By Lisa Dixon | Posted: Monday March 7, 2022
It has been a fantastic start to the year for our new Year 7 students. We have been very impressed with how quickly they have settled into their new classes, the change in expectations and how they have transitioned into our school.
One of the key areas we have been working on with our new Year 7 pupils is learning about the Balmac Way - This is how we do it here. There has been plenty of brainstorming, discussing, role plays and activities around developing their awareness of expectations, building relationships, who they are and our school values of Perseverance, Excellence, Respect and Kindness (PERK). We are really proud of how well our new pupils are settling in and we know it takes time to make the transition from primary school but all pupils are making the effort and this is so pleasing to see.
Our alternative camp programme is now completed for all classes. Over the three days they have been involved in a full on EOTC day at camp Waihola. The highlights for students were the archery tag, zip-lining and the water slide. Our school based days focusing on team building and fun challenge activities proved popular with the students - as well as the BBQ lunch! The day out walking the Pineapple track and into Ross Creek was also enjoyable as students showed their perseverance and fitness before coming back to school to make some well deserved pancakes! While it was not our usual over night camps, all teachers commented on how great it was to get to know our students better, to see how they developed a class spirit and supportive culture and the way they displayed the Balmac values over this time. Many thanks to our parent and whanau community for their assistance at camp over this time.
Our Term 1 topic of Turangawaewae - our belonging and our identity has begun with a focus on looking at the Treaty of Waitangi and early New Zealand history and migration. In the upcoming weeks the students will continue to look at their own family journeys and what shapes us/them as people. This will lead into our first PBL unit where the students will prepare an exhibition piece that displays their personal connection, a place where they stand - Turangawaewae. As part of this process all classes will take part in a visit to the Otago Museum also. By now they should have been thinking about ideas for their first PBL project.
We look forward to connecting with our parents and caregivers over the next week with parent interviews next week.
Year 7 Dean