Year 9 HDS do leadership Part 2

So we went to Cromwell primary. And we came back, and we talked and we reflected on what worked and what didn’t, and we thought and we planned and we made another set of activities for Cromwell primary year 6. And we went back to Cromwell Primary to do hopefully an even better job.

There was the maths game with action. I liked this game so much I used the day after with One Day School (and will use it at every opportunity from now on)


The next game was one that involved stories about cookies and being able to throw and catch. i didn’t fully get it but the kids did. What i liked about this game was the need to be creative with your story, which you don’t often get in a game


Keegan also played the cookie game – here he is being out because he can’t catch


Nor can Mason. Note the year 6’s all still in


The third group ran a command style task where students had to get the radioactive bucket out of the area. this was a hard challenge that Cromwell primary students worked very well to achieve

bucket radioactive


Year 9 “do” Leadership at Cromwell Primary

When I first began to teach at Cromwell College, I taught a load of boys who are now just about to leave school and make it big in the world as young men. Those boys taught me that in Central, things get done, they get done well, but that there is no need to stress about them. So here I am again 5 years later with another set of year 9’s doing the same thing. You’d think I’d learn!

Year 9 HDS ran leadership activities yesterday for Cromwell Primary year 6’s, and were duly debriefed by the children about what they thought of the activities and the leadership styles. I then gave them a pep talk about the fact they needed to be more assertive and make it clear who was in charge. “But did everyone have a good time?” Yes I said. “Was it inclusive?” Yes I said. “Did we manage the odd child who didn’t listen or who was a bit silly, with humour and calm fun?”. Yes I said. “Did they learn something?” Yes. “Did they look upon us a good role models?” Yes.

“So isn’t it you Miss, not us, that needs to change your leadership style to fit the context?”

Taxi for Mrs O’Brien then……………….

Giving instructions:


Pictionary with a difference:


Command tasks:

photo (43)

Debrief time:

photo (44)

Can you live below the line? On $2.25 a day?

$2.25 is the line that divides absolute poverty (and the 1.4 billion people who live in it) from the rest of us. Year 7 HDS have had a good attempt at designing and making a menu that feeds someone for this amount. Judged by “Arabelle Langbean-Borrie” and Jamie Oliver-Hodkinson, students were marked on tastiness and nutritional value. There was a huge variety in food offered, although two common themes were lack of meat and also lack of fresh fruit and veggies. It is not hard to see that these are luxuries, even in NZ, when the aim is for the family to have full tummies. Congratulations to Anna and Ben for their winning meals. They both win a weeks supply of organic Trade Aid rice


Anna’s winning dish:


Our estimed judges:

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Some great menu ideas:



One idea was the big carb pasta – fest:


Long term memory, depth-of-processing theory and brain stories

Year 8 HDS have been looking a memory and cognition, in terms of what affects long and short term memory and how to improve these. One theory states that deeper processing will ensure better memory encoding, i.e. memory is better programmed into the mind if it links to greater meaning.

And so Year 8 have been writing stories and poetry about the brain that use depth of processing theory to aid memory. Sara Bellum and Sir Rebral Cortex feature quite heavily, as does Brian Stem. Have a read and enjoy!

Brain Poem by Harris

I the stem sit in your brain all day

I don’t move, and I can’t anyway

I help you breathe, swallow and digest

I also help you blink, and the rest

People might call me ancient and old

But I think that i’m quite bold

Without me you would die

But sadly I can’t make you cry

Now I’ll tell you about my friend

And then we can get nearer to the end

Her name is cerebellum

And she also lives in the big mellon

She sends and receives messages

From bones, joints and connections

She can help you catch a pike

She can also help you ride a bike

To do this you need balance

That is why you have a cerebellum

I’ve also got this mate called the hippocampus

And he is like your memory camera

He helps you process all your memories

and helps you with all your thinking

He also helps with your emotions

He floods your brain with a memory ocean

He makes you happy , angry or sad

But  sometimes he can make you go blasting mad

He’s got this really big friend called the Cerebral Cortex

He does the thinking, the learning and controls your 5 senses

He helps you see, smell, touch, hear and taste

He also helps you make decisions and create

Thats the story about the brain

If you want you can read it again

Brain Story by Lana
Hi I am Phoebe Brainheart. I am off to a theme park. The
first ride I decide to go on is the cerebral cortex speed
ride. I didn’t really like it because you had to push lots of
different buttons and make decisions. After I went on that
not so exciting ride I decided to try the poker cortex
machine. It was a bit like a poker machine because it had
lots of games and activities such as a game called moon
exploder where you had to be creative because you had
to think lots of different ways to explode different kinds of
moons. I really enjoyed it because there was always a
new game you try just around the corner. Next I went on
the cerebellum surf ride. I really enjoyed it because you
stood on a surfboard  and tried to keep balanced while
man made waves came rushing at me. The more I
practised the better I got. Next I went on the brian stem
ride which you had to push buttons to control very
important things such as your heart rate, breathing,
swallowing, digestion and much more. This was very hard
but it showed me how hard the brain worked and how
important the brain stem is. Last but not least I went on
the hippocampus memory ride where you went into this
machine and the machine made you forget everything
and you went on a ride which I did not even know was a
ride at the time as I had lost my memory. This made me
understand the importance of the hippocampus
The Town of Brain by Hippocampus by Jacob
The Hippo Campus is a place with many dorms for all the students. But the best part is the great library where your memory books are. the great librarian Mr Hippo knows where all the books are and he helps you to find these books. But because new books keep coming in he needs to get rid of books, and then can’t find them so you forget what was in them. The Hippo Campus is only one part of the town of brain and we need to get on the brain stem highway and go to the Cerebellum gymnastics store. This is a wonderful place full of movement and balance. Sometimes the store runs out of stock and you fall over. Next stop is the Cerebral Cortex labs. the first half of the labs is responsible for thinking and learning as well as the five senses. You know when you have a runny nose that is because something broke in the first lab. the second half of the labs is full of plans, decisions and creation. Now I’m sure you had fun on our tour of Brain Town and we do hope you’ll come back soon. Bye for now!
Mall Trip by Sam
You go to the mall and first place you go is the shoe shop to get some runners. you see the pairs that you quite like, one pair by Nike and one pair by Adidas. You see that the Nikes are cheaper but your hippocampus helps you to remember that the Adidas are much better quality and will last you longer so you decide to get them instead.
Next you decide to get lunch from McDonalds so you order what you want and sit down. Your friend tells you to hurry up and scoff your food. you take one big bite and try to swallow it whole, but your brainstem doesn’t let you so you need to chew.
Then you go to the sports shop to get a basketball. You see a tester hoop so you start taking shots. Your cerebellum is directing those shots because it runs the coordination that gets them on target.
Your day has been planned by your cerebral cortex. It also helped my nose detect a gas leak under your car and helped my eyes see where the leak was.
So we took the bus.

Science Badge update

Here’s a video showing on of the Science Badge challenges – Technology Badge.

  • Construct a conveyor belt system that can transport matches a total distance of 300 metres. the matchboxes must turn right at some point.

The instructions were to make it out of Lego technic, but Bob (as you will see) didn’t have any, so he transferred his skills to a new medium, with great results!

Freerice. Play the game, and every correct answer means 10 grains of rice donated by the UN World Food Programme. Paid for by adverts on the website.

In one lesson (about an hour) we managed to donate  20,790  grains of rice. We made a difference and enjoyed it. The life you can save. 

free rice

Ethical thinking and action – a cornerstone of gifted education

Ethical education – doing what is right – is one of the important pillars in gifted education. George Parkyn, the “father” of gifted education in NZ believed giftedness needed to embrace the aesthetic and ethical dimensions of life and look forward to the future needs of mankind. This view has continued in gifted education within New Zealand and shapes much of what we do within the teaching of high ability students.

This term and next, Year 7 are looking at the concept of justice. They have been exploring absolute poverty and what to do about it. As Nelson Mandela said:


And act is the key term. Do something. Doing nothing is not the same as doing no harm.

Check out this video from Peter Stringer. On reducing poverty, he has 3 messages: it makes no sense not to help; we should help; and most importantly we can help.