface things to deeper things.

Similarities included: we all have a belief in what is right and wrong; we all have rules we follow (or don't follow); we all have a desire to be connected to a family; we all have goals or things we want from life; we all experience emotions.

We followed this up with some art which combined a variety of very different looking people into one portrait. Here they are:

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

200 years, 200 countries, 4 minutes

Our inquiry focus at the moment is significant things that have shaped us into who we are. There have been significant changes in the world over the last 200 years that have shaped us all. The world has changed a lot. We are also looking at statistics in maths and on Friday we spent some time looking at scatter graphs. Modern technology is making the communication of statistics more fascinating and easier to understand. Here is a really interesting and powerful representation of changes to our world over the last 200 years. It is amazing to see the changes resulting from the industrial revolution. Enjoy.

Industrial revolution

Planes, computers, skyscrapers, tanks, plastics, electronics, lawn mowers, spaceships - all things that wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution is when the invention of machines and factories changed the world. The majority of the world lived rural and were involved in agriculture or small scale business. Everything changed including world population, where people lived, what people could afford, and what people did. There is nothing that has shaped the world in the last 200 years more than the industrial revolution.

The students started off by watching some of the London 2012 Olympic games opening ceremony. Britain is where the industrial revolution started and as part of the ceremony did a big show about it. They have watched other videos, read articles, and are preparing to write an article about the industrial revolution. The students have looked into one of the early inventions which bought major change. You can look out for these presentations on their own blogs.


We have taken a fascinating look into globalization - what it is, its influence on the world, and the advantages and disadvantages of it. It was fascinating and surprising to look at all the products we import and export. We definitely are interconnected with other countries. There are definite advantages, like more people being able to afford things,but there are also a number of disadvantages, such as the loss of cultures, local jobs, and environmental damage. What will the future look like? What will be the consequences of further globalization? Are we too connected to other countries? All interesting questions to ponder.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Layers of history

Congratulations guys - you have completed your historical writing pieces. What a massive project! You have done so well and can be really proud of the final pieces.

The students wrote either a story or an information report based round a time and place in their family history. It covers everything from cyclones in Canada, the Waikato wars, disastrous boat trips to NZ, Germany after the war, Scotland in the time of the barbarians, and many more.

They have been bound into a book and copies are now in the library and the classroom.

One world culture?

This week we explored what happens when two cultures live together. We had a scenario of a new village of 200 people being populated equally by two completely different cultures. The students then identified what they think would happen in that village within the first year, the first 5 years, and then how the village would look in 20 years time. It was fascinating to discuss how initial conflict would be strong but grow less over the 20 years. The cultures would blend together and the cultures would change, possibly creating a 'new' culture.

We then made the link to NZ as well as the blending of cultures worldwide. Are we becoming 'one culture' in our world? We started looking at globalization and will continue to do so next week.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018


It has been interesting looking into colonialism and just how widespread and how horrific it was at times. Today we looked at a map which showed the countries that colonized and the countries they colonized. We discussed how there is only certain information you can get from a map. It doesn't tell us what colonization was actually like. We then looked at a number of photos and artwork from the time of colonialism. We were then able to get a much better understanding of what it was like. The students identified things the photos revealed about colonialism.