Sunday, December 11, 2011

Intermediate Speech Competition

Here are some photos from the Intermediate Speech Competition on Friday, December 9.

 Every single student in Year 7 and 8 prepared a speech and presented to the class. From these, semifinalists were selected to present their speeches to Miss Gifford and Mrs Fowler, who chose five Year 7 finalists and 5 Year 8 finalists.

 This is from the MC's script:
 In preparation for the speech competition, we learned  persuasive writing skills and pubic speaking skills, including voice projection, so the speeches are presented without a microphone.  

The adjudicator is looking for a 3-minute persuasive speech,  delivered clearly, confidently and fluently, using good volume and appropriate expression – but it is not a dramatic performance.

The speech should have an interesting introduction, a mix of research, personal information and opinion. It should flow logically and have a relevant conclusion.

The speakers must use cue cards and have eye contact with the audience.

And finally, the speech must capture and maintain the audience’s interest, persuade you  to think or feel as the speaker does and leave you with something to think about at the end.

Here are the finalists and their speech topics.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

More Movies from the STANZA competition - for New Zealand Students Learning Spanish.

Here are some of the Year 9 and 10 entries into the STANZA video competition. (We won the Primary School category.) We should be able to understand most of the Spanish used. How much can you understand?

Friday, December 9, 2011


Mathex-on-the-Court Week 7, 2011 on PhotoPeach

Thanks to Mrs Whitehead for organising a Mathex competition for our maths classes today.
It was a fun way to finish the term - and the year.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Wearable Arts Show

Last week, on Wednesday November 23, we held our 2011 wearable arts show. It was an amazing
atmosphere and the field was nearly full.
The models got dressed in the classroom, with a bit of help from their group. After we were all ready, we went out on the top court for our cue to go to the field and wait. We had to be very quiet but, knowing Huia 1, that was hard. Once the Year 5-6s were finished, it was our turn to be in the spotlight. It was our responsibility to set the bar high - I think we did a great job.

As soon as the first group came out the audience looked impressed and the bar was set. There were 5 categories that represented the rise and fall of the Aztecs, who were an ancient human race (they came up with the chocolate of today). Each category had 2 groups to represent it, except the 'Legacy' group.

The first category represented the Aztecs wandering the desert for years, in search of an eagle with a snake in its beak, sitting on a cactus.
The second category showed the city of Tenochtitlan and how they lived before they were conquered by the Spanish explorers, which was represented in category 3.

Category 4 was all about what happened when the two cultures collided.

And finally, category 5 displayed the legacy of the Aztecs, e.g., chocolate and corn.

We have collected some opinions from Huia 1 students who were there. Here they are:

"I thought last night was a great night. And lots of people were there to watch their children." Sarah J

"I really enjoyed the event. I was happy that our group received an award." Krizelle

"I thought it was really good because there was lots of people watching us." Jackie

"It was fun and exciting but I was confident to go up." Karnjeet

"I really enjoyed the event and I was happy that Spanish explorers got an award. Danny

"It was fun.' Wade V.

"I think it was embarrassing because I was the model and I was wearing a girly mask." Matthew
"I reckon it was pretty cool because I got to show my abs!" Fa'afili

"Wearable arts was fun and I learned a lot of skills while making the art." Sarah I

"I liked seeing everyone in their art."Madison

"I liked everyone's art they created and I felt confident about my art my group and I made."Shayla

"I felt confident that our group did the best that we could."Caitlin

"I think after we had a little extra help from people I think that it looked all right." Tegan

"I think that if my group had done more work on our costume we would have gotten it finished, but I liked all the costumes on the night"Terence

"I enjoyed the night. " Chris

"I had a lot of fun being on stage." Jakob


Last week was Wearable Arts, the day when the whole school dressed up in their art and performed in front of a large crowd.

First, I had to arrive at 7:00 p.m., but I came at 6:30 because I needed to train Wade about what to do on the stage. Wade missed all of his training so I had covered for him.

Then finally Wade had arrived and I could start training him. I told him to get in the white t-shirt and the white trousers. After that, I quickly put the sail and the two belts on him and gave him his telescope and hat. I called Hunter to help with it. Then we got him in position and started. It took time but he got it - I think.

Finally, it was time. I just wished that Wade wouldn't muck up on the stage so I quickly went over with him again so I was completely satisfied that he knew it. Then it was our turn to go up on the stage.

My body shivered. In my mind I said, "Will Wade pull this off? Will Wade pull this off?" After a moment, the group needed to go on. I looked at Wade the whole time and he was doing what I told him to do. Once he got off the stage, I told him, " You did it perfectly!" After that we went in the class room.

I took all of his stuff off and we sat down. Then Mrs Vincent came in and said, "Will you look after the class room while I'm gone? And, don’t let any one in unless they have permission from me."

We said, "Yes."

In the class room was Fa’afili, Bhaban and me. We played hand games to entertain ourselves. A few minutes later, Rosie and Sarah I wanted to come in. We said, "Do you have permission from Mrs Vincent?" They said that they did so we let them in.

After they left, Mrs Vincent came back and asked if any one had come in. We said, "Yes, Rosie and Sarah I. They said that they had permission from Mrs Vincent."

"No, they didn't."

They lied to us then.

After a few moments Mrs Vincent and the other groups in my class came running back because we needed to go back for prize giving, so I quickly got the costume parts together again and put them on Wade. When we got up on the field, the prize giving was about start so Wade had to go and find a place to stand. Every one went silent to hear who won. Miss Castle was the speaker. I don’t know who else got an award, but in my class’, Hunter's group got an award for best use of recycled material ,and Jakob’s got the same.

The one who won the whole thing was Ineen’s group from the Seniors. They where pretty happy. I was kind of disappointed that we didn’t get an award, but not every one wins.

Well, we did have an awesome time and that's what counts, win or lose.

By Karnjeet


Last week was the wearable arts show. It was cool.

I arrived at seven thirty five or six. I came up stairs and saw Matthew, Terence and Hoani. They shouted, "Fili!" and I quickly ran into the cloak bay - but there was no hope. Huia 1’s door was open. I went into the toilets but all of them came in. I was scared to take my t-shirt off.

I put my baby oil on - it was really slippery. I went inside Huia 1 with my baby oil on. Terence helped me put my garment on, also Mrs.Vincent helped. We were rushing to put it on. Mrs.Vincent tied the rosemary twigs on both my arms and legs.

I was ready to perform! I went outside waiting for the runner to call us. We went upstairs and we saw the tent. I was scared because three groups were left and then it was our turn.

It was our turn. I went up on stage, bare chested, painted towel, flax, rosemary and a sword. I finished walking up on the stage.

I wish I could do it again, but like Mrs.Vincent told us, "It comes once a lifetime."

by Fa'afili

Here is the commentary for our performance:

Huia 1’s art tells the story of the rise and fall of the Aztec Empire.

The god, Huitzilopochtli, told the Aztecs to build their city where they found an eagle, sitting on a cactus, holding a snake in its beak. The Aztecs wandered Mesoamerica for many years in search of this eagle.
This art shows the hardship of their difficult journey and the eagle warriors who protected the Aztecs on their way. Flax, feathers, wood, recycled clothing and papier mache were used.

When they found the eagle of the prophesy, the Aztecs built the city of Tenochtitlan. This art shows the juxtaposition of the sophisticated, spiritual and brutal aspects of Aztec culture, such as Quetzlcoatl, the feathered-snake goddess; agriculture, mathematics, jaguar warriors, arts, crafts, jewellery, temples - and the sacrifice of blood needed for the sun to rise every day – all developed over two hundred years.
Materials used include recycled fabric, yarn and accessories, dyed egg shells, feathers, flowers from our class garden, wire, flax and waste paper.
From the late 1400s, explorers and conquistadors arrived in search of gold, glory and conquest. This art represents the voyages of Europeans to the Americas and especially Hernan Cortes, the first European to see Tenochtitlan. The Aztecs had never seen horses and thought that they were half man and half beast. The globe is made with papier mache, lined with old maths tests.
The ropes are made from plaited supermarket bags. Other materials were packing foam, recycled fabric, yarn, cardboard and trousers from the Hospice shop.

What happens when two different cultures meet? The Aztec ruler, Moctezuma, believed Cortes could be a god returning, according to a prophesy. His cautious welcome ended in tragedy for both cultures.

These works represent two cultures – one believed in many gods who needed a sacrifice of blood for the sun to rise each day; the other believed in one god who had already made a sacrifice of his son. The art shows that communication was limited by differences in language and cultures.
The red and yellow represent the Spanish flag and the blood of conquistadors who were sacrificed to the Aztec gods. Materials used are cardboard, paint, flax, recycled clothing, fabric and accessories.

The Aztec empire was conquered by the Spanish through introduced disease and better technology and, over time, the two cultures merged to become modern Mexico. This art shows that today, the Aztec legacy lives on in words from the Nuahuatl language such avocado, tomato and, of course, chocolate – which is represented here. We used recycled fabric, cardboard, and chocolate wrappers (Thank you to everyone who ate chocolates to help us with that.)
And finally, the eagle with a snake in its beak, sitting on a cactus is still here today– as a symbol on the flag of Mexico.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mrs Grace, our Gardens School Corrrespondent in Egypt

Here's a link to the credits and script from our award-winning Spanish video.

Here's an email from Mrs Grace, a teacher at The Gardens School, who is now working at a school in Cairo, the capital of Egypt.

We have been following the situation in Egypt in current events over the year so it is interesting to have an eye-witness account of what is happening.

We hope Mrs Grace stays safe and we look forward to hearing more from her.

(Thank you Mrs Grace for leaving us messages on our chatbox.)

Well Friday night brought my first experience of live gunfire. It happened in or near our street and was followed by blaring sirens. I don’t mind admitting I was terrified. I know I asked for adventure but this is just plain stupid!!! We’ve packed our suitcases in case we need to make a quick evacuation, but are hoping it won’t come to that. School is closed Monday, Tuesday because people have to return to their hometowns to vote – think Mary and Joseph travelling to Bethlehem.

Everyone is on edge and hoping for a good outcome.

Anyway must go, the buses are leaving early to get us all home on election eve.

Take care and I’ll keep you posted.

Cheers, Carolyn

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Los países que hablan español

Here is our latest entry into the STANZA Primary School Video Competition

We are learning how to ask the question "Where is...?" (¿Dónde está?) and reply with "It is here." (Está aquí.) We are learning the names and locations of countries where Spanish is spoken and we are also learning to recognise the flags of some of these countries.

Ben: ¡Hola clase! Hoy vamos a encontrar los países que hablan español.
¿Dónde está Cuba? Venezuela? Costa Rica..?

Estudiantes: Está aquí, al lado de México, Colombia..

Ben: ¿Dónde están Las Malvinas?

Callum: Aquí, este de Argentina.

¿Puede encontrar otros países?

Ben:¿Dónde está Nueva Zelanda?

Todos: ¡Está aquí!


Chris C

Tracey P

Jasmine F

Michael H

Te Amo T

Ricki-Jean W

Callum M

Madison L

Yatin S

Tegan M

Caitlin M


Hunter K

Sarah J

Señora Lee


Trent G, Harrison O, Vaughan W for help with editing the movie

Mrs Whitehead for the use of her large world map

Mrs Montofre for the use of her Chilean flag

Huia 1 for the use of props

Señora Lee for the use of other props

Mrs Vincent for help with props and students

and to everyone else who helped put our movie together

No students were harmed in the making of this movie.


Competition Details:

2011 Theme: Aprendemos español a través de la cultura
(Learning Spanish through culture)

Students should integrate the teaching of one topic of the Spanish curriculum with
culture in the video.

Possible topics: colours and flags; calendar and festivals; popular sports; food and

Video specifications:
Two (2) minutes maximum in length.
Please follow copyright laws.
Videos should be appropriate for all ages.
No commercial content is permitted.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Athletics Day

Here are some of the photos of athletics day on Friday, taken by Mrs Whitehead. (Rimu House colours are red, and Mrs Whitehead is in Rimu House, in case you were wondering why so many of the students are wearing red...)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Having a Ball at The Gardens School Part 2

Some comments about the ball from members of Huia 1:

... I was wearing heels and my friends and I were laughing because I was a lot taller than my partner. It felt good being tall because I am the shortest in the class. There was punch which tasted like Just Juice Bubbles, and heaps of supper. There were chocolate eclairs and I love those...

I felt nervous but it was OK. I had to do the Grand March with Tracey and she was really slow - maybe she shouldn't wear high heels.

... Last year I was really nervous, but I slowly started to get more confident. On Wednesday night I really enjoyed myself. The best bit as when we taught Mrs Chetty to fist pump. I thought Terrence and I were the best fist pumpers though. I think it was more fun than last year's ...

I have improved in dancing. I used to hate dancing but now I like it.
Danny .

...Everything looked amazing. All you need to do is have a good attitude and have fun. Rachel, Krizelle and I were taking photos of each other in front of the Eiffel tower with little lights that hung from it. I had the best night ever.

I felt uncomfortable when I first started but then, after a while, I came out of my comfort zone and I had lots of fun. I had a great time. I was surprised because I was one of the leaders for the line dances and I think I am more confident about dancing with people and in front of people.
What was funny was that we got free dancing time and when a song came on, everyone screamed really loud - and when the lights went out, everybody screamed. A great memory was that everyone was so nice when I danced with them. I wore some of my sister's jewellery and a black dress that goers black, grey, white. I liked how my mum did my hair, and I felt good.

...It was awesome. During dancing, I have learnt to keep in time and use a bit of style in my dancing. At the start of the term I was very nervous and didn't think I could make it to the ball. But, I didn't have many fears except for the fact that I might have fallen over in my heels.

When I arrived at the ball I was very excited because Hunter arranged for her uncle to take us in his very cool car. It was read and white and fitted six of us in it.

I liked how the hall was decorated. It had a beautiful cardboard Eiffel Tower. I was surprised how confident I was with all my dancing.

Last year I was not very confident with my dancing and I would avoid doing it in public - but now I can strut my stuff without a care in the world. I think Hunter, Tegan, Caitlin, Sarah I, Sarah J and I made an entrance in our fancy car. I will probably never forget that when the house lights went out some of the girls screamed loudly. I loved my dress because it was different in its blue-green colour and how it looked on me. I won a special Mickey Mouse pencil case for being enthusiastic during all six weeks of dancing practice. I love Mueve la Colita because I can put my own style into it.

At the start of the term, I had completely forgotten most of the dances from last year. But, when we started to dance to the music, I started to remember. My favourite dance was the Grand March to the Marseillaise. It was probably the hardest to learn but also, in my view, it looked the best.

...My special memory is shuffle fist pumping. I won a prize for the Macarena and I came second in the statue waltz with Tanya as my partner.

...This year I was more confident in dancing.

... At first I didn't like dancing but now I do because I have a lot of confidence and I think it's pretty fun. The best part was when Ben and I were teaching people how to fist pump - including teachers - like Mrs Chetty and Mrs Loakman. And, it was cool as!!!!

...The night was awesome because Hunter, Tegan, Caitlin, Sarah, Ricki-Jean and I went in this really awesome old car....There were lots of nice dresses and everyone was so good at dancing Mueve la Colita... Last year, when I was a Year 7, I wasn't that confident, but I know I am really confident dancing with boys now. Mr Yates danced with a chair when we were waltzing around the hall - he did that last year, too.
Sarah J.

The ball has just been. I had a great time with everything, and there was a lot of supper. We played statues - the waltz version; it was fun. My favourite dance was Mueve la Colita because it is very enthusiastic and it makes you want to smile. I got chosen to start off the snowball waltz, along with two other couples.

Mrs Chetty came to the ball. She was telling me to shuffle and I shuffled - then she started laughing. Nikhil and Taleyah won the statue waltz. There were a lot of good dancers like: Michael, Danny, me, Ricki-Jean, Tegan, Hunter, Trent, Sarah J, Fili and Ben.
When I first started dancing, I was scared but as we kept learning dances I started to feel more confident. As Taylor -Paige and I arrived, we forgot our tickets so we had to go back home and get them We walked in the door and all the lights were off and there was only fairy lights.

We started with the grand march and next we did Mueve la Colita- I got a prize for that. There was supper and drinks. The punch was very fizzy - it made my eyes water. Wednesday the 5th of October was the best thing for that week.

Overall, my favourite dances were the merengue, the Maxina and the snowball waltz and I think that the best dancer was Ben.

I liked the statue waltz because I am really god at staying still and so was Terrence - he was my partner. When Mrs Vincent said we had to act the Eiffel Tower and a tourist I wanted to be the Eiffel Tower but so did Terrence, but he outranked me by saying,"I am taller." Terrence and I got into the finals but we did not win.

Everyone dressed their best and brought a plate of food - either savouries or sweets. What I enjoyed best was the freestyle dance. The lights were turned down and the music was played. We started a jumping Follow the Leader line. I won a prize but I forgot what for. During supper we took photos in front of the Eiffel Tower. It was a fun night and I didn;t realise that I had gained more confidence in dancing.

I learned that you have to be confident. I also won a prize for great dance moves. When our parents came we did some dancing to show them what we've been learning.
Sarah I.