Buddy Reading

In order to help us with our own story writing, Ruma Tekau ma toru spent Tuesday afternoon reading to our little buddies in Ruma Tekau.

Our mission was very specific; Find out what types of stories our little buddies like to read. This task will hopefully enable us to refine our own story writing skills, as we are becoming more aware of the types of storylines, characters and themes that are present in stories written for young readers.

Another thing we practised while reading to our buddies was using expression and appropriate pace. We are trying to pay attention to how an author has used specific punctuation to control the pace and flow of the story. Once we become more familiar with this, we can begin using the same type of punctuation in our own writing.

While reflecting on our learning, we discussed an important concept that every member of Room 13 has become aware of; Young kids have short attention spans. Realising this, we know it is going to be important to keep our stories interesting and fast paced.

Our stories are due in three weeks. We will soon see how successful we are at writing for a young audience.



1st attempt at learning groups

In order to develop our skills in collaboration, the Room 13 crew have been practising working in small groups. Our aim is simply to support each other in our learning, while also developing essential social skills that will help us in our personal and professional lives. This has come from our investigation into what 21st-century employers want from their employees. From analysing the data we have gathered, we have discovered that many employers around the world feel that young people are lacking in soft skills, such as being able to communicate effectively, work well with others, think critically and manage themselves.

As you can see from our short video, some of us find it very easy to stay focused, participate and support the learning of others. Some of us have become aware that it will be important to set goals towards being able to be an effective and valuable member of a team.

Next week, we begin our 7 week inquiry into how we can develop and strengthen our social skills, which relate to one of our Stanley Ave learner dimensions, ‘Team Player’.

We will continue to update our progress as we continue our journey. So, stay tuned.

Day 2 of Leadership Camp 2019!

Day 2 of Leadership Camp saw the Ruru Syndicate on the Wairoa River at Waimarino Adventure Park in Tauranga. The weather was perfect and the River was very ‘refreshing’. This park was full of exciting activities such as kayaking, the UFO (floating trampoline), the BLOB (the thing that looks like a huge pillow!), hydro-slide, Tarzan swing, hot pool, and diving boards. We had a choice day on the water, having a go at all this park has to offer, supporting others to try new things, and working together as a team. Ka Pai Ruru for a great end to the Leadership Camp and an awesome start to 2019!

Day 2 for Blog

Day 1 of Leadership Camp 2019!

Wow! Day 1 of Leadership camp saw the Ruru Syndicate attempt the big maunga of Te Aroha. Looking up at the mountain, many of us were filled with adrenaline, others filled with nerves. This was a great challenge to start our outstanding camp. Even though some of our students and teachers didn’t quite make it all the way up to the top, we pushed ourselves way past our comfort zones and helped each other in this challenge. Congratulations to all the Ruru Syndicate! Check out some of the amazing views that we saw on our walk.

Day 1 for Blog

Who are we and where did we come from?

To kick start the year’s learning, we decided to find out about our family history.

Mr Byers mentioned that he has his family’s coat of arms and said he would bring it into school to show us, which he did. He spoke to us about his whanau and explained that he had done a lot of research into his whanau history.

After seeing Mr Byers’ coat of arms, we thought it would be cool to research our own whanau history and to see if our own family has a coat of arms. If we discovered that we didn’t, we could create one.

The criteria for our coat of arms was to use images and symbols to represent things that are important to our family.

Here are a few examples of what we came up with.


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.