Monday, 27 February 2012

2012 Term 1 Week 4 - beanbag assembly!

This week has to be the week of the beanbags!
Our students have enjoyed trying out the different furniture we have in the studios and are getting to know what works best for them in different learning situations. The use the wobbly stools, the high chairs, the spinning stools or sit on the floor while engaged in learning.
And then the beanbags arrived!
Our beanbags had been delayed because we had specially requested that they were made of a certain fabric that was waterproof yet soft to sit on, robust enough for outdoors but still pliable and, of course, matched the colour scheme. They arrived on Thursday and it was just delightful to see the kids faces as we called them over to the office to collect their new bean bags. They were over the moon to have this new piece of furniture in their studios!
Luckily we have a great ratio of children to beanbags so everyone was able to squeeze onto one that afternoon and have a go. They were a real hit!
The next morning we had assembly in Studio 3. The Studio 2 children brought their beanbags over and lined them up with Studio 3's and then they all squeezed on to settle down for assembly. Not the traditional assembly furniture, nor the crossed legs and folded arms we are used to in school assemblies but the children were relaxed, engaged, and attentive throughout. We were amazed at the lack of wriggling during the presentations - and we all know how noisy beanbags can be when children wriggle on them!
So, that raised some interesting discussion amongst the teachers as to why we make children sit boy/girl/boy/girl and in rows with legs and arms folded to ensure they are paying attention in assembly? Is it a numbers game where we need to squeeze lots of children into small spaces to all get the same message, or is it something else?
We are lucky with our ratios of teachers, spaces, students and furniture - we know that. And many of us have come from huge schools where the logistics of moving hundreds of students has been a reality. But we are wondering how long we can resist the urge to insist on everyone sitting the same way in rows? Will it depend on norms of behaviour, numbers, expectations, a combination of all of them? It will be interesting to see how we go as our numbers increase.
But while we are small we will continue to try new things.
So … while some people have beanbag cinemas - we will have beanbag assemblies!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

2012 Term 1 Week 3 - Meeting of the Minds

Another great week with our fabulous students!

We have been developing our tikaranga, 'weaving the right path' for our learning, behaviour and social interactions. One of the ways we do this is through our 'meeting of the minds' on Friday morning. Our students all take part and are collaborating to create our 'right path'. This is a powerful way to hear student voice within an authentic context and teachers and students all contribute discussion points, ideas, solutions and further questions. These issues are discussed and mutual agreement reached on how we will develop our tikaranga together.

At this stage the process is led by teachers and our students are gaining confidence with the process and are using it in small groups. Our aim is to have this process student led in the near future and judging by the depth of thinking and reasoning students are engaging in within the process, it wont be too long before they are leading our meetings!

Meeting of the Minds

Sunday, 12 February 2012

2012 Term 1 Week 2 - police visits

Another great week getting to know our students, parents and community. We have been wowed by the enthusiasm and passion for learning evident in the studios!
We had our first assembly this week - thank you to the parents who came along to share their children's learning and congratulations to our first certificate winners.
We have had Constable Andy in this week making sure we are safe crossing the road and he will be in again over the next few weeks teaching us about bike safety with the Stepping Out programme.
Unfortunately we found out that our lovely wooden gates had been stolen this week and have had the police investigating and the crime reporter from the local papers reporting on this. We are hopeful that they turn up as they are designed to keep our children safe when accessing Hingaia Road. If you know anything about them (or see anything suspicious) please let us know.

Some photos of our learners:

With Constable Andy 
Check out our Start-Up Team bands!

At our Meeting of the Minds

Foundation hand prints

Our foundation garden - we all planted a shrub

Negotiation is the name of the game!

Some people have "Wonder Walls" … we have "Wonder Windows"!!

Monday, 6 February 2012

In the news …

Just in case you missed this weeks Franklin County News …

Check out the front page :)

Sunday, 5 February 2012

2012 Term 1 Week 1 - a new beginning

What an amazing week!

It was fabulous to watch the school come alive with the sounds of our children this week and to welcome our new community; our children, our families and our friends.

Our school buildings have been in creation for many months now, with Ministry of Education, our establishment board, our architects and builders all working towards creating the most future focussed learning environment possible for us. It has been a collaborative effort over the past 18 months and it was a real pleasure share this fabulous learning environment with the children at last. Their sense of wonder as they explored the studios and grounds was a joy to watch.

This week, the buildings became a school. This week, our school came alive!

Our learners bring purpose to our preparations. They bring a longing for learning, a sense of wonder, and a curiosity about life. In the words of Walt Disney; “we keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we are curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”

Our motto is Tikaranga, means to weave the right path. That path is as individual as each child is. And at Hingaia Peninsula School we will develop the personal learning pathway of every child, in partnership with them and their families. We look forward to welcoming our families as we share our children’s school journeys with you, developing the Hingaia Peninsula Community as a place of learning for us all. Together, we will develop our vision of “inspired learners, collaboratively creating sustainable futures” through learning the strengths, needs, interests and passions of each one of our children and developing on them.

Because e raka te mau─ź, e raka te katau - a community can use the skills of all of its people.

Your future begins here … and so … let the learning begin …

Using the whiteboard paint

Chatting with Shaun

Parents and their children on the first day

Enjoying morning tea together

And the juniors chatting over morning tea

Raising the school flag for the first time

Check us out on opening day

Showing Linda what I have done

On the 'wobbly' stools in the orange room

Drawing a plan of the school - with Linda and Melisa

"Chilling" out with Stephanie

Our recycling system

Our "HPS 2012 Start-Up Team"

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Opening Day

What an amazing day we had today!

Our 46 foundation pupils joined us to make up the 2012 Start-Up Team!
We had a fabulous day exploring the school and learning about our environment and community using QR codes and have all gone home tired and happy.