Friday, 7 July 2017

Science Fair

We made it! A massive congratulations to everyone. Probably the biggest project you have ever done and you have done amazingly well for your first Science Fair Project. There was so much learning that went on about science and the scientific process, but also around planning, managing time, and being organised. You all deserve a holiday now!

We were lucky enough to have Miriam (a secondary school science teacher) come along and judge the boards. The results were really close for first, second, and third. Here they are:

First: Ieuan - Magnificent Magnets
Second: Campbell - Chooky Chow
Third: Josiah - Loaded Diapers

Highly commended:
Zachary - Erosion Explosion
Antony/Cameron - Drop to the Beat
Connor/Ewan - Sound of Silence
Lola/Tabitha - The Poop Project

The above boards will go through to the Waikato Science Fair.

Kokako Science Fair on PhotoPeach

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Leadership part two!

Here are the student leadership positions for the second half of 2017. I am looking forward to seeing you guys continue to grow. Make the most of it, take initiative, and push yourselves out of your comfort zones. Attitude determines altitude!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

First Science Fair Project

Declan has just headed overseas on holiday so had to fast track his Science Fair project. He managed to get it completed just in time.

It is a fascinating look into the affect of talking to plants. His question was whether talking to plants could help them grow. He had three groups of plants. One he spoke lovingly to, one he shouted hateful words to, and one group (the control) he just ignored. Amazingly the plants he spoke lovingly to grew higher (on average).

In his discussion he raised the interesting question of if talking negatively to people could affect their bodies. The sound waves that affected the plant cells could have a similar affect on human cells. Well done Declan! You achieved a lot in the short time you had.

Winter Sport

We have had a great term developing our skills in the winter sports of football, rugby, netball, and hockey. It all finished up yesterday with participating in Winter Tournament at Ngahinapouri. Here are our awesome teams. Our football team managed to finish 3rd.

A big well done to our awesome student coaches who stepped in and did an awesome job of coaching the netball and hockey. Well done Jorja, Lola, Tabitha, Stephanie, and Deegan. It can be challenging leading your own peers but you did an outstanding job.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Science Fair

We are mid flight with our Science Fair projects!

Students are measuring the sound coming out of boxes covered in sound proofing materials. They are are doing memory tests in extreme temperatures. They are blocking the pull of magnetic forces. They are speaking lovingly to plants to see if they will grow better. They are covering fruit in honey to see if it will stop mold growth. They are playing music to horses as well as many other interesting things.

There is so much learning going on about the scientific investigation process, fair testing, time management and all sorts of other things. Keep it up guys. I am really looking forward to all your thoughts and reflections on your findings.

Fast fashion

Many students have completed their article on the clothing industry. Many have uploaded them to their blogs  and more are coming. For many, if not most, this is the biggest piece of writing they have ever done. It has been a mammoth task and there are some great pieces of writing. Some really persuasive language and arguments have been used. They have included both rational and emotional arguments. They have grouped their ideas under sub headings, added detail, and spent lots of time checking if their writing is concise and makes sense to the reader. There has been lots of learning. Well done guys. You can be proud.

Trips, Trees, Kokako, and $10 000

The Environmental Leaders have been very busy this term.

They made a trip to Lake Rotopiko to see the wetland area and the educational activities set up for people to do.

They managed to collect seeds from the Kaniwhaniwha reserve and then plant them. They also helped the new entrants plant a Totora tree for when they leave Te Pahu School.

They have also begun the process of making an application to the Treemendous School Makeover. There is an opportunity to win $10 000 to make a school environmental dream come true. They have made an awesome video and the initial application has just been sent off. Well done guys and a big thank you to Liz and Nardene for inspiring and equipping our leaders with such great knowledge and experiences.

The Enviro leaders also had the amazing opportunity today of watching the reintroduction of Kokako to Mt Pirongia. Today they went up to see one pair of Kokako released. The pair of Kokako came from the Pureroa Forest park. More pairs will be released over the next while. Such a privilege to be a part of and hopefully the beginning of Kokako repopulating our mountain. We have known this would happen for a few years now and our class was named Ruma Kokako in anticipation of it coming to the mountain. Last years enviro leaders helped raise money for the predator control needed so that this reintroduction could happen.

They also completed a waste audit of the school encouraging students to think more carefully about what we are using and throwing out.


A couple of groups have been focusing on ratios and rates. It has been a great challenge for the students to get their heads around something similar to fractions, and yet different.

A ratio is a comparison between 2 things (or sometimes more than 2). It looks at the relationship between 2 things. This could be how many dogs there are for every cat. Or it could be how much red paint gets mixed with blue paint to create green.

A rate is when one of the things being compared is time. So it could mean how far a man walks in 15 minutes or how long it takes a baker to bake 5 loaves of bread. You might know that a car travels 30 km in 15 minutes (this would be shown as 30:15). If I want to know how far it could go in 7 minutes I need to find out the unit rate. A unit rate is when one of the units is 1. I could find the unit rate by reducing the 30:15 to 2:1. So for every minute I travel I cover a distance of 2km. So in 7 minutes I would travel 14 km.

Here is a video that has helped introduce the students to ratios and rates.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Lit Quiz Success!

Well done to Jack, Lola, Finn, and Ewan for their awesome effort and result at the Lit Quiz. The Lit Quiz is an evening where teams from around the Waikato and the Bay of Plenty compete against each other on the subject of literature. Mrs Kewish spent some time preparing with the team and they did absolutely awesome. Out of 65 teams they came 5th. They won the first two rounds as well. The best Te Pahu School has ever done. Well done guys. You can be super proud.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Science Fair

We are getting stuck into the process of science fair. I am looking forward to our students setting up some interesting investigations. We are giving lots of time to the idea generating stage. The students are exploring their interests, problems/frustrations around them, as well as investigations that others have done. Here are a few previous Te Pahu School examples that have done well in the past.
An investigation into the density of wood by Hayze and Logan.

An investigation into what shape hull creates the biggest wake behind a boat by Sophie.
An investigation into which wood burns the slowest by Breanna and Lil.y.  

An investigation into whether children learn better in groups or on their own by Laura and Ellen,

The students have started exploring topics from below and are brainstorming possible aspects of the topic to explore. We have looked at what makes a good science fair project and the basic process.

The true cost of our clothing

We are making a fascinating inquiry into the clothes we wear. Clothing has become so cheap and new designs are in the stores weekly. As a result we are buying more clothes and throwing more clothes away. In class we are starting to explore what some of the real costs of these cheap clothes are. In the effort to sell cheaper clothes brands put pressure on factories and material producers. As a consequence corners are cut, working conditions are at times terrible, the environment is suffering, and people have to risk their lives all so we can get cheap clothes. It is fascinating looking at how 'ethical' the different brands we buy here in NZ are.

We will be looking at both sides of the issue and will explore how these factories are an economical boost for the countries and often the workers most profitable work option.

We are reading articles, watching documentaries, and having discussions around the issue. A major focus is note taking skills. We are discussing how to sift through the information to identify and record the important and interesting points. The main documentary we are watching is The True Cost (Trailer below). The students will be forming their opinion on the issue and backing it up with evidence.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Axes and scissors

Often there are times when writing is boring and can be hard to read because the author uses lots of words to say something that could have been said in a few words. We sometimes decide to put lots of words in our writing that are actually not needed.

Sometimes we need an 'axe' to go and cut away big chunks of our writing such as whole paragraphs. Other times we just need to trim our sentences with 'scissors' to ensure that there are no unnecessary words that the reader has to read.  A common word we often don't need is the word 'that'. Have a look at the below examples and quotes that we used to explore how we can use scissors.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Crazy Hair day

As part of Deegan's community service she organised a crazy hair day to raise money for Kids Can. Her Mum and sister Taylor are doing the Pork Pie mini run to also raise money. It was such an awesome day and there were so many amazing hair styles. Well done Deegan and everyone. Awesome!