BIS Curriculum Newsletter

Friday 21st May 2021

Term 2 Teaching Programmes

Kia ora e te whānau,

This special newsletter is to share with you what is being taught in term 2. We hope that this will give you an idea on ways to support your child in their learning and help them with resources or ideas.

Our students are always proud to bring in their work from home to share with us and it is great to see so many students continuing their learning at home. We hope that you also enjoy seeing their progress and supporting them at home.

Progress reports will be sent home in week 9 and we will be hosting parent and teacher meetings on Thursday 8 July.

Literacy and Library

Our students spend one hour per week in a library lesson with Mr Weston. Their focus this term is on the library organisation and understanding how to find a book to read for enjoyment or for research purposes. Students are encouraged to read widely and to keep a reading log of the books they have read. Mr Weston is always looking for new titles that will engage students and he is hoping that students will share their ideas for new book purchases.

In reading this term students will be spending time evaluating a text or passage to see if the content is reliable. They will be using their skills of reading from other sources to check if information is true or if it is fake news. Finding clues in the text to answer questions where the answer is not explicitly stated will also be a skill covered this term.

If your child is reading with or to you at home, asking questions about why they think something happened or what do you think about that will help them to gain a deeper understanding of the text.

In writing our students are exploring narrative writing and creating their own stories with an emphasis on using descriptive language to tell a story.

Editing and reworking is always a constant focus and taking time to use the best words for the audience is part of the editing process. Helping your child to extend their vocabulary by talking about other ways of describing things or events could help them to learn some new words.


It was pleasing to see so many students attending the after school mathematics sessions on Thursday last week. These sessions are available to all students and cater for those who need support, those who need a skill to be reinforced and those who need extension. They are in the maths rooms every Thursday from 3.15pm - 4.15pm.

The focus in mathematics this term is on multiplication and division skills. This covers solving word problems, number problems and real life situations using a variety of methods to find the answer. There is no one way to solve a mathematical problem and we want our students to be selecting the most efficient method to get to the correct answer. Estimation skills and checking for accuracy is also an important part of this maths topic as well as students being able to instantly recall their basic facts.

Later in the term we will be exploring the measurement of length, width, area, perimeter and volume.

We are encouraging all students to learn their times tables and division facts so that they can recall these instantly and with confidence. This helps them in other aspects of mathematics.

Science and Social Sciences

The newsletter in week one outlined our plan for Science Fair this term. The teaching of how to run a fair test has started in the science classrooms and students have all taken part in a few hands on experiments. The teachers will be sharing more information with parents about how to conduct a fair test so that students can plan their experiments and carry these out at home.

Science Fair boards will be provided by the school to each student at no cost.

We will be inviting local primary schools and parents to view the completed Science Fair Boards in the final week of term 2.

Some key words for our students to learn this term in relation to their science topic are ; variables, experiment, equipment, method, hypothesis, conclusion, findings, report, prediction, fair test, observation, results, data and research.

In Social Sciences we have been learning about the NZ Land Wars. This is a big topic so we are specifically looking at the Northern Land Wars. Our focus is on looking at how leaders responded to these events and how these events have impacted our history and our lives today.

Later in the term we will be studying international sporting events and looking at how these organised events affect our lives in NZ and the impact they have on the economy.

Being aware of current events and having a good general knowledge about NZ and world geography are skills that can be reinforced at home to help your child with their learning in social sciences.

Te Reo Māori

We are very proud of the progress our students are making in their learning of te reo. We have heard many students say that they love speaking te reo and learning tikanga. This term the focus is on Māori medicine and gardening. As well as learning about the use of plants in Māori medicine, students will be involved in planting a medicinal garden and making some balms and teas.

Matariki celebrations commence at the end of the term and we will learn about Matariki and learn a powhiri haka to perform at the festival in week 9.

Health and PE

Our Health focus for the winter terms is always around keeping well and we want to reinforce the message that if you are unwell, stay home. This is not just about coughs and colds. We have recently had nits, ring worm and tummy bugs being passed around the school. All of these are highly contagious so if your child has any illness that can be passed on to others or makes your child unable to work in class, please keep them home for the day or until they are well again.

Wellbeing and anti-bullying is our current messages in health. Our focus on care for self extends into keeping yourself safe from bullies and ensuring that you are part of a bully-free environment. This will be reinforced on Pink Shirt Day.

Our PE team have asked students about the sports that are most played over winter and have planned a PE programme that teaches the skills of these games. Soccer, rugby, league, netball and basketball are all popular sports in our community and ones that our students play competitively and socially. Improving skill level as well as learning the rules for the game and how to referee or umpire is all part of the PE programme. Regular reinforcement of fair play and good sportsmanship is also part of the PE programme.

The Sports Camp team has been selected and those in the team will be having regular trainings to get ready for the competition in Matamata.

Our PE team will be planning and running the year 8 camp with other teachers in October. Please make sure you have these dates on your calendar if your child is in year 8 - Tues 19 - Fri 22 October at Camp Adair in Hunua Falls. Approx cost will be $330 per students. You can start making payments now.

Technology and the Arts

Our technology team all focus on problem solving. They all teach our students to read a brief or a problem and come up with possible solutions that involved designing and either building, coding, programming or cooking a solution.

In Food Technology, students have to plan a menu using the recipes they have learnt this year. They have to show an awareness of nutritional needs of the diner and plan accordingly for this. Their planning includes recipes, menus, invites and planning the table settings.

In Hard Technology students have used skills to make a picture frame and will now use these skills to build a more substantial piece of wood work. they are to create a game inside a wooden box such as a pinball machine.

In Digital Technology, our students will be coding and programming as well as creating a character for the video game that they are making. Later in the term they will be using circuitry to power a basic car that they will design and build.

All aspects of technology involve research, problem solving, designing, creating and evaluating. Students also have to use a range of equipment correctly and safely. These are all part of the teaching programme.

In Visual Arts, students have been looking at the artworks of local artist, Flox. They are creating their own 'Flow' styled painting using a range of techniques including stencilling, layering and blending colours. They will be working with paint to create an art piece that celebrates the NZ landscapes and their own cultural heritage.

Other Events this Term

Throughout each term there are numerous opportunities for students to participate in sports events, performing arts, visual arts, clubs and cultural groups. Participating and contributing are key competencies and we encourage all students to check the daily notices to part sure they get involved in a range of activities.