Three weeks of Term 1 gone at Fordell, and if you blinked you really would have missed it. Room 1 has started sailing at Pauri Lake, courtesy of Wanganui Sailing Club. The first day saw perfect conditions, slightly overcast and with a decent breeze, and all students overcame early nerves and had made good progress by the end of the morning. Everyone came back full of excitement and keen to learn more next week to try to hold on to the trophies we won at last year's regatta.
Not only Room 1 students have been enjoying the sunshine, though. Students throughout the school have taken advantage of the good weather, with twice-weekly swimming at Fordell Pool in preparation for our upcoming school gala and Cluster Swimming Sports. The water is fresh, to say the least, but that hasn't stopped us, we just swim a bit faster. Swimming coach Cecile Lashlie from Swim Safe New Zealand came into school on Monday to support the programme being delivered by teachers, with plans to build some open water lifesaving and survival into Room 1's sailing lessons.
As a way of getting to know new classes and teachers, last week senior students headed off to Green Pastures, for activities such as kayaking, team building and raft making. Add in spotlight, a water slide and a waist-deep mud run and it all proved to be great fun.
Our inquiry topic for the school this term is "Intrepid Journeys" and has seen students learning about the earliest Polynesian settlers in New Zealand and the voyage and arrival of Captain James Cook. Many of the children seemed engrossed with learning about scurvy in all its gory glory! From here Rooms 1 and 2 will move on to the significance of the intrepid journey made by the Anzacs to Gallipoli 100 years ago. This was supported by a visit to Whanganui Regional Museum this week and one to Waiouru Army Museum later in the term.
Room 1 will round off the term with an intrepid journey of its own - the Tongariro Crossing. This is part of the senior students' Tuia Challenge - a year-long project to develop leadership skills and which includes community service, mentoring a junior student, several physical challenges and participation in a new or existing hobby. At the end of last year, when completing their reflections on the year, the Tuia Challenge was top of the list of highlights for just about every student.
Luckily, we have great kids who realise that the flip side of all these great activities is that when they are in the classroom they are expected to produce the goods in terms of academic effort.