Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Our ANZAC Ceremony and Remembrance of the Battle for Crete

On the 20th May, the Intermediate students participated in an Anzac ceremony (even though it was nearly a month after April 25th) with special guests from the Manurewa RSA as well as parents, and students from other classes. We had been preparing for this since the beginning of Term Two when we started to learn about The Battle for Crete. For homework, we had to research one aspect of the Battle for Crete and our charts and dioramas were on display for our assembly.

First thing on Friday morning, Huia 1 students were busy collecting donations from other students for poppies to wear. When we ran out of pins, we got extra from the sewing room in Poutama...and told Mrs Hansen later. Some of the boys organised cones to reserve parking spaces for our guests, and speakers practised their lines. Nikhil said he felt nervous because there were heaps of people. Jackie said, "I felt excited because I was meeting the RSA guests because I have never seen them before."
Karnjeet, Bhaban and Jackie greet our guests.
Many students had specific jobs such as greeting RSA guests, parking attendants, making wreaths, singing, speaking roles, reciting poetry, holding the flag, holding song chats, technical jobs and giving out programmes and poppies.

Some of the guests and the helpers.
Student speakers led the ceremony and the only adult to speak was President Graham, from the RSA. Hunter welcomed everyone and, after the National Anthem, Ben spoke about the landing of the first ANZAC troops at Gallipoli. Then we sang a medly of songs from World War One: Keep the Home Fires Burning, Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag, and It's a Long Way to Tipparary. Following that, Jaime, Jasmine and Serena read the Message from Ataturk to the mothers of the fallen.
Ben, Jasmine, Serena, Jaime
We moved to Flanders Fields, in Belgium, and Huia 2 recited the poem by John McRae.
The day of our ceremony was also the 70th anniversary of The Battle for Crete. We had all done projects on this and we learned that 671 New Zealanders died and 2180 soldiers were taken to be prisoners of war.Jakob, one of the speakers about Crete, said, "I found it scary because I thought I was going to muck up in front of the RSA people. After it was over I thought, it wasn't that bad."

President Graham spoke to the students and encouraged us to join the Manurewa R.S.A with our families, and told us all the entertainments and activities available there. He also told us that some of their members had been very young when they witnessed bomb tests in the Pacific and that there not many of these people left alive now.
RSA guests

A group from Huia 1 sang Abide with Me, then students placed wreaths on a special table.

Choir singing Abide with Me
Laying wreaths
The Last Post was played as Prateek lowered the flag to half mast, and then The Ode for the Fallen was read by Tracey and Ishapreet. A minute's silence followed before Reveille was played and the flag was raised again.

Prateek, the flag-bearer
We finished the ceremony with a medley of World War Two songs: We'll Meet Again, The White Cliffs of Dover and Maori Battalion. Our visitors and guests viewed our projects on the Battle for Crete before our RSA guests joined a group of teachers and students for morning tea in the board room.
Morning tea for our guests.

Some comments about the day from our class:

- When they said, 'We are the dead...' it actually sounded as if they were the soldiers that fell. When the Last Post was played it felt very serious. Ricki-Jean

- The lead up to it, and the actual ceremony, really educated us on the Battle for Crete, becasue some of us didn't know it existed. Hunter

- It went really well. Nothing bad happened. Nikhil

- I really liked singing the songs. I was also in the choir singing Abide with Me, and I was outside in the doorway shaking the R.S.A's hands and giving out programmes. I brought a flag to put on the table. Bhaban

- It was quite scary when we sang Abide with Me because everyone was staring at us. Danny

- When the Last Post played, it was hard to think of anything else but what happened in the war, like, if you saw your best friend get shot. Jakob.

It was probably one of our best assemblies we have ever done. Everyone tried their best to make it well-organised and make it worth remembering. All those involved will be more confident in the future if they have to speak in front of the school and an audience again. There will now be a strong relationship between The Gardens School and the Manurewa R.S.A

The wreaths were moved outside by the flagpole after the ceremony.
Some examples of the homework projects about the Battle for Crete done by our Intermediate students.

Lest We Forget
 May 2011

It was a fine Friday morning; the sun was glimpsing in my eye. It was the day for the ANZAC assembly to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle for Crete and to honour the fallen.

We were so excited.  Huia1 students were preparing for a special assembly at 10’clock,  in the school hall.  Firstly, we arranged the seating by having rows and we had to sit in our allocated rows. The speakers sat in the the front row so they could quickly get up to the microphone. All of the Intermediate students and teachers  were wearing a poppy.

Members from the  Manurewa RSA [Returned and Service Association] came to the assembly to share their time  and to remember the fallen. Some of the students greeted our guests at the door, while Ben, Hunter and a few other boys were introducing themselves  to the guests.  One of the RSA members  had 5 medals on him.

Hunter, our MC, gave us a warm welcome to start off the assembly and asked us to stand for the National Anthem of New Zealand. At that point, I felt very proud to be a New Zealander.

Ben, Ricki-Jean, Jakob, Nikhil, and Krizelle were talking about World Wars One and Two, the commemoration of ANZAC day on the 25th of April, and  the Battle for Crete. Jasmine, Serena and Jamie from Kea 2 recited the Message from Ataturk, the first  President of Turkey and Nikhil, our student speaker, spoke about Flanders Fields. Then, Mrs Irwin's class recited a lovely poem called Flanders Fields by John McRae.

After that,we sang a medley of World War 1 songs, Keep the Home Fires Burning, Pack Up Your Troubles and It's a Long Way to Tipperary  We blew the roof off the place. I think the guests were impressed by our singing. We were all happy too.

RSA guests stood up and told us that we can join the RSA. Mr Dolan, the president of the Manurewa RSA,  spoke to everyone about the R.S.A and he wants to see us there soon, when we are a bit older. He also said he liked our performance and really appreciated being invited to the assembly. Then the choir students sang Abide with Me.

Two  people from each class laid  a wreath by a sign saying “Lest We Forget”.  Then the one  minute's silence began. The flag was lowered to half mast. The last post played over the silence of the children and adults. We stood still and remembered the fallen in silence while the trumpet played the Last Post. Then, the reveille played and the flag was lifted from half mast.

The assembly was about to finish and our last song was a World War 2 Medley of We'll Meet Again, The White Cliffs of Dover and Maori Battalion. Hoani had the best voice. When it finished, the RSA guests were looking at our posters and they were taking photos of them. When that finished, the RSA guests went to the staff room to have morning tea. Some of the Intermediate students went too.

 I enjoyed singing the songs from World War 1 and 2. This has been a great experience and I wish to do it again.

 From the combined recounts by members of Huia 1

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Princess Smarty Pants Visits our School

This morning, all our students watched a performance of Princess Smarty Pants, based on the book by Babette Cole, performed by students of Alfriston College. Although this performance was aimed at a younger audience, the Intermediate classes were watching it to learn more about what is involved in putting on a drama production, and the skills and techniques involved in performing in front of an audience. Huia 1 were also looking specifically at themes and conflict in the story being told, so we could relate them to themes and conflict in our recent novel study of "Holes" by Loius Sacher. It was also good to support our local high school and our past students who were involved in the production.

Here are some of the comments about the play by Huia 1 students:
Although I realise they were actors, I still think it was believable. The choreography was great and they must have worked really hard. I learned that to be in a play, you have to be enthusiastic and sometimes you have to shout as you don't have a microphone. Matthew .My favourite part was when the singers were singing because they were in tune with the songs and the beat. I learned that to be in a play you have to have the proper skills, like Alfriston College did. You have to memorise the words because when you go on, the words aren't there. Hoani.

They were good actors and good guitar players. They spoke loud and the people at the back could hear them. They looked confident. I want to be like them when I go to high school. Fa'afili
I liked the show and it also made the Juniors laugh. It was entertaining, with believable costumes and funny jokes. I learned that to be in a play you must have a clear voice, not make mistakes, have good expression and be confident. Donny.

I knew they were high school kids but they were really good actors because they got the message across to me. I learned that to be in a play you have to have a good mind because you have to remember a lot of words and if you forget some it would be embarrassing. I learned that enunciation is important. Tegan.
They put so much effort into the play because they cared so much about everything. The sound effects made it real and touching. I learned that the simplest story can turn into a magical moment. Every play can be magical if you know what to do at the right time and to be brave, even though it can be scary. Annella
I liked it because they got into their characters and were credible, like the trees acted like trees - even though they talked. Jakob.

I learned that watching and listening to a story based on something for Juniors is actually really cool. It showed me that I want to do drama at college. Shayla.I like the way they said the words clearly so everyone could hear. They are really good actors for high school kids. I learned that just because you're not that age it does not mean you can't watch it, because you might enjoy it. This showed me that when I go to high school, I might want to act. Renae.I learned that you have to be in character all the time. Sarah.
The funniest part was when the guy was a professional horse rider but couldn't ride a horse - and he was scared of the big horse. I learned that plays made for young people can also get the interest of older people. I think I got my money's worth. Chris
There was good acting because they emphasised their characters' emotions and made it clear. I learned that to make a good play, you don't need to use really flash props or costumes to make it look flash and to make it entertaining. You need a lot of time to practise and memorise your lines. When I grow up I want to act a little bit. Jessica.

I learned that to be an actor you need good expression so that you don't lose the audience's attention. I think I got more than I paid for. Hunter.
I learned that some books can have big plays inside them. Bhabandeep.

Friday, May 6, 2011

How Do You Spell That?

First two entries in our Interesting Ways to Spell Words competition...

Hunter learns to spell choir by making the shapes of the letters with her dog's toys.

Sarah learns to spell threw using paper towels. We hope she threw them in the bin when she had finished...