It is often said that… THERE IS NO “I” IN TEAM….
Two weeks ago, Leo Holley, Henrietta Davenport, Bridget McGirr and Hugo Bruning proudly represented
Matahui School at the first round of the EPRO8 challenge, which this year, was held in Katikati. They had
every reason to feel proud, as we are of their achievement because they won the event. An outstanding team
achievement and so I thought I would interview the students to see if the old adage is in fact true. Read on.
What made you all want to be of this team? It seemed like it would be fun, especially as you get the
chance to invent and experiment with making things like robots and other mechanical devices.
How did the team prepare for the challenge? (initial burst of haughty laughter). Actually we didn’t really
prepare which didn’t worry us – except Bridget. We probably should have because we would have been able
to save time because we would have had a better understanding of how to wire things up. We also wasted
time constructing some framing as we didn’t recognise the importance of using triangles in the construction
So given you didn’t prepare as well as you might have, why do you think you were so successful in
the end? We worked so well as a team. Everyone was good at something different so we were able to
divide up tasks and shared the responsibility of completing each challenge we faced. We listened to each
other without criticising. We collaborated and co-operated, probably better than some of the other teams.
When you learned you had won what emotions did you experience? A whole range – happiness;
excitement; surprise and delight.
Where will this success take you next? We will be heading to the semi-finals and if we do well there then
it will be on to the finals.
What do you think you learned from this experience? We need to do some preparation this time so that
we are more organised. We found out that we need to spend a little more time planning before we launch
into creating and making. And, we learned the value of effective teamwork.
So, it would seem that there is no “I in team, certainly not if you are in a Year 7/8 Matahui School EPRO8
FOOTNOTE: According to the judge who scored the EPRO8 Challenge, the scores reached by the top
eight teams at the Katikati event was so high, that they would have scored in the top three at any of the
other events held thus far. WOW!
Books are large part of our family life, especially as we have grandchildren who adore them. The
fact is that their grandmother is constantly on the lookout for new titles that will challenge and
stimulate the children.
One of our most recent acquisitions is a book written by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae
Besom called, “WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A CHANCE?” The dedication at that beginning of
the book for Shale and Ever reads; “When something extraordinary shows up in your life, I hope
you see it for what it is……a gift.”
Over the past week something extraordinary happened to Aroha and Cameron in Year 2. Both did
something extraordinary with chances they were given.
Aroha had the chance to see “The Project” on television and decided that the challenge set by
Jesse, one of the hosts, for schools to reduce or eliminate access to sugary drinks, was one she
could manage to do something about. Rather than let this chance slip, she resolved to inform
parents and caregivers about the health risks in providing children with any sugary drinks. I hope
you all read her letter.
Cameron’s family found one of the “Tauranga Rocks.” These rocks have been hand- painted and
hidden in secret places across the city. At home the family shared a discussion about hand painted
rocks and this got Cam thinking. He took the chance to meet with me to discuss the idea that
students at Matahui School should paint rocks and hide them, so that when we have events like
VIP Day, our visitors could find the rocks and take them home as a reminder of their visit. Cam is
pictured with samples of the rocks he painted. Whilst we may not hide them, we will certainly offer
them to visitors as a very personal koha.
How fantastic that we have students who demonstrate the confidence, initiative and wherewithal
to do something with a chance.
Max’s recommended read for the month:
“WHAT DO YOU WITH A CHANCE?” Kobi Yamada
Compendium Inc 2017
What a wonderful term Team Kauri, the Year Seven and Eight students have had at Matahui School.
The students have been learning to build and learn within a team and advance their ability as leaders. This has been achieved through an amazing array of outdoor activities including two camps, and skill building activities such as swimming, a deep-water confidence day and kayak skill development at Waimarino.
We have studied of the life of William Shakespeare and written a short biography. Following this we traveled with the Year Five and Six students to Auckland to see ‘A Comedy of Errors’ at the Pop-up Globe Theatre.
Other E.O.T.C. experiences have included our infamous boat day and a whole school beach education day.
In the classroom we have focused our mathematics on number and algebra. There are several budding mathematicians! We have buddy read a book called ‘A race to the pole’, a chance for our accomplished readers to share with and support their peers. This book was also part of our inquiry this term which has focused on the motivation to discover and explore. The high standard of presentations that concluded the inquiry are well worth visiting the classroom to see.
Children have the capacity to demonstrate heightened curiosity and genuine interest in the world around them. They naturally show the propensity to explore, investigate and discover; they are in essence, scientists.
The way Matahui students connect to the environment may not necessarily be unique, but it is significant. They enjoy going outside and the school playground becomes a microcosm of scientific opportunities – a living laboratory. When I shared Saxon Russell’s story (which KVH weaved into the report below) with the students in each class and informed them that the beetle he had discovered at school might be a horticultural “nasty,” they headed out on an intense search.
Prior to leaving school a six year old student at Matahui School in Katikati found a stink bug nymph, had his mother take a photo and proudly showed the critter off to his Dad. Being the small world that it is, Dad’s work sometimes relates to the kiwifruit industry and he had been contacted in the past by KVH about the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) so knew to make a report.
Formal identification by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) found that the bug was a native Australian Green Shield Bug.
This is a fantastic example of the great awareness of our environment, and all the living things in it (of which biosecurity is such an important element), being built up from the ground level by teachers and principals day-to-day in, and outside of the classroom. Raising public awareness is what we are all about, and our goal is for the whole country to form a team of 4.7 million biosecurity conscious New Zealanders by 2025. (Kiwifruit Vine Health 2018).
“Saxon the Scientist” and his scientific Matahui buddies hardly left a leaf unturned such was the excitement of the challenge to locate and carefully capture the beetle he had seen. Our Matahui scientists recognized the importance of the task ahead and became part of an authentic scientific process, one designed to carefully monitor our environment. They have certainly become biosecurity conscious watchdogs.
We must continue to nurture the innate curiosity of the children we teach and give them authentic ways to demonstrate scientific thinking and methodology, especially in relation to the environment. They will learn that their actions can have an immense impact on the way we care for and sustain the planet on which we live.
Haere Mai! Welcome to Kowhai class.
Here are our self portraits using black paint on a backdrop of primary colours, then mixed together to make a secondary colour.
We have been learning to introduce ourselves and our age in Maori.
Ko Darcy toku ingoa. E rima aku tau.
Ko Aroha toku ingoa. E ono aku tau.
Ko Callaway toku ingoa. E ono aku tau.
Ko Cameron toku ingoa. E ono aku tau.
Ko Payton toku ingoa. E ono aku tau.
Ko Kaida toku ingoa. E ono aku tau.
Ko Charlotte toku ingoa. E rima aku tau.
Ko Emma toku ingoa. E rima aku tau.
KoTyla toku ingoa. E rima aku tau.
Ko Anna toku ingoa. E rima aku tau.
Ko Phoenix toku ingoa. E rima aku tau.
Ko Saxon toku ingoa. E ono aku tau.
I read an article by Steve Wheeler* in which he referred to a Maori saying… “Ka mura, Ka muri,” which means ‘walking backwards into the future’.
We recently attended a family tangi up North where we farewelled Nuki Aldridge, one of the strongest voices for Ngapuhi. He channelled his energy into the affairs of the north and will be remembered for upholding “He Whakaputanga” – The Declaration of Independence. He was a man who consistently referenced the “old ways,” and tried his hardest to maintain traditions pre-European.
At the tangi many people spoke about Nuki. In honouring him, they also remembered their ancestors, calling upon their wisdom to guide them in the future path they now needed to follow without Nuki at the forefront. They were in essence “walking back into the future.”
Perhaps as Wheeler suggests, when we consider the future, we should possibly follow the Maori tradition and build our upon our future by referencing the past. In the case of Matahui School, we should consider what has gone before, what has been achieved and the course the school has taken in providing an environment within which students are nurtured. Compared to other long standing independent schools, we are young, but we have a rich history we can draw upon.
Wheeler could have been writing about Matahui as this school has always; aimed to educate our children to be resilient, responsive critical and proactive; expected them to solve problems the world has bestowed upon them, as well as new problems of their own making; expected them to approach challenges collaboratively because the changing future will demand this; encouraged them to be creative and learn the lessons of failure and success as they in turn “walk backwards into their future.”
THE LOST VILLAGE
On the 24th of August 2017, Allan Alach featured a thought provoking article in “Leading and Leaning,1. ” by Carol Black which she wrote in 2016. She makes the following point….
“In many rural land-based societies, learning is not coerced; children are expected to voluntarily observe, absorb, practice, and master the knowledge and skills they will need as adults –– and they do. In these societies –– which exist on every inhabited continent –– even very young children are free to choose their own actions, to play, to explore, to participate, to take on meaningful responsibility. “Learning” is not conceived as a special activity at all, but as a natural by-product of being alive in the world.” 2. And this got me thinking about the inception of “The Lost Village” at Matahui School.
We have a bush block which I affectionately refer to as Middle Earth. This is the area where students can go to construct huts. It is a space that encourages feats of engineering that result in creative architecture that rival what you find on Grand Designs. It is a space that the students at Matahui have claimed as their own and over the term, have transformed into the “Lost Village.” Venture over on any given day and you will hear and see the village folk collecting materials, designing and creating products and modifying huts.
The village itself is a hive of industry as it is made up of huts that double as “market stalls” trading in natural materials needed to enhance and develop all the dwellings that have cropped up throughout the bush block. The materials range from finely shredded bark strips that equate to rope or string, dead twigs, sticks, leaves and clay – all of which have defined and specific purposes.
The currency for trading is the Mahoe leaf which the village folk refer to as “skeleton leaves.” They are used to purchase the goods needed to create a variety of artifacts that can be sold in a market stall. There is a bank where a barter system operates. A skeleton leaf can be acquired if you have something “good” to trade like a solid, thick stick or a roll of exquisitely bound bark string.
I want to share with you aspects of a discussion I had with some of the villagers…..
“ Anyone can set up a market stall, but to be good at selling you need good stuff to sell.”
“ The clay mines are where you find two types of clay. The best is the white clay because it is special. It mixes with the other clay to make a good putty that you can use to make things to sell. Emma –Poppy is making a fox. Clare is making a white clay dolphin sceptre and Isabel is making a flower.”
The Lost Village is a world created by children. There is nothing fictitious about it – it is real, and a great study in economic development and growth. It is refreshing to know that our students “are free to choose their own actions, to play, to explore, to participate, to take on meaningful responsibility. “Learning” is not conceived as a special activity at all, but as a natural by-product of being alive in the world.”3.
- “Leading and Learning” Allan Alach (http://leading-learning.blogspot.com/)
- & 3.On the Wildness of Children: The Revolution Will Not Take Place in the Classroom Carol Black April 2016 “Leading and Learning” Allan Alach (http://leading-learning.blogspot.com/)
On Tuesday the 21 June Puriri went on a class trip to the Classic Flyers Museum and Tauranga airport. We went in the Catalina flying boat and saw a spit fire. We saw an Air New Zealand plane take off and a big yellow fire engine. It sprayed water out of a big hose and from the bottom too. We saw a skeleton of a glider plus a plane that looked like a shark. We had an awesome day. The class rode on an old fire engine for a tour of the airport. We also saw lots of planes that were being repaired.
By Denley, Lily and Keyarn
Every Friday we get together with our Buddies from Year 7 & 8 (Kauri). This term we have been doing experiments about flight and playing Rippa Rugby with them. We have a lot of fun with them.
By Matilda, Olive and Bella
Every year we do a cross country race. The year 1-3 children run at school and the year 4-8 children run at Wakamarama School. We practise on the farm and orchard next to the school. Only Lily and Gabe were in the Year 3 race as everyone else was sick.
In the Year 4 race Polly came second. It was a really hard race across paddocks, up hills and through the bush and gorse bushes.
We were very tired at the end.
By Isabel and Abygale
At lunchtimes we can go to the archaeological dig area. The dig site is where can dig up cool stuff. You need to get a kit with spades, sieves, trowels and brushes and then can pretend to be archaeologists and find treasure. We have found lots of interesting items.
By Mila and Asha
Go For It
Go for it is where we get to learn lots of fun sports. This term Sandy came to teach us soccer, volleyball and tennis skills. It is a lot of fun and we have learnt lots of new sports.
By Polly, Nikora and Gabe
Our inquiry for term 2 has been about flight. We did a lot of experiments about air pressure, lift, thrust, weight and drag. We made all sorts of flying ‘machines’ and had a paper plane completion. We had to make one paper plane that could fly a long distance and one that could stay in the air a long time.
Denley’s plane flew the furthest and Isabel’s stayed in the air the longest.
By Emma-Poppy and James
During our inquiry unit we some pastel and paint insect art. We think our artworks are awesome.
My Dad by Aroha
My dad is the strongest in the world.
My Dad is tall like a giraffe.
I love him and he loves me.
Aunty D by Blair
Aunty D is my Mum’s sister.
She has blue eyes. She has beautiful clothes. She has long, blonde hair. She is beautiful.
She spoils me by giving me treats. I help her in the farm.
I love Aunty D. She buys chocolate. I eat it with her. I snap a piece off for her and me and we eat it all.
I feel happy when she is by me. Aunty D is very kind.