what a wild weather weekend! Now it feels more like winter, fire roaring and toasty warm. Unfortunately our Enviro-shed could remain standing in the strong Saturday gales that blew through the school, so Ms Bartram and I are looking at fast tracking plans to create our outdoor classroom and work shed sooner. At this stage I'm not sure it can be re-used or not but we'd like to think so! Last week our Room 3 gardeners took to weeding all our gardens and mulching with Melissa, our pallet gardens were re-soiled and an inquiry question was explored in class as to what plants could be planted in our pallets-at this time of the year. We made a list on plants required which Ms Bartram bought for us in the weekend so we'll plant these up this week too.
We are all excited about our first round of tree planting this Friday-the fejoia hedge line which loops its way across the field and will one day grow to become a fine shelter for our gardens and a great place to hang out and play during lunch times. We are also looking forward to our shared morning tea and adults vs kids game of Tapuwae. A notice went out last week in which we were also very proud to see the art work of our talented Room 2 artist Erana who provided the cool illustrations.
This week is a busy week in which we celebrate Matariki. Tomorrow we join all Waihi schools as Hikoi through town to the mare for Kahurangi performance and later in the afternoon our St Joes/Waikino School combined workshops. On Wednesday our Room 3 children head to Waihi college for the Tapuwae tournament all day and finally Friday morning is our advertised Planting and Matariki whanaungatanga morning.
Our value for the next two weeks is focused on being Positive and Enthusiasm. I think this is an important value especially at this time of year when people feel a little more tired and down as winter blues set in. I always say from a scientific point of view, the sun is always shining. 24/7. Maybe its cloudy and wet, but the fact you can see this, is because above the clouds, beyond the rain the sun is still shining. Night time is caused by the turn of the earth, not the sun going away. A Maori proverb says "Turn your face to the sun, and the shadows fall behind you."
Have a good week out there Waikino!
Inquiry learning is not something new at Waikino School. It makes up a core aspect of our NZ Curriculum and indeed our own Waikino School curriculum context.
This week is a busy week full of rich contextualised experiences which are the fruit of our learning journeys this term. Sometimes I think it's good to share a little more information around how children learn in today's modern school environment, and reflect on how teacher's teach children to not only know things but to understand them too. Hopefully these few words below and the clip attached give you as a parent greater insight into today's modern classroom learning environment; why we do what we do.
Here is a definition of what Inquiry learning means from the Ministry of Education web site:
"The fundamental purpose of the Teaching as Inquiry cycle is to achieve improved outcomes for all students. Less obviously, but very importantly, the cycle is an organising framework that teachers can use to help them learn from their practice and build greater knowledge.
In the focusing inquiry, teachers identify the outcomes they want their students to achieve. They consider how their students are doing in relation to those outcomes, and they ask what their students need to learn next in order to achieve them.
In the teaching inquiry, teachers select teaching strategies that will support their students to achieve these outcomes. This involves asking questions about how well current strategies are working and whether others might be more successful. Teachers search their own and their colleagues’ past practice for strategies that may be more effective, and they also look in the research literature to see what has worked in other contexts. They seek evidence that their selected strategies really have worked for other students, and they set up processes for capturing evidence about whether the strategies are working for their own students.
The learning inquiry takes place both during and after teaching as teachers monitor their students’ progress towards the identified outcomes and reflect on what this tells them. Teachers use this new information to decide what to do next to ensure continued improvement in student achievement and in their own practice.
Although teachers can work in this way independently, it is more effective when they support one another in their inquiries. We all have basic beliefs and assumptions that guide our thinking and behaviour but of which we may be unaware. We need other people to provide us with different perspectives and to share their ideas, knowledge, and experiences."