What a Great Term
Term 3 is always a difficult term as it is the winter term and many of the children and staff inevitably get colds or the flu. Teachers however, just carry on regardless, but all of them are ready for a break as are your children.
One of the highlights of the term has been the performances of Kia Kaha, the years 5 and 6 production. A production is held every two years and an awful lot of work goes into ensuring these are of a high standard. This year I asked that we not buy a script, but that we have the children collaborate with the teachers and be part of writing a script that related to their learning. We brainstormed all sorts of possibilities but we kept coming back to the fact that we wanted it to be about New Zealand. Then, just to add stress to the process, I asked that it be a 5 week process from start to finish, rather than the 10 weeks as in the past. Once again, the teachers in the syndicate and Alison Laxon, the director, brainstormed and planned and came up with the concept that is Kia Kaha.
I asked that the first part of the term be focussed on learning, and then second half focussed on preparing, practising, organising and performing. So, the inquiry topic for the first part of the term was about significant events in New Zealand’s history. The children researched our history and the following events were identified for their inquiry: Kate Sheppard and the suffragette movement (very timely given it is the 125th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote); the second world war; the Tangiwai disaster; the 1981 Springbok tour; the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior (again timely as the Rainbow Warrior 111 is currently docked in Auckland) and the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
From this learning, the scripts were developed, dances were choreographed using outside expertise, New Zealand songs were chosen, costumes designed and the practising began.
The learning during the term has been tremendous. History (social sciences), researching (inquiry skills), writing scripts (reading, writing), performing (oral language), managing self, relating to others, participating and contributing (NZ Curriculum key competencies), dance, drama, music (the arts). Not to mention collaborating, overcoming fear and developing confidence. Powerful stuff!
Huge thanks to the senior syndicate teachers, Carla White, Mike Hogg, Nashta Hawke, Sara Weatherall, Jenn Noone and Judy Chao. Very special thanks to Alison Laxon who directed, wrote part of the script, developed the sound effects and lighting plan, taught the songs, wrangled children and pulled the whole thing together. Of course, our children who put their everything into making this a memorable show. What a great team effort!
Term 4 is a very busy term. There is a lot of learning yet to come and we are looking forward to the children coming back fresh after a quiet, calm break.