Papanui School came over to visit because we were lucky enough to get a visit from the Trillian Trust Trek Crew.
This amazing group of people tour the country each year visiting schools and raising money for kiwi kids in need. We were first treated to a lovely bbq lunch….burgers to die for! Then the cool cars arrived. Old police cars, fire engines, limos to name a few. The ‘trekkers’ gave out lots of treats like lolly pops and balloons and every child got a goodie back filled with cool stuff.
While they visited they played with us and we got to hear from Mark who told us what it’s like to have cerebal palsy. He inspired us with his honesty and the things he has achieved in his life. Then it was around to the pool to watch our very own version of the America’s Cup boat race. This was great fun.
But the biggest excitement of the day was the very generous donation of $950 for the purchase of the zip line and guess what? They brought the zip line along with them and installed it too!
We are SO, SO lucky!
We need to say a tremendous THANK YOU to the Trillian Trust crew for their generous donation of the zipline (and all the other amazing goodies), to Hautapu Pine for their donation of materials towards building the zipline and to JB, Charles, Fraser and John Gilbert for their donations of time getting the poles ready in time for today.
They say a picture is worth a 1000 words so here’s a few of our day.
The term continues to fly by and with Easter gifting us this short week of 3 school days we got our teeth into a 2 day intensive inquiry in relation to our Wilderness Area.
Late last year we were lucky enough to be awarded around $500 from The Pat Kelly Enviro-school Fund to help fund an enviro project. At our 2019 bronze reflection it was identified that we’d like to plant more trees in our wilderness area and continue to develop it as a native bush area. As you might remember from previous blog posts we’ve done some ground work learning around native birds, native trees, bats, lizards etc so developing our bush block is a great follow on from previous building blocks of learning.
So….what did we do? We started by ‘roaming the known’ or exploring the current situation. We brainstormed what we had in our bush already, putting this information into categories such as animals, native trees, exotic species etc. We headed out into the wilderness to explore some more. We took loads of pictures of what we found and areas that potentially needed development. Back in the classroom we worked in small groups to design our ideal wilderness area. This was our time to explore alternatives. It was awesome to see the children truly collaborating their ideas, negotiating, discussing and making compromises.
Once we’d made the dream plans we came together share and find some common elements. Then we had to refresh ourselves about the different types of native trees that we could possibly plant. We read some fact cards and shared with the group some info about different trees. Using this information as well as what we knew from our visits to bush to make a list of all the trees that we felt would grow in our area. After that it was off outside with our list, our dream plans and another piece of paper to properly map the area. We had to draw a map of the Wilderness, showing where we had trees already and where there was space to plant more. On our map we planned space for pathways, where we wanted to put a seat, lizard habitats and other key interest areas.
We used a measuring wheel to measure spaces and used this information to decide what types of trees would fit where. After we’d finished outside we came back in to draw the final map as the first one got a bit messy as we changed our mind a bit! The last thing we did was then decide exactly which trees we wanted to plant in the spaces. Everyone had their favourite type that they wanted and luckily we managed to please everyone. Our next step is to get these trees ordered and ready for a planting day in the winter.
The intensive inquiry was a great way for the students to use literacy, maths and key competency skills within an authentic context.
With our Wilderness Project well and truly on track we dipped back into some other learning we had been doing earlier in the term.
We had been tasked by the Stoney Whānau to do some investigating into some old graves they became aware of on their farm. This led us into exploring who lived in our area early last century and what Pukeokahu was like many, many years ago. It took quite a bit of work but we managed to get a general idea of who the graves may belong to. Today the Stoney’s took us on a walk through their farm to the site. As we walked we talked about what we knew and Steve was able to share some stories of our local iwi who lived in the area. On our way back to home base we also explored an area which has some very, very old fruit trees. We picked some of the fruit to try and grow some seeds. Many thanks to the Stoney Whānau for inviting us to their farm, the children enjoyed their walk and seeing the many pets at the end!
What a wonderful day we had yesterday in Palmerston North for the Weetbix TRYathlon.
Four out of the five of us were able to compete with Lennon and Johnan spending the day supporting everyone.
First up was Luca with the 10 year old girls. She was pretty nervous but once she got going there was nothing but smiles (and maybe some relief at the end when she finished!) Well done Luca, you did a great job. Next to race was Mikaire. He was also pretty nervous but despite this he pushed on and tried really hard throughout his race. Congratulations Mikaire for rising to the challenge. After Mikaire it was Rickon’s turn. He had a ball and knew exactly what to do. He even explained after that he ‘passed heaps of people’. Awesome stuff Rickon! Finally we had Keeva race. She’d had to patiently wait most of the day for her turn and like the others was all smiles right through the race. Fantastic race Keeva!
It was a really fun day out for all. Thank you to Melissa, Janey, Kylie and Miranda for coming along to support the children. There were some tired kids on the way home no doubt! Stacey’s passenger slept the entire drive home!
Huge congratulations to our swimmers who were like speedy fish in the water on Friday.
In the learner pool, Johnan showed off his cool learning to everyone, including putting his head under the water! Awesome progress. Then Rickon showed us how he can freestyle and backstroke, as well as dive through a hoop.
In the afternoon the length pool events began. In the widths races Mikaire came first in both freestyle and backstroke! Well done to you Mikaire and looks like you’ll be swimming lengths next year!
Both Keeva and Luca swam in the Year 7 girls lengths races with the following results.
Following such stunning results both girls have made the Rural School Interschool Team and will represent us this coming Friday (19th March) at the Taihape Interschool Event. We wish them the best of luck!
Huge thank you to the parents / grandparents who came along to support the children. Special shout out to Janey and Melissa for taking part in the parent-student relay at the end where we placed 3rd.
On Friday we took a trip around to Te Kura o Moawhango (Moawhango School) as they had invited us to come and join their Ripper Rugby skills session with Simon from Whanganui Rugby. What a fabulous time we had mixing with a different set of children as well as learning some new skills. This kind of social interaction is vitally important with our roll of 5. While we are like one big family and enjoy hanging out together, it is also important that we get out and about with other people.
Last week we went on our annual raft trip. It happened to coincide with two days of freezing weather so we decided to camp overnight at the Lodge rather than down the river and have a 1 day scenic trip. It was a great time to bond (girls vs boys) with each other and take part in some outdoor learning experiences.
At the Lodge we learnt about tracking or trail signs then made trails for each other to follow. We made our pizzas for Roger to cook in the pizza oven and watched a movie. On river we had many chances to challenge ourselves. Janey taught us about safe river crossings and we had several practices at that. For some of us the water was very swift and it scared us! We spent some time checking for invertebrate in the water, however it was super cold at our lunch stop so we didn’t stay there long. Near the end of the trip we were allowed to jump into some small rapids and practice rapid position which is on your back with your feet facing down river. Entertaining to watch and for those in the water it pushed them to their limits of challenge.
A HUGE thank you to Janey, River Valley Lodge, Ollie, Kylie, Roger B, Roger G and Melissa for helping us during our trip. Without this help we couldn’t take part in such amazing experiences.
CATERPILLARS and TADPOLES
In the classroom we are caring for and learning about the life cycle of both frogs and monarch butterflies. It’s been exciting for us all (adults included) to watch the daily changes, especially the caterpillars who seem to grow before our eyes.
We’ve hit the ground running at school and had lots happening in our first week.
On Monday we welcomed Johnan Gilbert to the school. We wish Johnan the happiest of school days!
Over the holidays our woodwork table arrived and goodness it has been well used already by all ages and stages at the school.
On Thursday Rowena from EnviroSchool’s came to visit to help us learn more about native bats. After a morning in the classroom we ventured out to the Pukerimu Bush to explore the area and see if it would be a suitable place for bats to live. We found old, hollow trees along with water and open areas, all of which are ideal for bat habitation. Our plan now is to head back one evening soon and see if we can hear bats in the area. A big thank you to Roger and Kylie for escorting us to the bush.
While we were out exploring the bush Tararua Line Marking arrived to smarten up our concrete areas. It was super exciting to return to school and see a ROAD painted on the concrete along with Twister, hopscotch, snakes n ladders, four square and tic tac toe.
The remainder of the term proves to be just as busy with the raft trip coming up in Week 3, athletics and swimming sports among other things.
Luca: I dressed up as Izobie. Doing all the art stuff was so much fun.
Kawana: On Mad Monday I painted my face and we did mad activities. One game was Angry Tag. Later we had a leaf fight. For the last activity we had to create where our character came from. Mine was an army base.
Hunter: On Mad Monday everyone dressed up. Annie dressed up like a creepy little girl.
Keeva: On Mad Monday, in the last week of the school term, everyone at Pukeokahu dressed up. My sister and I dressed up as Thing One and Thing Two. Mrs Casey was in her pyjamas and dressing gown. Hunter didn’t dress up, so Mrs Casey let him wear some of her clothes.