Learning to Harden Up!

Creating Strong Concrete: By Room 13 and Room 1

This week in the Ruru Syndicate we did a concrete experiment. The aim was to make the strongest slab of concrete. This is part of our building project. We were allowed to use reinforcements such as nails, screws, wire, chicken mesh and much more. This essay will enlighten you to our process, how to to make a strong concrete slab.

To be safe during the concrete experiment, we needed to use the correct safety equipment.  This consists of a dust mask and a pair of latex gloves. We also need to be alert around cement so it doesn’t get on our skin, as this could irritate you.   If the cement is in contact with your skin, wash it off as soon as possible. We need to be very careful to not breathe in the dusty chemicals, which is why we need to wear our masks at all times.

Here are the steps you will need to take to make successful concrete:

First, you will need to create the correct ratio, which is 1 part cement powder and 3 parts sand. So if you had a cup of dry ingredients then you should have ¼ of a cup of cement and ¾ of a cup of sand.

Step 1: Place your dry ingredients in the bowl

Step 2: Grab a spoon a mix it together

Step 3: Pour water into the dry ingredients

Step 4: Mix thoroughly

Step 5: Make sure the texture of the mix is a smooth consistency

Step 6: Carefully pour the mix into the ready-made mould

Step 7: Add any extra materials, such as reinforced steel, stones, netting, wire, or other items you think will strengthen the concrete.

Step 8: Once finished, place in a dry area to sit for up to 2 days.


Part of this experiment was about working together. We needed to work as a mighty tribe, which means we had to cooperate and work together as a helpful team. We had to organize who mixes the concrete, who made the mould, who searches up how to make concrete, and what should we add to strengthen our concrete. Our experience in making concrete also taught us how to be more patient and loyal to each other. Guess what?! We even learnt how to make concrete.

Overall, making concrete from a variety of materials is rather difficult. There is a lot of waiting and a lot of mess. Also, each group had a different result e.g. having big blobs or other groups having a flat looking ingot of concrete. Some had a hard time drying, for others, it was really easy. Yet we all ended up with a concrete brick at the end which was all around the same size. We will test the strength of each brick when it has cured long enough to see which reinforcing agent was the most effective. This activity showed how we can use skills learned in maths, eg ratios, and apply them to real-life situations.


Strike Day / Cross-country

A reminder that school is closed tomorrow – Wednesday 15th August, as teachers are striking.

We look forward to seeing you back on Thursday – which is cross-country day! Remember your whanau house colours, running shoes and plenty of warm clothes.

The running order for cross-country has changed this year – with the 12+ year olds running first. For more details of the running order have a look on the school website.

Winter and Stanley Olympics

Thank you to all those students/families who have been supporting our fundraising efforts for Winter and Stanley Olympics this year. We have had three main fundraising activities happening this year: Chocolates, Friday Food, and Cupcakes. Each of these three options has been extremely successful and contributed a massive financial contribution to our Winter Olympics Team.

Chocolates are now all sold and we are asking for all students to please collect the last of their money and return this to school by the end of this week please.

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Friday Food sales will continue this week and next week before wrapping up for the year. This week there are Nachos for $3 and Juice for $1. We are extremely lucky to have the wonderful Mrs Wilson leading the way with making these wonderful lunches possible – from creating the menu, sourcing all the ingredients (including some wonderful sponsorship of ingredients) and cooking these delicious meals. Every week has been an amazing success – you know it has been a winner when there is not a single bite left and no waste being put in the rubbish bin!

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Cupcakes have been a massive success this year and we are extremely thankful for the amazing effort by Jacob and his extremely supportive family for creating these delicious treats each week. It has been amazing to see how fast these are selling out each week! Word has certainly spread quickly about just how tasty they are! Jacob will be selling these for only two more weeks – so if you have missed out in the past make sure you don’t miss out and get in quick in this Friday or next Friday!

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As well as fundraising continuing over the next two weeks, there is also notices that have been sent home/will be sent home in regards to both of these events. Please keep an eye out for these notices as it is important that they are returned promptly to school. If you have any concerns surrounding any of the notices – whether it be you have lost them, or cannot find the appropriate link on the school website please do not hesitate to be in touch with Mrs Knyvett.


My Time – Basketball Coaching

This term Seth and Trevor have been focussing on basketball for their My Time learning. It has been fantastic to see the progress they have shown and developed their learning as required. They started off developing their own basketball skills, then decided that they wanted to take it a step further and coach others.

Over the past three weeks they have been busy taking Tui Syndicate for basketball sessions. Last Friday was their final session with Room 4. Here is some of the wonderful feedback they received from this session from Room 4 and Miss Malone.

What went well:
– You were confident and very in charge of the lesson.
– The session has a clear structure and came across as carefully thought out.
– You had great strategies to split the groups. It was great having the boys and girls separated as the boys are much more competitive.
– It was great that the session had a skill focus before the students engaged with activities to practice them.
– You were very organised and ready for my class which maximised the time you spent teaching basketball skills.
– The session was active and engaging for all students, even those who had tried to opt out before we came to you. It was actually those students who talked the most about how much fun they had had.
– You gave very clear and precise instructions which were at the appropriate level for my students. Not too many but enough that they had to make sure they listened carefully.
– You checked students understanding before you had them complete an activity. This meant activities were done correctly.
– It was great that a lot of the time you modelled how the activity was to be done.
What Students enjoyed
– You modelled how to do activities. It made them feel relaxed because they knew exactly what to do it.
– You were supportive and encouraged everyone, even those who didn’t want to have a go.
– The activities were fun and didn’t go on for too long.
– Having mini competitions in their groups.
– Being split into girls and boys because boys are more competitive.
– You gave people who weren’t doing the right thing something else to do, like running a lap.
Tips for Next time 
– If you were take take my class again include other skills as you now know what their strengths and weaknesses are (spreading out, dribbling and different types of passing)
– Keep praising when students do the right thing. It means a lot to them when seniors are positive towards them. It also demonstrated to them how to be great leaders.
– Just keep doing what you’re doing because its great!

Thank you so very much Room 4 for taking the time to give these boys this fantastic feedback and next steps.

Check out the videos of them in action with Room 3.

What wonderful leaders and coaches we have in our classroom! Keep up the fantastic work boys.


Matariki Hangi

Thursday 21st June saw us celebrate Matariki with our bi-annual school Hangi. It was a great day, where the community and entire school came together to put on a fantastic event.

A huge thank you to all the parents and whanau who took time out to prep food, lay the Hangi, serve the food and clean-up afterwards. It was a massive effort, especially when things didn’t go quite to plan. However it really highlighted just how strong our community is, and how when things aren’t going to plan we can all band together to come up with another option.

Tino pai to mahi




Week 4 My Time Update

It is the end of Week 4, and with that the end of our third week of My Time.

Each group has been working hard with their My Time Projects and it is fantastic to see everyone’s learning developing. The weekly reflections are leading to clear next steps and it is wonderful to see so many groups taking notice of this and acting on it to be more successful each time.

While some groups are working to challenge themselves, others are having to think of ways to make their activity achievable in the time allowed, whilst others have already mastered their set learning outcome and are setting themselves new goals.

Some of the highlights from this week included:

  • Richie, Noah and Noah producing hot food for the judges tasting for the first time!!! And scoring 9’s for their effort!


  • Jacob and Bradley producing the most incredible looking Salted Caramel Meringue Sponge Cake that tasted even better than it looked!


  • Natasha, Joanna and Brandy producing incredibly effective African Silhouette Landscapes.


  • Caleb and Phoenix producing captivating cartoon characters.
  • Morgan cooking a delicious Duck Stir-fry full of flavour on a gas cooker.
  • Ella, Olivia and Amber creating enticing aromatic Bath Bombs.
  • Rico, Seth and Lindsey practicing to nail their rebound jump shots.
  • Harlen and Blake programming their robotics to complete numerous sequenced tasks.


  • Olivia and Shaye creating Oobleck.
  • Sarfyre, Greta and Olivia creating yummy milkshakes focusing on their presentation.

We can’t wait to see what incredible things are produced next week.


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