Matahui Trapping Group Strikes Again

posted in: Class Blogs | 1

Once again our hard working team of trappers went into the Aongatete Bush to check our trapping line.

When we arrived we found Barry waiting for us.  Last time he showed us how to skin a possum.  This time we saw how it had dried.  It still needed more time curing.


Then it was time to go into the bush.  We heard lots of different bird calls today like the tui, bush robin, rifleman and fantails.

At the first trap, otherwise known as the graveyard we found our first possum of the day.  Over the morning we went on to collect 2 more possums.


Then we stopped off at the weka aviary.  We saw 3 weka moving about and we learnt that weka can climb trees.  People did not know that weka could do this, so it is exciting information.


During the walk we also saw a morepork.  It is unusual to see one during the day.  Barry thought that it might be a juvenile bird.


It was another great trapping session.  Thanks to Barry, Pete and Ann who looked after us today.


Super Safe Cycling

posted in: Class Blogs, Pohutukawa yrs 5,6 | 1

Last week Rooms 1, 3 and 5 worked with Constable Ros to improve our cycling skills.

Firstly we checked our bikes and helmets to make sure they were safe.

sofia helmet
Constable Ros taught Room 5

  • The road code
  • How to perform emergency braking,
  • How to use hand signals to indicate your intentions
  • How to perform u-turns

We used the school grounds to make practice roads to master our skills.

On Friday we put our skills to the test by cycling around the streets of Katikati.
While we were cycling we had to think carefully about what we were doing; keeping left, curb starts, looking behind, indicating intentions, life saver looks, safe cycling distance…….

We were amazing!

road cycling
At the end of our journey we stopped off at the Katikati Skate park to test our bikes and bodies in a different way.

skate park

skate 2

We have learnt a lot of great skills.  A special thanks to Constable Ros for your help throughout the week and to Dave and Dave (Sofia’s Granddad) who helped us on this trip.



Remember playing a game at school called “ Stuck in the Mud?” Well at Matahui School we are about to give you the opportunity to do this for real. Yes, this year we are set to launch the first ever Matahui School Mud Run on Saturday 7 November 2015 so set aside the date.

Mud 1

Matt Griffiths (with the support of our wonderful neighbours at the school, Terry Hobart and Peter and Hana Sherwin), has developed a course that will provide everyone participating with the chance to get muddy as they manoeuvre their way through a course that will provide both challenge and excitement.

Mud 7

The emphasis is less on making this a highly competitive event – though there will be prizes – rather, an occasion that caters for families and teams of enthusiastic “mud people” as a community event that will raise funds for charity and the school. Taking part in a mud run may be a new experience for you, but don’t worry. It is more of a “wade” than run and whilst you might feel it is a challenge,one of the benefits is that you get a cost effective beauty treatment that has no rival!  Mud 15

Additionally, on the day of the Mud Run we will be hosting approximately 100 motorcycle enthusiasts who will roll into school on their classic motorcycles for a lunch break. This “stopover” will certainly add an interesting dimension to the day, especially if anyone is keen on classic bikes.

All you need to do at this point is keep the date free, think about a “costume” for the day that will handle a mud bath and wait for additional information we will send out in the near future.

Mud 16


Room One asks the question: Which colour is the best?

Rainbow Day – together we made a rainbow!                                          P1100008 

So, what is the best colour?  We have been learning to write arguments.  That’s where we write our point of view.  We write what we think and give reasons why.  Here are our paintings and our writing, describing which colour we think is the best colour.  You can decide!


More colours for Room One to explore!

After exploring the primary colours, Room One  experimented with mixing colours to discover the secondary colours of green, orange and purple.

Green Day

Blue + Yellow = Green

It is green day….P1090724

I am wearing a green T-shirt and green leggings and all my friends are wearing green.  Everyone looks like mints and everyone looks cool.  I’m glad that everyone likes green and that’s a good colour for Keyarn and James.  Green makes me think of crickets hiding in the bush.  By Matilda.

I am wearing green spiky hair and a sparkly bow tie.  I am green all over.  I feel proud!  By James

I am wearing a green Ninja Turtle costume.  I look cool!  By Nikora

It is lovely seeing people with green.  I have a green bag.  By Thomas

P1090658   P1090717P1090657P1090715P1090727Nikora P1090731Bryleigh P1090730Gianni

Orange Day

Red Yellow = Orange

It is orange day…

P1090848Everybody is orange.  My orange T-shirt is cool.  Orange is a happy colour.  By Keyarn.

I am wearing an orange skirt and an orange jumper and orange tights and an orange T-shirt.  Everyone looks like a mandarin.  I like everyone in orange.  Keyarn has an orange shirt and Matilda is wearing an orange dress.  Millie-Anne is wearing orange gloves.  Gianni is wearing an orange T-shirt.  Aby is wearing an orange T-shirt.  Orange is best!  By Asha

Orange is best because oranges are yummy.  I am wearing an orange shirt.  Orange is the colour of the sun.  By Aby

I am wearing orange gloves and an orange hairband.  I like orange.  By Millie-Anne

P1090831Keyarn   P1090825Asha P1090833 James   P1090896P1090897Orange’ spelling by Gianni and Millie-Anne


Purple Day

Red + Blue = Purple 

It is purple day…P1090924

Queens and Kings wear purple clothes.  Purple is cool like a purple monster.  I made a purple monster and a spaceship and it looks cool.  James is wearing a purple T-shirt and purple pants.  Purple makes me feel happy because it is a dark rich colour.  Asha is wearing a light mauve colour and it looks cool.  By Gianni

I am wearing a purple jacket, pants, scarf and band in my hair.  Matilda is wearing a purple dress.  Purple makes me happy.  It is a fun colour.  By Bryleigh.

Violets are purple, plums are purple.  Everyone looks like plums and we all look cool.  I’m wearing a purple dress.  Bryleigh is wearing a purple jumper and she looks pretty.  I’ve made a purple one-eyed people eater.  It looks cool.  I look like a purple leopard with polka dots!  By Matilda

P1090901 P1090902Two one-eyed, one horned flying people eaters!P1090911 P1090914P1090913



Matahui Senior mathematicians share and learn with their Junior peers

It was a case of the small fractions teaching the big fractions when Room 1 joined the Matahui Senior students.

P1090801  P1090809 P1090802

The students enjoyed sharing their learning using play dough to create fractions from whole pieces.

P1090805 P1090804 P1090815

The Senior students were impressed by how clever the Junior students are.

P1090814 P1090822 P1090806

At Matahui School bringing different year levels together allows us to have an appreciation of where we are going and where we have come from.



This week I had the privilege of teaching the Year 7/8 class at Matahui. Spending time with them in an environment that provides them with relevant, challenging engaging learning was both insightful and rewarding.

At the beginning of the day the students focused on reading using an online resource that the school is trialing. It focuses on acquiring a range of reading levels and skills  including – scanning; reading speed; information retrieval; vocabulary extension and comprehension. The motivation, concentration and application and level of skill the students displayed was exemplary. They had a clear understanding of the tasks they undertook and were constantly “testing” themselves to achieve even better results. In one instance, the student I sat alongside scored 45/45 – my score was 3/45. Granted the task was new to me, but clearly I hadn’t reached the same level as the student.


Subsequently, Christine and I watched as a group of senior mathematicians interacted with the students in Room 1. Using playdough the “munchkins” demonstrated and taught the seniors what they had learned about fractions. The way in which they were able to manipulate the dough to show a range of fractions was impressive, but even more outstanding was the level of understanding the juniors displayed through the carefully phrased questions and discussion the seniors led. I felt the urge to sing the Lego song – “Everything is Awesome.”

P1090802     CAITLIN &JAMES

What also impressed both Christine and I was the way in which the seniors listened to the juniors and helped deepen their understanding of fractions by posing additional problems for them to solve using the playdough. This was an educational experience that strongly displayed how “nurturing” builds confidence, self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment. Hats off to Year 7 and 8 and their smaller mathematical buddies.

This is the reason why we have issued an invitation to our parent/caregiver community to attend an Open Day of Learning so that they also have the opportunity to experience such wonderful moments of learning at Matahui. Awesome!


Often we have positive perspectives shared with us by parents, caregivers and students about aspects of school life, relating especially to the ways in which this school enriches the lives of learners.

This week I would like to share a cross section of “voices” with you that strongly echo the ethos of the school.

“Clara finds she is much more creative in finding solutions in general, and specifically now that they are preparing for Kahunui. She is more self-confident, speaking up and sharing her ideas about big issues (Hiroshima for e.g.) than most other girls. And she is not obsessed to the same degree as her peers with self-image and her profile on social media.” Claudia Remus

“Thanks so much for having Sam and me to visit last Thursday. It was great to see the class ‘in action’ and Sam had a great time – commenting twice during the afternoon that ‘Matahui School is so much fun.’ I was very impressed with the friendliness and inclusiveness of the children. Just awesome! We immediately noticed an improvement in how Sam interacted with his little sister at home – hardly any squabbles since we visited …. I’m calling it Matahui magic!” Danielle Ellis

…. “other Rm 5 students hop into the school van, dressed in thermals and tramping gear, faces glowing with excitement. They are off on an expedition to see what possums, rats and pests have been caught by the “Bring back the Birds” volunteers. They are contributing to a real conservation programme, and learning scientific methods (recording bird songs, recognising paw prints of different pests etc) in real life. They learn that ordinary people can achieve big things by working collectively, and that our community contains many unsung heroes (including them). I watch their teacher set up this activity with the parent helper that will accompany them, and allocate responsibilities within the group. It may seem an ordinary moment, but to me it is very moving. It is so normal for our children to feel valued, safe and nurtured and for adults and peers to act responsibly and cooperatively, and look after each other.”  Anne Templeton

And lastly, a letter from Emma Poppy, who wrote the following letter to Kumara and Rodney, the rats that share my office with me. They often visit the classrooms to see and hear what learning is taking place.

“Dear Rodney and Kumara…..At school I have been working on fractions in maths and we are doing narritive writing. I am having fun at school. I hope you like my gifts!” Emma Poppy


Please note the following: Emma Poppy’s gifts were a gold coin and a chest containing two marbles for each rat – gleaned from her collection of at least 1000 marbles. Also note the clothing adorning the rats – an example of student initiated soft technology. The same students who designed and made the garments also created small desks and provided learning materials for the rats.

Ka kite



Room One explores colour

Red day







It is red day….

 Everybody looks red. I am Spider Man and I am red and powerful!  By James

Everyone is wearing red.  Red makes me feel strong!  By Nikora

I am wearing a red hat and a red skirt and a red jacket and red boots.  Red makes me feel happy.  By Millie-Anne

                                    Blue Day




It is blue day…

I am hungry for blueberries.  Everyone is blue.  Blue makes me feel happy because it makes me feel like swimming with fish.  By Keyarn

Blue makes me feel cold.  It makes me feel happy. Blue is the sea.  Blue is the sky.  Blue is my favourite colour. I am wearing a blue T shirt.  It looks like everyone is wearing blue.  By Gianni

Blue is one of my favourite colours.  I am wearing a blue jacket, dress, leggings and hat.  I feel happy because I like blue.  By Bryleigh

                                          Yellow Day


Today is Yellow Day…..

Yellow makes me feel snuglish and warm.  By Thomas

Yellow looks fantastic!  Everyone is wearing yellow.  Everyone looks like the sun.  I am wearing a yellow T shirt with coloured pineapples. Yellow makes me think of summer because it is a hot colour.  By Asha

Everyone is wearing yellow.  Yellow is my favourite colour.  I feel happy.  By Abygale

Yellow makes me feel bright because  daffodils are yellow.  I’m wearing yellow and everyone is wearing yellow too.  I think I look cool in yellow.  Yellow bananas and yellow lemons and pineapples are yummy and tasty.  Yellow makes me feel important because it’s a bright colour.  By Matilda.