Friday, 24 April 2015

Immense Pride

Yesterday was a day of highs and lows.  If you have read the following posts you will know about the field of remembrance we created, which was destroyed by a vandal overnight.  

As a class, we were gutted, upset, mystified and sad.  We couldn't believe that someone had destroyed a place to commemorate the soldiers who gave their lives representing NZ in many wars.  

The reason I was so proud of Room 10 is that despite their disappointment they picked up the pieces, fixed what needed to be fixed, and created a new field of remembrance inside of the school.  I felt a real sense of togetherness amongst the members of the class, we had overcome the obstacles in our way and together we were prepared for our service. This is our second field.

After that, they then ran a beautiful, touching Anzac service. The students wrote and presented the service.  It started with a welcome by hosts Jackson and Jayda, followed by the National Anthem.  After that Evahn and Hunter spoke about the significance of Anzac day. They shared their learn of what had happened in the Gallipoli campaign.  Next we sang the Māori hymn, He Honore.  After that, Rose shared the story of her Great-Grandfather's experiences in World War One.  You can read about it on Rose's blog here. This was followed up with the Last Post, a minutes silence, followed by the reading of Laurence Binyon's poem For the Fallen, read first in Māori by Zoe, followed in English by Aryan.  After the playing of Reveille, the service was finished.  The sense of the occasion was strong in the service, with the appropriate silence and contemplation.  The rest of the students who joined us followed our lead.

The service was a result of the class' learning, but more than that I think the students were experiencing the emotions and sense of loss that accompanies an Anzac commemorations. 

Room 10, you were wonderful in every way.  

Hover over the photos below to see each one.  Thank you, Leigh for your photography.

We've made the News

Yesterday morning we were devastated to arrive at school and discover our field of remembrance had been vandalised.  Through the school's closed-circuit TV system, and one of our Deputy Principal's investigations, police made an arrest this afternoon.

Here are some of the places you can read about the arrest:


Radio NZ


NZ City

NZ Police

Otago Daily Times

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Field of Remembrance

In Room 10 we have been making crosses from a kit we received.  The crosses bear the names of local men and woman who gave their lives in World War I.  This year is the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign where 2779 New Zealanders died (one-fifth of the New Zealanders who landed on the peninsula).  This was a huge loss for a small country whose population was 1 100 000.  

The total number of New Zealand troops and nurses to serve overseas in 1914-1918, excluding those in British and other Dominion forces, was 100,444. Forty-two percent of men of military age served in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF). 16,697 New Zealanders were killed and 41,317 were wounded during the war - a 58 percent casualty rate.  Approximately a further thousand men died within five years of war's end, as a result of injuries sustained, and 507 died while training in New Zealand between 1914 and 1918.  New Zealand had one of the highest casualty and death rate per capita of any country involved in the war.

Thank you to all of the class members who all put in a lot of effort to create our field.  We will be leading a service to commemorate the day tomorrow.

Photos by Evahn.


After last week's sudden cold snap, autumn has started to turn the leaves.  Look at these beautiful photos Evahn took today.  As you can see from this post, Evahn has a real interest in photography. I handed her my camera, and I love the results.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Welcome to Term Two

We've got such an exciting term ahead of us.  I'm really looking forward to filling up this space:

Thank you so much to my sons, Jonty and James, for making me these beautiful poppies for the wall.  I love them.  
It's a pity I couldn't convince them to make any more. 

Jonty also put up the students' book reviews from the end of last term.

Friday, 10 April 2015

The Last Week of Term

The last week of Term 1 was a fun week for us in Room 10.  Tuesday was the first of April (alias April Fools Day).  After school on Monday, Jayda came and saw me, on behalf of several students, with a list of things she wanted to do before school the next morning.  I read through the list and gave them the okay.

Tuesday before school caused a lot of interest from across the school, as our chairs migrated outside, and our tables were turned upside down.  It was lots of fun.  You can see the pictures here on Jackson's blog.

You may have read earlier in the term about our inter-team softball competition across the school. Our team, Aranui, ended up coming out on top over the school.  The prize for winning one of the sports competitions is to have a free mufti day for your team.  Our team colour is black, so students were encouraged to wear black if possible.

Here's a picture of the whole of Aranui:

Miss Walker and I were in the same team together last year as well and set a precedent then, which was for the teachers to dress up when we won a mufti, so we continued this year in our new team:

As a team, we enjoy getting together to have some waiata time every couple of weeks (waiata is a Maaori word.  As a noun it means a song, as a verb it means to sing.)  We start with singing some of Maaori songs we've learnt, we learn some new ones, and then we spend some time singing some old and new songs.  We met for waiata on the last day of term (our mufti day) so, of course, one of our songs was, 'We are the Champions'.  Our last song was fun, that the students just needed to stand up and have a dance:

Thank you, for a wonderful first term Room 10.  It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know you all.  I am really excited about all the neat learning ahead of us in Term 2.  Enjoy the rest of your holidays.