Reading is an important part of life at Kowhai. Students will be exposed to a wide range of texts during reading sessions in groups with the support of their teacher. Students are also expected to read for pleasure - 30 minutes each night. They will keep a reading log of their ‘reading mileage’. We have a well stocked library which students will visit weekly, however we also encourage students to become members of the public library.
We will start the year focusing on writing and reading poetry. This is a great opportunity for creativity, success and plenty of writing practice. Students will complete their own anthologies by week 5 and assess each other’s writing.
Following that students will focus on writing report style texts. Report writing is such a useful writing skill. This style of text allows students to practice their note taking skills, write clear topic sentences and well organised paragraphs while informing the audience about something of interest. The topic will be related to our Science topic of Oceans; students will choose an idea (with the support of their teacher) that interests them. Pieces of report writing will be completed at the end of the term.
This term we will be focusing on a scientific investigation unit based around Oceans. This unit will give the students the opportunity to follow different areas of interest under the main umbrella topic, depending on their class area of interest. We will be focusing on The Nature of Science and within this Science Capability 1, Gathering and Interpreting Data, which is around children making clear scientific observations and then how we interpret data gathered. Running alongside the scientific investigation unit will be a mini inquiry topic looking at Climate Change and its impact on the ocean and people.
The particular priority for the math program in beginning of the term 1 is to establish a positive learning environment where students are developing a “can do, confident attitude” towards maths. In the classrooms will provide opportunities for students to engage with purposeful and enjoyable learning, maths . Students are encouraged to work collaboratively; to pose and investigate mathematical questions, to challenge and justify their own and others thinking. Students will work in a variety of group settings as well as having a clear idea of their own independent targets. Toward the second half the term the focus will switch to more ‘number related learning’ looking at strategies for solving problems with mathematical operations such as addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, and ratios and proportions. Math whizz, an online learning tool tool providing students with individualised accounts, will be used as part of the classroom routines and homework programme.
The term starts with the whole school learning about “Whizdom at Kowhai” which is our school-wide behaviour expectation plan. Students learn how we expect them to behave, what our reward scheme looks like, how to create a positive classroom climate, as well as what consequences are in place for inappropriate behaviour. Students should start to receive “whiz” cards for good behaviour! Each fortnight, we have a prize draw in our formal assembly, and every whiz card earned goes into the draw.
During weeks 3-8, the year 7 and 8 cohorts follow different plans. The year 8 students learn about “Rights and Responsibilities”. Specific learning intentions include how to mix with their classmates, identifying the rights and responsibilities of individuals, understanding that everyone needs to have their rights respected and that each person has some responsibilities to take on. They also look at the fact that how they, as individuals, affect their social and physical environment.
At the same time, year 7 students are following the “Kia Kaha” resource which is about knowing and respecting others. Students identify what bullying is and what forms it can take. They are taught that bullying is unacceptable and how to take positive steps to create a bully-free environment. They decide on features of a bully-free class and school and take steps to put these into practice.
Supporting Your Child's Learning
Booklets published by the Ministry of Education