Schoolwide Topics

IN 2015 OUR OVERARCHING CONCEPT IS “EXPLORATION”

This year we are thinking about the Whakatauki- ” Te Tapaepae o te rangi”

See there to the place where the sky reaches down. Strive to attain the utmost. Look to the furthest horizon.

We are thinking about how we can do our best to:

Reach for the stars,

Look out to the world,

Care for each other,

Be the best we can be.

IN TERM ONE WE ARE DOING AN INQUIRY INTO THE TOPIC-‘ LOOK TO THE SKY AND WONDER WHY!’

Our big ideas about this topic are that people have always had questions about the Universe and that Science is a good way to explore these questions. We have been working on learning to think in scientific ways as we research this topic. We are very lucky to have some great speakers who are passionate about Space to come in to talk to the children. We are also organising visits to the Beverley Begg Observatory for families so that the children can get to observe the Night Sky with the help of powerful telescopes. The children will get to ask their own questions about the universe and research to find out the answers to their wonderings.

IN TERM TWO, 2015,WE ARE LOOKING AT THE WORLD IN MOTION- ” MOVING ON”

We are helping the children to understand that people have explored their world throughout time, using different forms of transport. People have the ability to move themselves and things through their own inventiveness. This term will primarily have a Technology focus but we will also look at Explorers as part of our Social Sciences learning. We plan to go to the Otago Museum to learn about Explorers and will also go to Toitu to find out more about different forms of transport that have been invented and found useful throughout history.

 

IN 2014 OUR OVERARCHING CONCEPT IS “CHANGE HAPPENS”

The ideas for the topics came from the children as we ask them at the end of each year what they would like to learn about the following year.

We then look for recurring themes and pull the ideas together into a cohesive conceptual framework.

TERM ONE”S FOCUS IS “OUR EVER CHANGING EARTH”

We will be investigating the geology of the earth and finding out about how the earth’s landforms are created as a result of natural processes and the way they change the earth. The children will learn that the earth is very old and continuously changing. What we know about the earth continues to change too as we gain more Scientific knowledge and understanding. It will be fun to have a trip to the Otago Museum to explore the Southern Land, Southern People Gallery to find out more about our own harbour and Peninsula and how they were formed. We will also learn about Maori stories about how the land was formed and changed over time. This term will primarily have a Science focus but it will be integrated with English, The Arts and Maori.

INQUIRY TOPIC FOR TERM 2- “TIMES OF GREAT CHANGE”:

Our Term 2 Inquiry topic is ‘Times of Great Change’ This inquiry topic will focus on the curriculum areas of Social Sciences and Technology.

The main ideas (big ideas) we hope to explore with the children are:

  • Simple ideas have led to monumental change in human history.
  • Peoples’ needs are constantly changing over time and society and technology changes in response to these developments.
  • People’s ideas come from their needs and wants. Inventors are creative, inspirational people.

We know the children will absolutely love this topic and we look forward to seeing where their learning will go.

We have two Education visits planned for this term to reinforce our inquiry topic learning. We will visit the Otago Museum in Weeks 3 and 4 (more information about this next week) and in Week 8 the children will visit Toitu: The Early Settlers Museum for a tailored programme around our Inquiry topic.

TERM 3’S TOPIC IS ” PEOPLE CHANGE”

We are looking at the predictable stages in the human life span. We plan to have a big focus on the fact that the way we care for and treat our bodies influences our future and that the choices we make now can have a big impact to our lives later on. The Life Education Bus will visit our school this term and this will tie in well with this Health Focus. The children will also be doing some character writing too this term about a person who is special to them.

IN TERM 4 WE ARE LOOKING AT ” PEOPLE, OUR PLANET AND THE FUTURE”

This term will have a big focus on sustainability and we hope to learn from people working at the Centre for Sustainability at the University of Otago as well as other people who are coming up with great ideas to look after Planet Earth and its resources , habitats and living things so that future generations can enjoy them like we do today.
In 2013 our overarching concept this year is all about “Surviving and Thriving

In Term One we will explore the idea of how we can help our oceans and waterways to survive and thrive.

Our big ideas in Term One are:

The waterways and oceans and the creatures that live in them have specific requirements to sustain life ie no pollution, good salinity levels, appropriate temperature for the environment, sustainable harvesting of fish.

In order to survive living things compete and cooperate with members of their own and other species.

The ocean and waterways are dependent on how humans treat them.

We need to value the oceans and waterways and sustain them for future generations.

We are very lucky to have wonderful natural resources to support this learning. We have experts within our community who are coming to talk to the children and we also plan to all visit the Portobello Marine Lab and take part in the Metre squared project. We are also going to learn more about the stream that runs beside our school and see what we might be able to do to help it survive and thrive. We started the year by having a beach clean up to show our commitment to our harbour and as a springboard for our learning in this topic.

 

In Term Two we are going to ask the inquiry questions; ‘How do Animals Survive and Thrive?’, ‘Why do some animals survive?’, ‘Why do some animals thrive?’

‘Why do some animals have to fight to survive and need our help?’

The big ideas behind this integrated study are:

Animals have specific requirements to stay alive.

Human choices can have a positive or negative impact on animals and their habitats.

We need to value animals and their habitats to allow animals to survive and thrive.

Our children are passionately keen to learn about animals. We hope to take the whole school to Orokonui Eco-sanctuary and see what people are doing to care for our Native birds, to keep them safe from predators.

 

In Term Three we will explore what humans need to survive and thrive.

We will ask many questions and here are some of them:

What do humans need to live?

What does it mean to be wealthy?

Is there a difference between what people need and what people want?

Happiness comes from many things. What makes people feel satisfied and fulfilled?

What is wellbeing/ Hauora?

We will be exploring some of these ideas through Drama. We also want to teach some Financial Literacy skills to our students, along with basic nutrition and healthy living skills. We are hoping that this study will give our students a sense of how we live and how challenging life can be for some people in the world. Maybe this study will lead to us taking some social action to help others to survive and thrive, as we do.

We are still clarifying our focus for Term Four but we are thinking about finding out more about what our city needs to survive and thrive into the future.

We find that by having schoolwide learning topics linked conceptually across the year children are able to make useful connections in their thinking and learning and topics become much more meaningful and are able to be explored in a deeper and richer way by our students.

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