Wednesday 19 June 2024

Creative Writing

 Writing is a very important part of our curriculum. 

In Tautoru at the moment we are learning how to write about something without giving away exactly what it is. We call this "showing not telling", and this is a fun and challenging way to learn how to write a description.

We are all at different stages with personal goals and next steps we are working on. These all demonstrate how we are re-reading our writing to check it makes sense and giving editing a go.

Here are some examples of our draft writing...

We have written about a variety of things, from a secret cave: something inside the classroom (think whiteboard, clipboard, pencil):

to something outside the classroom (think big slide, tyre, monkey bars).

Thursday 13 June 2024

Computational Thinkers

You've probably heard your tamariki mention that they've been taught to 'think like a scientist' but have you heard our new inquiry goal . . . to think like a computer! 

By this we are referring to computational thinking. Computational thinking involves breaking tasks down into the smallest of steps. The New Zealand Technologies Curriculum at Level 1 defines computational thinking as using "decomposition skills to break down simple non-computerised tasks into precise, unambiguous, step by step instructions (algorithmic thinking)." The instructions created are then tested out to identify and fix any errors. 

To practise thinking like computers we have been creating and following our own codes. We've been creating grid artwork, learning to read a grid maps and learning to give and follow instructions involving turning, left and rights to reach a target. We've also been using codes to make music, which you would have seen at this weeks assembly!

This week we've been putting our computational thinking skills to the test, giving classmates a code to follow to reach an object in the class with their eyes closed. We've also been helping each other complete an obstacle course with step by step instructions. The most important thing about computational thinking is specificity. If we don't tell a classmate to turn left (from their orientation, not our own) or take small steps, the correct outcome will not be reached. 

Check out these photos of what we've done so far, and ask your tamariki at home what it means to think like a computer.


Wednesday 29 May 2024

The Arts Galore !!

‘The Arts’ are not just about the visual art spread across our colourful classroom walls but also about experiencing dance and movement, drama and music.  The arts nurture creativity and innovation, essential and important skills for today's world.  Our students are able to learn to think outside the box, solve problems creatively, and approach challenges with their imagination.

The arts develop self-expression and self-confidence.  Students learn to communicate their thoughts and feelings and their worlds full of ideas, while enhancing their social and emotional well-being in the process.  Participation in the arts helps us experience our Positive Emotions such as joy, satisfaction, and pride.  While we are creating, singing, listening to or making music, moving and grooving we are able to experience feelings of mindfulness, happiness,  joy and sometimes even an appreciation of beauty and excellence.  

The opportunities keep on coming this term !! 

NZSO Firebird 

We have had our trip to NZSO Firebird.   We got to explore the story of the firebird and see how Stravinsky used the orchestra to bring this tale to life.  There was plenty of learning prior to the trip in preparation and loads of audience participation throughout the show.    There is plenty of inspiration flowing after this trip.

Whānau Days 

We have 3 whānau days this term.   Our Whānau Days are opportunities where we can make links across the curriculum to a number of different areas.  Our big focus is ‘The Arts and Te Ao Māori’.  We are connected across the school in whānau groups.   Your child/children and their siblings work together during whānau days  getting  to experience working with all our teaching staff too. 

The children are learning skills in dance and movement, drama and music.  They are also able to deepen their understanding of our pūrākau.  These pūrākau have been passed down to us by Kura Ahurea and have a specific Mana Whenua perspective.  We are grateful for this knowledge and the  beautiful stories that link so closely to our local and unique environment.  The Pou have been instrumental in these whānau days as a catalyst for seeking knowledge and sharing knowledge, inspiring us to tell our stories.   

Hayley, Carl and Suz’s Whānau Group focused on deepening our knowledge of Atua and their importance to our environment through drama - role play and freeze frames.  The students worked in small groups  to portray their knowledge of 10 different Atua Māori.  These Atua were chosen from the Pūrākau of Ranginui and Papatūānuku and Ngā Tamariki a Ranginui rāua ko Papatūānuku.  The students  used their bodies to make sounds, enhancing their role play and freeze frames.    

Friday 24 May 2024

Tinkering and Exploring the Past

We have thoroughly enjoyed our time tinkering with and learning about gadgets and gizmos from the past.   We know that most inventions have changed over time to meet new needs that emerge.  We went to the Tautoru University to learn about a famous inventor Alexander Graham Bell. We learnt that Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone as a way of improving communication and how communication was able to happen.

We have been learning to take notes as we watching short learning clips about inventors and their inventions. This is also another opportunity to work on our individual writing goals within Inquiry.
We have been learning to put the information into our own words. This also connects to our reading goals of summarising, retelling and making connections.

Here is an example of the comparisons we have been making.

This week we move on to computational thinking so watch this space.  

Thursday 16 May 2024

Tautoru Celebration of Learning

Thank you so much to everyone who came to our Tautoru celebration of Learning this week. It was so exciting for our tamariki to share all of our learning from the year so far with their whānau. Thanks as well for the shared kai. Your children loved enjoying it again on Thursday. Here are the highlights if you couldn't make it.

Ko wai tō ingoa?

In Term 1 we conducted a study of the origins of our names. It is so special to know where our names came from and the Mana they carry. Thank you to the parents who helped provide information for this.

World Map

Alongside with our names we investigated our whānau origins. We found out that as a class whānau we cover a lot of the world. We placed our connections on a world map.


As term 1 progressed our inquiry shifted from who We are, to where do all creatures live? Our learning shifted naturally to a focus on habitats. We learnt that creatures occupy certain areas were they have the best chances of survival. We created our own houses and dream neighbourhood habitats, fitting for what our homes represented.

Project Garden

We then progressed to thinking about our Worser Bay School habitat. Being an enviroschool, planting is very important to us and we want to make sure our gardens are a place were plants have the best chance of survival. We learnt about the five things plants need to survive, and repotted the Tautoru garden to make sure all five of these conditions were present. To top this off we created individual gardens, with mini houses and cress seeds.

Check out these photos of our celebration of learning. We had a blast and hope to see you at the next one

Wednesday 8 May 2024

Innovation and Invention

This term in Tautoru we are looking at Innovation and Invention over time for our inquiry, with a Science and Technology focus.

We will be exploring ,designing, making and appraising our inventions and innovations by following a process.

We want to:

  • know and understand that technology can be purposeful interventions that have gone through a design process.
  • Understand that technological outcomes are products or systems developed by people. These things have a functional nature and often a specific purpose. Once upon a time they are or were a possible solution to a problem or just invented to make life easier.

We will be delving into Computational Thinking: We will be writing and following instructions and procedures. We will be making mazes and using lots of different skills to be creative problem solvers.

We asked our Whānau to bring in anything that they had at home, which our students would possibly not know in todays modern world.

We were supplied with many interesting things to explore- tools, old telephones, typewriters, a walkman, old school scales and old kitchen implements to name a few.

We spent time looking at the equipment and discussing the following questions:

  1. What is it?
  2. Who would use it?
  3. What is it used for?
  4. Why was it created in the first place ?

We worked in mixed groups to discuss what we had found out sharing all our ideas. We had lots of questions too.

It was fun to see how things have changed or been improved over time!

School Swimming


School Swimming 

New Zealand's landscapes offer countless opportunities for water-based fun. Boating, sailing, snorkelling, experiencing Moanamana and just exploring our beach are a few of our Worser Bay School favourites.  Learning to swim opens up a world of recreational activities, allowing children to fully enjoy and appreciate these special environments.

Learning to swim is crucial for ensuring water safety and something that is built into our Physical Education Programme every year.  It aims to help equip children with the skills necessary to enjoy water environments safely.  Swimming also offers many opportunities to enhance our Positive Health, developing confidence too.    

Our Swimming Lessons took off with great gusto on our first day back, with smiles all round.  We listened carefully and had a great time showing our instructors what we can do already.  We look forward to this adventure every week!