Term 2 is underway. The school-wide theme this term is Bigger, Faster, Stronger.

To ignite the children’s interest as soon as they set foot in the school gate for the new term we had a collection of big, fast and/or strong toys for them to play with.

Each River and individual class will be putting their own spin on the ‘Bigger, Stronger, Faster theme this term but all focussing on the science strand of the New Zealand Curriculum and the key competency THINKING.

Pictures of our Bigger, Stronger, Faster ignition morning here

Many thanks to

NZ Fire Service, Harewood Station.

Canterbury Car Club Inc.

Fulton Hogan Ltd

for letting us play with your big, strong, and fast toys today.

We have ignition


Monday, April 27, 2009 - 09:05 PM
Dorothy Burt
That sounds likes like so much fun. What a cool school to be part of. Look forward to getting ideas from you as the term unfolds.

Thursday, April 30, 2009 - 10:29 PM
What a great way to start the term. Loads of excitement with the big 'toys' and the new playground and the new markings. Looking forward to seeing the childrens work on 'bigger, faster, stronger'.

The end of term 1

Well folks, the end of Term 1 is here.

Time for your feedback.

Add your thoughts on any aspect of the term.

Leave your name or stay anonymous.

Your feedback is important.

Parents, students or teachers - let’s hear your voice.

1 Comment

Friday, April 24, 2009 - 07:24 PM
It's been a great term, I think. The river system is working brilliantly. Good job Team Waimairi!
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The Hattie Effect

What would happen if...

A leading New Zealand academic published research that contained findings that could easily be condensed into ‘sound-bites’ that could be used in news headlines?

We would see headlines like these...

Reason to say no to homework.

Study on student success finds teachers’ pay key.

Teaching counts more than class size – study.

Learning study supports pay rise for top teachers.

Pay key to good teaching: expert Reducing class sizes not as important...

Class size does not make a difference.

...and we did, they are actual news headlines from media outlets. They are simplistic headlines that capture the attention of teachers and parents. The risk is that teachers and parents will then start forming opinions and even make decisions based on them.

Before you get swept away in the tornado of opinion why not try reading John Hatties’ book? Form you own opinion based on his work not the news media interpretation of it?

I hope to have a couple of copies available in the parent section of the library early next term or you can use this link to get your own copy.

You might also like to then read this

INVISIBLE LEARNINGS? A commentary on John Hattie’s “Visible Learning:A Synthesis of over 800 Meta- Analyses Relating to Achievement”

Good luck with forming your own opinions - share them here as a comment when you do.

Friday, April 24, 2009 - 07:22 PM
Thanks for this, Mike. It's always good to be provoked. These are clearly challenges for you and the team to manage and it's great to know that we have a principal who is leading this by reading and engaging in the most up to date research.

I would just like to ask, though - do you think we'll see, in our lifetimes, the day when teachers are paid to the level of value they really do add to society? Come on Mike? Gaze into your crystal ball!

Friday, April 24, 2009 - 10:53 PM
A very interesting question, thanks for posting it. This blog is all about discussion and this is a great example of it happening.

You ask do I "think we'll see, in our lifetimes, the day when teachers are paid to the level of value they really do add to society?"

The perception of value is different for each section of society. I have taught across all sections of society and through different time periods of teachers' pay levels.

When I graduated 18 years ago it took me 4 months to get my first teaching job. So I extended my student job to full time work. When I left my job pumping gas at Shell Bryndwr to teach my first class I had to take a pay cut. Yes, I earned less as a 1st year teacher than I did checking your oil and washing your windscreen.

Then after a few years (and after the only strike primary teachers did in living memory) pay parity with secondary teachers kicked in. Finally we were paid on the basis of our qualifications and efforts rather than the age of the kids we taught.

So now all teachers are paid on that basis it comes down to a perception of value in your own school community.

I have worked in schools where the parent community see teachers wages way above what they earn and are therefore overpaid, and in schools where the parent community way below what they earn and are therefore underpaid.