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Week 1 15/10/2018 - 19/10/2018

Highlights - It was great to see all the kids refreshed after their exciting holidays to get back into
learning. Our exciting art rotations were kicked off this week which a lot of the kids were excited
about. Photography was a popular topic with the students so it is going to be a big group, however
it was nice to see so many students passionate about some of the projects and it will be exciting
to see some hidden talents coming out across the different projects. Starting the term nice and
organised felt great too!
Lowlights - We gave the students a math test this week to get them sorted for our new maths
groups. During this I was shocked with some of the ‘test condition’ behaviours, particularly from
our year 8 students. They were chatting away, being so distracting to those around them, as well
as making their test scores potentially not their own work. A discussion had to be had about how
the expectations at high school will be so much stricter and tolerance for that behaviour in exams
will be zero.
Learning Curves - This week were interviews for the positions of 2019 at Halswell School. It was
a very strange experience being interviewed at a school you already work at. Aside from that it
was great to have a few more relevant teaching experiences to share as examples to some of the
interview questions.

Week 2 22/10/2018 - 26/10/2018

Highlights: This week we attended Inspire Him, with 12 Yr 7 & 8 boys. The seminar was similar
to Inspire Her, with guest speakers aimed to hit the boys with key life messages. The guest
speakers; Jason Gunn, Nick Richie and Mike King were great. Jason had light hearted stories
with messages that boys can resonate with, Nick providing vital information about health and
nutrition and looking after your body while Mike had very serious messages. They all shared these
messages from their personal experiences, Mike King’s was particularly interesting with
Lowlights: Getting into the swing of AVAILLL again is interesting for the students and I. Trying
to get some of the students motivated about particular movies because they are ‘too cool’ is a
little irritating and ruining the experience for other students. Some students deciding not to
participate properly with activities, or not working together as a team, as in the dictionary
challenge. Some students are also approaching me saying they don’t feel confident to read aloud
to the class which is a shame and suggests we need more practice.
Learning Curve: Athletics this week was a learning opportunity, all schools obviously have
differing operations so getting into the swing of the event was tricky. All staff were manning a
different event by ourselves which was a challenge, however as the day went on my long jump
measuring became a lot more efficient. Was great to see most students having a go and trying
their best!

Week 3 29/10/2018 - 02/11/2018


Highlights: I was able to attend the Jump Jam competition with the Yr 7/8 team which was a
great day out. The girls looked great in their costumes and performed to an amazing standard!
The competition was a lot more intense than I had imagined, with other schools looking absolutely
amazing too, the girls received a number of excellence awards in categories which was a great
success. It was interesting to bond with some of the girls in a situation outside the classroom.
Lowlights: Time for testing due this week was bound to cause a few disruptions, and puts a bit
of pressure on the students to fit them all into a week. However majority of students got on with it
and participated in all tests to the best of their ability.
Learning Curve: Marking e-asTTle writing was not my favourite activity back in term 1, with there
being no right or wrong making the grading hard to judge. Luckily the staff moderation meeting
gave us an opportunity to talk amongst our teams about writing pieces as well as across the
different learning centers to ensure we are all marking with similar mindsets. The e-asTTle guide
is great, however some pieces are writing are hard to gage.

Week 4 05/11//18 - 09/11/18


Highlights: It was an interesting week this week with lots of exciting out of the ordinary activities.
Our softball unit kicked off on Monday with a professional coming into school to teach the students
a few techniques, which they really enjoyed. Wednesday we went on our class trip to town which
was also pretty exciting to look around the new library Turanga, the art gallery and also some of
the Scape Art displays around the centre city. This was incredibly exciting for some students who
don’t get the opportunity to explore the town.
Lowlights: The busy week also caused a very muddley timetable and classes which was
challenging at times. Not knowing where people were supposed to be and tracking how much self
directed work was done was an issue, however a great learning curve for the students to ensure
they are responsible for their learning.
Learning Curve: Taking students into public places is a huge learning curve, especially the
centre city which is busy on a working day. It was important to outline expectations before we left,
however soon found they needed constant reminders to respect art, share the footpaths and not
use disruptive loud voices. This was a little disappointing however I do acknowledge the
excitement this trip could have caused for some.

Week 5 12/11/18 - 16/11/18


Highlights: Softball continued this week and some students displayed skills that I did not expect
which is always exciting to see. Being such a short week this week we had a full day of art rotations
on Tuesday to allow students to finish their pieces then make a start on their inquiry. Students
loved the opportunity to be able to focus fully on art for the day as it isn’t generally something we
do a huge amount of. A lot of the finished art across the activities looked fantastic, suggesting we
have a few great artists in our block.
Lowlights: Again noting the short week, with the strike and the public holiday, we did not get a
huge amount of time to get any structured learning done. The students continued with their self
directed Monday which some students don’t use effectively. It is a shame to see so little motivation
in some students, they could be using this time to proceed forward academically.
Learning Curve: Second strike action was interesting and a huge learning curve for someone
who has just entered the profession. Many big decisions to be made.

Week 6 19/11/18 - 23/11/18


Highlights: This week was back to a semi normal week teaching wise. We were able to have our
maths groups back for the first time in a while and it was awesome to see a few of the students
had made huge progress in their self directed time. In addition to this we had an awards ceremony
which highlighted the successes of the students, it is great to see a good proportion of the students
pushing themselves in sports opportunities, academically or through leadership.
Lowlights: Friendships amongst the year 8s are once again at an all time low with extreme
conflict between two of my students. They are forever at each other and don’t see the bigger
picture and act in a mature way by just avoiding contact with each other. It is sad to see them
participating in their last 4 weeks with a negative relationship.
Learning Curve: Report writing is in full swing, this is my first time writing general comments, so
is a huge learning opportunity to ensure I am including the important aspects but not going
overboard with successful students to level the playing field.

Week 7 26/11/18 - 30/11/18

Highlights: Was definitely the staff v student netball game (not class related). So good to get the
staff out and about at lunch time having a run around. The students are a great team, but we were
better, woohoo!
Lowlights:
Learning Curve: Cathie shared her sabbatical report this week which was very interesting, she
had a focus on literacy in the junior school, with a comparison to English schools and their
programmes. Despite the focus not being on our students age, it was very interesting to hear
about some of the effective methods to introduce literacy skills, as some of it would be quite
beneficial for our lower readers or international students.

Week 8 03/12/18 - 07/12/18

Highlights: Finishing off reports was excellent this week! Such a pressure off! Also had a 2019
planning meeting to get the ball rolling for next year and first class swap which the students were
excited about.
Lowlights: Motivation levels are starting to slip, as well as some behaviours. The year 8 students
are gearing up to leaving for high school so are being a little disruptive.
Learning Curve: Managing time to get everything completed is a learning curve, as well as
allowing time to proofread and checking uploads of others. Luckily this year I started general
comments early enough to not let it get on top of me at the end, so that is a good thing to keep in
mind for next year.

Week 9 10/12/18 - 14/12/18


Highlights: The Year 8 dinner and dance was a highlight this week, things are winding down for
the school year and it was nice to celebrate the Year 8’s journey with them. They were all very
grown up and it was nice to see them all enjoying themselves. The art celebration was another
highlight with parents coming in to see their children’s artwork. This was another good opportunity
to celebrate the end of term and the work that has been achieved.
Lowlights: The mad rush to finish art inquiry projects continued this week. Some pieces are
great, but some students have put in very little effort up until now and are tracking to not have it
finished in time. A lot of extra sessions of art have been added in this week in the hope to get it
completed, which is very chaotic with kids disappearing here and there to get recording etc done.
Learning Curve: Swim safety this week was a good learning curve. We headed out to Rolleston
Pool to have a survival swimming session. This was filled with some valuable learning
experiences about how to survive in situations and using your energy wisely. The three rotations
included; boat safety, life jackets and swimming with currents. It was interesting to see the
students who were confident and had obviously done swimming lessons regularly.