Saturday, 31 October 2015

Changing my Perspective

Saving the Slow Loris

For the last few years, they internet has been amused and charmed by the pictures of the slow loris being tickled.  People love videos such as this:

I have to admit, I loved this videos, being charmed by this animal.  Right until yesterday, when I read this:

" Slow lorises are being funneled into the exotic pet trade in droves, poached from their homes to meet the ever-growing demand for pet lorises. And what's behind the sudden clamoring for pet lorises? The much-shared videos of slow lorises being tickled, where the little animals put their arms up like they're having the time of their life.
But the truth is, these videos are torture. And IAR, which runs the largest slow loris center in the world, has launched the Tickling Is Torture campaign to raise awareness about how these videos affect lorises like Cepat. Even putting aside the pet demand they create, IAR said, tickling is a nightmare for slow lorises.
"When a slow loris is tickled it raises its arms above its head, not because it is enjoying it but in an attempt to defend itself by accessing a venomous gland on the inside of its elbow," IAR explained in a statement.
You can read the whole article here.

I was really shocked at the reality behind these 'cute videos'.  A campaign with this video has been made to raise people's awareness of this issue.

After watching this, I will never be able to watch the slow loris being tickled video again.  It makes me wonder what other animals are being misrepresented to us all.

Please visit the campaign page, and it you agree with me, sign the pledge.

School Athletics

Term four is athletics time at Berkley.  Unlike most schools, we don't have an athletics day, we spread the events over lunchtimes.

So far we have had the 1500m and 1000m (Chloe won both of these in the Year 8 Girls section). This was followed by the heats, semis and finals for both the 100m and 200m.  Congratulations to Hamish who won the Y8 boys 200m (convincingly - by 1.35sec), and believe it or not, was 1st = in the 100m final (the photo couldn't separate them). Chloe won the 100m final.

Hamish leading the 200m final
Thanks for the photo Mrs Ahie

One of the other important part of athletics is the class relays. Room 10 has four teams that have been working hard.  On Wednesday last week, each class' 4 teams race (in the same race), but are racing the clock.  These times are used to come up with the finals lists.  We were delighted that both our A teams qualified second fastest for the A final.  Our challenge will be for the boys to compete without Hamish who will be on the school trip in Noumea on finals day. I have confidence in our boys.  I can't wait to finals day.  Have a look at some of the photos I took on the day.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Berkley's Production

On Wednesday night, I had the privilege of attending Berkley's biennial production.  This production was unique for Berkley in that it wasn't a musical, rather a play that was beautifully written by Robbie Moore, our drama teacher.

The production told the story of a boy named Tumatauenga, who was usually called Tu because people couldn't pronounce his full name.  This upset him greatly, and he found himself becoming more and more angry about it.  He came to resent his name, but by hearing the retelling of his people's history through myths and legends he begins to understand what a special name his parents gave him.  This play is about respect, acceptance and appreciation of people and culture.

For the last few months, 11 students from Room 10  have been disappearing regularly to rehearse and set up for the technology side (sounds, lighting, recording etc), so I was excited about seeing them in action.

I was not disappointed, the production was awesome; characters were well cast and the costumes were amazing (Miss Miller's creative imagination really showed through).  Congratulations to everybody involved.

Thursday, 22 October 2015


Brooke in the school competition

Last week we had our school speech competition. Brooke and Aryan represented our team in this. Both of their speeches were excellent, really impressing the judges. They were interesting topics, and very well presented; the audience was impressed with them. In the final result, Brooke took first place, and Aryan second (as you can read about below, this disappointed Aryan).  All of us in Room 10 were very proud of them.

Aryan in the school competition

As the winner of our school competition, Brooke had earned the place as our school's representative in the Waikato schools' Inter-intermediate Speech Competition.  

Brooke went to this competition on Tuesday night, where the representatives from 10 schools competed to be named the winner.  

The standard was incredibly high, with the judges from Toastmaster being very impressed at what the students had achieved.

At the end of the night, we were all thrilled to hear that Brooke was announced as the winner of the Waikato competition.  Congratulations Brooke - it is fabulous to see your amazing talent in both writing and public speaking being recognised.

Here are the photos Brooke's mother took of her being awarded the trophy in the competition on Tuesday night:

Friday, 16 October 2015

Being Second

Yesterday afternoon, we were rounding up our day, and wishing our students heading to Tauranga for the Baymaths competition all the best (Aryan, Jason, Max and Jiarn). Aryan was really excited about going and was making it very clear that he didn't want to come second (after being second in Waimaths, science fair and the school speech competition).  He felt that it would be dreadful if he was to be second again.  At his stage, I asked Aryan, "So, what would be better, coming second or third?" At first Aryan laughed, but he did take the time to think about it and decided it would definitely be preferable to be second.  To me, this is a lesson on perspective and having the realisation that all our achievements are worth being proud of if we have put the effort into them.

PS. Congratulations to Aryan, who was first and Max who was second in the individual section, and to the Year 8A team (Max, Jiarn and Aryan) who won the Y8 section.    That is a wonderful result, and Aryan didn't have to fear being second again.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

What is Food Tech?

Back when a lot of Room 10 students' parents were their age, they learnt 'cooking' at school.  These days, students study 'Food Technology' instead, which is quite different, being based around the design process. Earlier this year, Booke and Leigh made this video to explain just what food tech is at Berkley. Congratulations on your video girls.

Why student blogs?

Why do I have to blog? This question was recently asked by one of my students, which set me thinking.  I have reflected a lot on why I am asking my class to do this, and have come up with a list of reasons that I feel are important enough to warrant this activity.  You can read my reasonings/justifications on the page tabbed above here. 

The other thing I think will help my class is for us to compile a list of ideas of the types of things we can blog about and the formats/apps we can use.  In the comments below, please list some things that we could do as a class to add interest to our blogs (both for us, and for our readers).

Saturday, 10 October 2015

The end result

My last posts showed an extremely talented lady who draws notes when she is listening to a presentation.  Here is the final product from that session:

These were from the first keynote, which I enjoyed more.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

And so she begins...

She builds up her 'picture' as the speaker presents. Very clever.

Amazing note taking

This amazing lady is taking notes at our keynote sessions in the most amazing way. I can't wait to share it with you.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Vegetarian Society Short Film Compeitition

Over June, July and August, a group of students from Room 10 delved into all things vegetarian, through Mrs Cooke in the Food Tech room.

The students started by trialling a number of bought vegetarian foods, rating them and thinking of ways they could be improved. From there they created their own foods.  Next they worked on a script, filmed and edited their short film, which they entered into the competition...and waited.

Towards the end of last term, they received the good news that their film had received a merit in the competition.  Have a look at the talented Room 10 students' creation.