The Year 8 Learners are finishing up on their self-portraits. They followed the grid drawing method and transferred their photo to a larger scale drawing. Now their focus is contour line drawings and using watercolours.
Year 8 have been great enquirers as they begin their exploration into the data handling cycle. The Knowledge Harvest saw the learners conduct an investigation where they had to test their hypotheses about the number of sweets there are in a packet. This required them to collect, represent and interpret primary data. The learners have recently demonstrated their understanding of bar charts by completing the chart busters’ treasure hunt which meant they had to interpret simple, comparative and compound bar charts. They also had to display their higher order thinking skills when asked to analyse a comparative bar chart showing tropical deforestation across the world. The learners had to write a PEE paragraph which explained why different regions had different deforestation rates by recalling their knowledge of emerging economies from humanities and also make a prediction as to what they think the deforestation rates will be like in the future.
The learners are currently exploring body percussion routines with various levels of difficulty. There has been impressive progress with their sense of rhythm and coordination skills.
Through the Communication unit, Year 8 learners are developing their volleyball knowledge and skills. They are building on the solid foundation made last year and quickly making improvements in their serving, setting, digging and spiking. I am hugely impressed with their rapid progress and they are taking more responsibility for communicating their position on the court and setting up a successful series of attacking play. Their knowledge of the rules has been cemented and they are beginning to think of tactics as well as the basic skills. They are also taking more responsibility in a refereeing and scoring.
Year 8 had a fabulous day of Lego challenges for their Entry Point. They started the day with a trip to Think Big, where the wonderful staff set each team a challenge: construct a chair, a table or a tower, from a large box of bricks.
When we returned, the group was set a number of construction challenges, each with a twist. One partner was blindfolded and had to be directed to make the structure. In another task, the partner had to describe how to build the structure, but was back to back with the other person so couldn’t see what they were building. There was also a memory challenge where the teams had to replicate a long pattern of different coloured bricks accurately.
At the end, the group were able to reflect on how they had used different strategies and had to think carefully about how they communicated their instructions accurately and clearly, in order to be successful. They were able to conclude that the new unit for Y8 is Communication!
Ten of our Middle Years learners took part in the NISC Model United Nations Conference 2017. The conference is modelled on the workings of the United Nations, and our learners were given the challenge of acting as delegates for different nations. They participated in the challenging tasks of lobbying, debating and writing resolutions, and they tried to negotiate their way towards outcomes that their countries would be positive about. We are very proud of our learners for taking part, and for all of their hard work before, and during, the conference.