Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Today's Assembly Cancelled

Due to the weather and the fact that the community hall is out of action we will not be able to hold our assembly scheduled for 11 am.

Senior students will be receiving certificates this morning. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Have a relaxing Christmas break and bring your children back to us safely in 2013.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Farewelling our Year 8s

The end of our Prize-giving Assembly, with our Year 8 students being farewelled by our school community.

Monday, 3 December 2012

School Newsletter 30 November 2012

School Newsletter 30 November 2012

The Giving Tree has arrived!

What a wonderful surprise to see a REAL christmas tree in the office this morning!
Jess and Adele did a fantastic job of decorating the tree.
Mrs Brice helped us with the high places.
Sam G was the first person to donate toys for the children who need them this Christmas.
Please bring in toys you do not need anymore and put them under our Christmas Giving Tree. Please don't wrap the toys.
Donations of wrapping paper and cellotape are also welcome.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

National FLL Finals - we're second in New Zealand!

We are thrilled to announce that the 'Springston Strikers' have been awarded a second place Champions Award at the National First Lego League Finals in Auckland this weekend. This means they were in second place overall across all aspects of the competition. A fantastic result, with 19 teams entered from around New Zealand. Congratulations to Oliver, Freddie, Haidee, Georgia, Dylan and Jack!

It was a huge day of robotic challenges, questioning about robot design and programming, presentations of their inquiry, interviews, and teamwork presentations and challenges. It is amazing what our students can achieve! 

Getting started in our Pit area.
Discussing the score in our first practice round.

Everyone is part of the interview about robot design and programming.

Waiting to take part in Round 2 of the robot game.

Our amazing Auckland family supporters.

Time for a team photo after the rounds are complete.

Robot Game final scoring - 3rd place.

Proudly holding the Champions Award Trophy for 2nd place overall.

Champions Award Trophy for Second Place.

The Award.

The Coach's Team Hat!

The 2013 Challenge theme is announced (photo by A. Ward).

First Lego League is a robotics program for students aged 9 to 14, which is designed to get children excited about science and technology - and teach them valuable employment and life skills. The competition involves programming an autonomous robot (using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS® robot set) to score points on a themed playing surface (this year based on 'Senior Solutions' - about the issues around aging), creating an innovative solution to a problem as part of their project, all while being guided by the FLL Core Values. More than 20,000+ teams from over 70 countries take part each year.

Winning teams from each country are invited to attend the World Festival in St. Louis, Missouri, USA in 2013.
We are very proud of our second placing.

The video below shows Round 1 of the Robot Game where our team attained its best score of 368 points, putting it in third place for this section of the FLL challenge. The Robot Game is only one part of this amazing competition.

Thanks to the MANY people who supported the team in so many ways throughout the past 10 weeks of the competition and to Jason Kyle of Kiwi First for organising this event in New Zealand.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

See our LEGO robot in action today!

Come and see our LEGO robot doing its missions at 3 pm today in the Library. This will be a short demonstration and you can ask our team about their project, too! They're off to the national FLL Finals in Auckland this Saturday.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Working Bee 24 November - important update

The working bee for Saturday 24 November is cancelled as the concrete truck is unavailable. Concrete will be poured on Monday morning (early) if you are able to help Craig, please contact him.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Results of our Moviemaking Competition Term 3 2012!

The Noun Project

 The finalists have been selected by teachers, and now the winners have been chosen! 

Congratulations to all who entered - it was great to have one entry from a family, and another that involved a cross-section of ages across the school. Some entries were made at home, and others during class time. There were fine examples of animation, moving images, and still photography, combined to inform or entertain viewers. There was great humour in some movies, and others were of a more serious documentary style. For many, this was their first effort at movie-making and their story-telling was impressive. 

Please view the list of finalists and winners - I won't spoil the surprise here on the News Blog!

Unfortunately, we cannot show all movies online at this stage, but all are available at School in the Student Home Drive on our network. Ask your teacher to play the movies for you in class.

We're looking forward to viewing more of your moviemaking creativity in future!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

'Champions Award' for our FLL Robotics Team!

The alarms were set for 6:15 am this Sunday morning, as five of our families readied their children to be up and ready to go for the start of the First Lego League's (FLL) robotics tournament at Chisnallwood Intermediate at 8:00 am. This year's theme was about the problems the elderly face through the aging process - 'Senior Solutions'.

The children held it together through a full day of Presentations and interviews about their Project Inquiry and their innovative solution to a real-world problem, a team-work challenge, an interview about their understanding and practice of the FLL Core Values, further interviews about robot design, programming and development, and then on top of that 3 opportunities to run their robot over a raft of challenging missions and select the best score..... phew!.... The team was still holding their heads high at 4 pm for the Award Ceremony. And yes, all this is about having FUN!

We are delighted to announce that our very own 'Springston Strikers' have come out on top with the 'Champion's Award' for the Christchurch Regional Event. To achieve this very special award, the team had to perform well across all areas of the FLL Competition. The Award recognises a team that embodies the FLL experience, by fully embracing the Core Values while achieving excellence and innovation in both the Robot Game and Project.

Congratulations to: Oliver G, Freddie G, Jack M, Georgia G, Haidee M and Dylan S for their strength of character, dedication to the entire programme, and their pursuit of excellence.

The team now looks forward to travelling to Auckland on 24 November for the National Finals of what is actually an international competition, with the World Festival being held in St Louis, Missouri, USA in April 2013.

We'd like to thank all the people who helped the team achieve this result: Charles Manning (Mentor), our Elderly Partners (Steve and Gary), Dr Stefanie Gutschmidt (University of Canterbury Mechanical Engineer), Nicki Singer (Anthony Wilding Retirement Village), Jenny (Parkinson's Disease and MS Society), Kathleen (Nurse Maude Health and Mobility Shop), Ned Dawson (plastics and springs manufacturer), class teachers and Liz for generously allowing the team out of class time for preparation, and all the parents involved who supported everything they did.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Senior School Athletics

Senior athletics will begin at 11am today, to allow the grass to dry out.   We would love to see you there.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

'Shake Out' Earthquake Drill

At 9:26 am today we all 'Dropped, Covered, and Held', as we would have done in a real earthquake. Of course, we've had plenty of practice at that anyway, so we weren't worried. The FLL Robotics Team was having a practice in the Conference Room so we all dropped under the table. I don't think we remembered to 'Hold' but I guess we felt safe under the big table!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

We have two 'I Love Learning' Competition Finalists!

By Emily (Year 6 Finalist) - Image from I Love Learning

By Isaac (Year 4 Finalist) - Image from I Love Learning

Congratulations to Emily (Year 6, Room 9) and Isaac (Year 4, Room 6) for reaching the Finals of the NZEI's 'I Love Learning' Competition! They are Finalists in the Poster section for their Year levels. How exciting! They have a chance of winning an iPad for themselves, and another one for their class.

You can check out all 14 of the Year 4 Poster Finalists here. And the 15 Year 6 Poster Finalists here.

Please visit the website to see Isaac's and Emily's posters (by clicking the links on the photo captions above) and Like, Share or Rave about their wonderful work.

Well done to these students, and all from Springston School who entered this competition with posters and videos.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Organising a trip - putting phone skills into practice

Does your child know how to make a phone call? 
Could they call someone to find information? 
Could they organise a trip? 

Being able to use a phone is a vital skill these days and we don't all have the confidence needed to use one to get the information we might need.

This is something our FLL (First Lego League) Robotics Team needed to do this week. The students needed to organise a trip as part of their project for the 2012 FLL competition. This year's competition theme is 'Senior Choices' so a call was made to the Anthony Wilding Retirement Village to see if they could visit and learn more about the problems elderly people face. The students already had a little background knowledge, through phoning (with support from a parent) someone elderly that they already knew (usually a grandparent).

This was a first supported effort to make a call to someone they didn't know, and the team was using a speakerphone for the first time. This meant all students in the group could hear the conversation and learn what to do, and the teacher could step in to help if necessary. Students discussed what they would need to say and do depending on who answered at the other end. Notes had been made on a whiteboard for them to follow, so nothing was forgotten. 

Dylan generously volunteered to make the call, even though he was really nervous about phoning someone he didn't actually know. He did a great job!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Springston School Facility & Concept Plan Survey

This survey has now closed. Thank you for your input.

Our architects, Alan Pritchard Design, have been asked to draw up a 5-year concept plan for the future development of the school (with the coming four new classrooms), including the relocation of the existing adventure playground and provision for a new or extended adventure playground. The concept plan will also include lunch eating areas and access to the field, as well as targeted space for any further roll growth classrooms.

We wish to gather ideas from our children and the community for inclusion in the concept plan. Please consider this in conjunction with the School Newsletter of 14 September (below). You can record you ideas....practical or entirely fanciful..... seating, planting, playgrounds, an on-site cafe... no idea too big or small!

Springston School Newsletter 14 September 2012

School Newsletter 14 September 2012

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Our iPads for Parents Workshop

Today we had another of our CONNECT workshops for parents - Creativity with iPads. This is the focus for our use of iPads in classrooms - students becoming creators, rather than consumers.

After a short question time about iPads, we moved on to looking at some of the first apps we use in classrooms, and giving parents the opportunity to 'play' and experience the learning for themselves. We looked at why and how we use Fotobabble, Sock Puppets, and iMovie. We were particularly thinking about visual language and oral language in student learning.

We were delighted to be joined by Lisa, a teacher from Diamond Harbour School, and Hamish, a parent.

Below is a copy of the presentation that was used to show some student examples from our school. More will get added as time goes on. You will be able to watch the growth in the depth of thinking and creative applications to learning as we continue on our journey. Keep a watch on our classroom blogs as teachers and students learn together.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Congratulations to our RoboCup Junior Rescue Teams!

A very rainy Sunday 12 August turned out to be a very good day to be competing inside at the RoboCup Competition held at Selwyn House School. We had four teams competing in the Junior Rescue section, and this was the first experience of robotics and competing at RoboCup for most of the 12 students involved.

During a long, and often stressful day (robots don't always do what you expect them to) these students exhibited excellent behaviour, great team work, and good sportsmanship and they should be proud of their results.

Each Team participated in three two-minute rounds, and three of our teams performed well enough to be invited into the Final round. If teams completed the round with the same points, then the result was decided by who had the fastest time. This meant our NanoBots were pipped at the post by just two seconds. Nail-biting stuff, but they should be proud of their second placing!

Everyone learnt a lot, including the parents who had their children up at a very early hour for the 8:30 am start in Christchurch. It was a real team effort!

We are very grateful to our Mentor, Charles Manning. Charles has travelled long distances on two occasions to guide the teams and help them work out how to solve the programming problems without giving them the answers - he was brilliant!





View the videos of the best round from each team, plus the NanoBots' second placing round - this is a lot harder than it looks!

Friday, 10 August 2012

We're having a Movie-making Contest!

Following on from the success of last term's Photography Competition, this term we are having a Movie-making Contest for our Springston students, teachers and families. We're hoping that every student will be involved in movie-making this term, even in a small way. Some students are already making plans - are you?!

Monday, 30 July 2012

RoboCup Teams Announced

Congratulations to the following students upon being chosen to represent Springston School at the upcoming RoboCup competition (Saturday 12 August). 

Everyone is welcome to attend the competition, which is being held (free of charge) at Selwyn House School between 9:00 am and approximately 3:30 pm. All our teams are entering the RoboCup Rescue section, but there are other sections that will also be entertaining, including RoboCup Theatre and RoboCup Soccer.

·      Olive
·      Freddie
·      Jake

·      Jack M
·      Luke
·      Jackson

·      Zakai
·      Dylan
·      Haidee
·      Georgia G
·      Annabelle
·      Molly

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Springston School's YouTube Channel

Like many schools, we have our own YouTube Channel - we've called it SpringstonTube. We started the Channel because so many of our students are now creating videos. Many of these are posted on the class blogs, but we thought that it would be great to have a more central/general place where school-wide videos are able to be hosted - on YouTube, and then they can be viewed directly there, or by being embedded on this News Blog, or our Library Blog.

We suggest that you subscribe to SpringstonTube (it's free, and you will get an email when new videos are uploaded); and show your support by selecting 'Like' and/or commenting on the students' videos. However, the best place to show your support is by commenting on the Blog posts themselves. Classes subscribe to these posts and can immediately see when a new comment has been posted.

If you have concerns about other material that may appear on any YouTube page, you may like to use QuietTube. This allows all other material, other than the video you are watching, to be removed from the web page, giving a plain background. You can create a bookmark or a link to send to friends or family, allowing them to view the video in this 'quieter' way. Go to the QuietTube page, view the tutorial, and you'll see how it works and how easy it is to use.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Photography Competition Winners Announced!

We are very grateful to David Sutton who has generously shared his expertise and time to judge the Section and Overall winners for us. Congratulations to the Section Winners and our Overall Winner

David has also very kindly offered to meet with our Section Winners to discuss their photos and give them some tips.

Our Teachers' ICT Celebration!

Today's staff meeting was a special get-together to celebrate the amazing efforts of our teachers to explore the use of ICT tools to engage their students creatively and to enhance student learning, particularly in the area of Literacy. Students have had some wonderful opportunities to be creative and to express themselves in new ways.

Teachers have been learning, too, and they have been incredibly creative in what they have achieved and how they have overcome any technical blocks that have occurred along the way. They have used iPads, Macbooks, microphones, and cameras along with all the more traditional tools for learning. They have taught their students how to use many of these ICT tools with the hope that all students get these opportunities. They have worked out how to move files between devices, and how to get them onto blogs in a form that they can share with you all.

In the past term you will have seen lots of regular posts on class blogs, with examples of student photography presented in many different ways. You will have heard students recording stories, poems, explanations, news reports... practising their expression and sharing their learning orally using iPad apps such as Fotobabble, Puppet Pals HD, iMovie, I Can Animate, and Explain Everything; as well as computer and web 2.0 apps. Students' stories and poems, drawings, and photos have been combined into eBooks and published on blogs, or downloaded onto iPads or computers for shared reading.

Please show our students and their teachers that you are following their learning journey and celebrating their success, by posting regular comments on our blogs. We all love to hear from you! We are excited by what your children are achieving, and hope you are too.

The teachers had a wonderful surprise when a fabulous iPad cake (gluten-free, too!) was made and brought along by Letesha, for us to enjoy. Thank you Letesha - the cake was delicious - a real treat! And thank you to Liz, our Principal, for thinking of us with such a great idea; there is plenty left for morning tea!

Monday, 25 June 2012

Whooping Cough

Dear Parents and Caregivers

We advise that we have had a confirmed case of Whooping Cough at school.

Please follow the link to find information about Whooping Cough (Pertussis), immunisation and treatment, on the Ministry of Health website.

Children or adults with a persistent cough should seek medical advice from their GP.

Kind Regards,
Liz Weir

Saturday, 23 June 2012

School Newsletter 22 June 2012

School Newsletter 22 June 2012 
 Click on the image above, to read the newsletter. Double-click to zoom in, click the corner of the page to turn to the next page. Or download as a pdf.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Springston School Photography Competition Finalists

During the month of May we held a Photography Competition for students and staff. One of our goals for the term has been that every student will have taken and used photographs.

Everyone was able to enter one photo, taken at school or a school event. Teachers (in consultation with students) then chose the finalists across their Year levels.

The finalists have now been announced for each section and you can view them on our Photography Competition website.

We are very grateful to David Sutton who will be judging the winners from our finalists. Please check back for the results in the next 2-3 weeks.

There will be a places for each section, plus an overall winner.