Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Christmas Greetings from Woodford

It is with great tidings of Christmas joy that we write this post! We enjoyed reading about Christmas in New Zealand and it inspired us to create some traditionally British images of Christmas to send to you. (We rose to Mr Kinane's challenge - no more clip art!) We have combined our pictures with photographs of our Christmas performance "Witnesses" and our own soundtrack! We do wish you all at Meadobank a fantastic Christmas, a prosperous New Year (2008!) and a great summer holiday!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Christmas in New Zealand

It is Christmas and it is a special time of the year no matter where you live in the world. For us in New Zealand we are out shopping, buying presents, preparing food like you do in England but we are also planning our summer holidays! There is no talk of white Christmas's here! Christmas is our summer here, so we celebrate Christmas differently, we do not sit around a fire and eat turkey. We do celebrate mid winter here with a Turkey dinner, but at Christmas we head for the beach! Our traditional Christmas lunch is, well see if you can see what it is from our images.

For us there is no Christmas pud, but pavlova and then, depending where you live in New Zealand it is off to the beach, well maybe on Boxing Day. Have a look at what you see here, what is different? What is the same? What more would you like to know? What do you think that it would be like celebrating Christmas in the sun? Would you like to? If not, why not? By seeing how we celebrate does that make you think more about how you all celebrate Christmas in England?

We all hope that you have a merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year. We will be back in February after our holidays in the sun!

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Sunday, 9 December 2007

What do you call a group of Spiders?

......Mrs Hardie's nightmare! Here are some of the Inkscape Spiders that the Year 4 children of Woodford Junior School created under the instruction of Mr Kinane. We hope that they don't cause too many nightmares!

Friday, 23 November 2007

My Journey through your Eyes.

Since September the children at Woodford and Meadowbank have been working on a joint project. The aim was to explore the journeys they made and learn more about each others world as well as the collaborative aspect of the task. The project started with the children recording audio logs of a journey they had made and these were then emailed to our partners in Plymouth or Auckland, where the children listened to them and made notes about the journey. The next stage was to use these notes and search for images which could be used to illustrate each journey. The audio files and images were collated and edited in Movie Maker to create a short film, " My Journey through your Eyes". Examples of the finished films are here for all to see. Enjoy!

The students at Meadowbank have been working on the audio files that the students at Woodford have sent to us. Here are our interpretations, so far. We have had some trouble with some things, we had to research what a pastie is and what or where Bodmin is! We all assume that we all know the same things, I am sure that we have spoken about places and things that you at Woodford have not the faintest clue about. This is interesting and maybe we need to be more careful how we explain things in the future. We need to paint pictures with words, so that we can all understand each other. This project has been very exciting and has thrown up all kinds of issues based on assumptions!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Lessons around the World!

The last couple of week have seen some really exciting developments in the links between staff and children at Woodford Junior and Meadowbank Primary. Here at Woodford the Year 4 children have been taught by the IT Director of Meadowbank, David Kinane! How, you may ask is this possible? 11,000 miles between us and a thirteen hour time difference. The power of technology and ever increasing Web 2.0 tools meant that those miles and hours disappeared in cyber space! A Skrbl board for demonstrating and communicating, a webcam, a microphone and a free video call via Skype enabled David to teach the children how to use vector graphics program Inkscape.

During the first sessions the children were "shy" and did not communicate with their New Zealand Teacher, however the second sessions saw such inhibitions disappear and dialogue taking place.

The lesson created great interest here, with the local newpaper printing an article, as well as a small note in a national paper the following day. Governors, staff and Local Authority representatives were all amazed at how the children took the lesson in their stride.

They (the students) seem to just accept there is someone teaching them that is half way around the world and 13 hours ahead - I find it absolutely amazing - must be my age!! (Jill Bailley International Development officer for Plymouth)

We hope that is the beginning of many such lessons. Helen Hardie is already looking forward to teaching in New Zealand in 2008.

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The slideshow above reaveals the interaction between David and the Woodford children as well as the spiders they created under his instruction. We hope to publish those here once they are completed! Arachnophobes look away!

The videos below captured some of the sessions from the Woodford ICT Suite.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

A day in the life of room 1

Welcome back to school Woodford and hello all of you new year 4 students in Mrs Hardie's class. You will be getting to know us all a lot better over the coming weeks and months. I hope that you all had a great summer? We are hoping to use your summer holiday as a collaborative project over the next few weeks, but Mrs Hardie will tell you more about that.

Here at Meadowbank, we have been working hard on a project to show you what a day in our class is like. We shot the following film over a week and a half, but we chose all the things that make being a student at Meadowbank special. We tried to think of the kinds of things that make our school day, or the way that we are in school different from the way that we think you might be in school at Woodford. We all do Literacy and Maths and those kinds of lessons, so we tried to show you some of the other lessons that we do.

Look at our video and see what you can see that makes our school day different from yours. Let us know by posting comments. If there some parts of our school day that you want more information on, please use the comments for that too.

We made the movie using Timer Shot and a web cam, so the quality is not good, but you get the idea. We hope that you like it!

There are still a few items that we are planning to video, so this version will be updated. So keep an eye out for our updates.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Comparing Ethnic Data for Year 4

The children in Year 4 at Woodford have been comparing the ethnic groups of the two schools. They have collated the data in an excel table and then produced different types of graphs. They have written about what the graphs tell us. These are some of their graphs and conclusions.

· We found out that in both schools there are more girls than boys. In Meadowbank it is an almost even split but a Woodford there is almost 2 girls for every boy.

· Auckland has more people that were born in different places, than the people in Woodford school. In Plymouth , in the Woodford school, they only 3 Ethnic groups, and in Auckland at Meadowbank, they have 11 Ethnic groups! We have 63 British people, 2 Chinese people, and 1 other mixed background . Auckland have 0 British people, 9 Chinese people, 3 Indians, 1 Japanese, 7 Maoris 1 Middle Eastern, 63 NZ Europeans, 5 other Asians, 3 other Ethnicities, 10 other Europeans, 2 Samoans, 1 SE Asian other, and 0 Any other mixed back round.

· At Meadowbank school in year 4 there are lots more people in different ethnic groups than in our year four according to the graphs. In year 4 at Meadowbank there are 13 different ethnic groups and in Woodford year 4 there are only 3.

· The ethnic chart show us that Meadowbank school have eleven ethnic groups and we at Woodford only have three. The graph also shows us that all European schools have different people from different nations. The gender chart shows that there are less children in year 4 at Woodford than at Meadowbank.

World War Two Memories

This video was inspired by our World War Two Day when Grandparents were invited to talk to the children about their experiences and memories of World War Two. Ed Knight's grandad, Mr Hazel, was unable to join us for the day so Ed decided to interview him at home, recording it to share with everyone else. (Ed apologises for the creaking noise on the film - the video camera hadn't been used for a while)

Below are the photos of our day which show a real rapport between the children and grandparents. The children and staff all came dressed in appropriate World War two style clothes, complete with boxes for gas masks and evacuation labels. Rob and Roland also joined us from Plymouth City Museum with artefacts of WW2 and photographs of Plymouth during the War. Did you know that Plymouth was among the worst bombed cities in UK during World War Two. Can you find out why this might have been the case? Why would the Germans reduce the City of Plymouth to rubble?

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A great day was had by all - and we had the best weather all term!

Monday, 16 July 2007


Woodford Junior School has always been proud of its musical and performance traditions. Every child has the oppotunity to take part in music lessons, instrumental tuition, choir, orchestra and each term a year group undertakes a performance. The summer term falls to the Year 6 children and is their final performance before moving on to the challenges of Secondary school. This year they performed "HOODWINKED" - a musical take on Robin Hood! We can't upload the whole 57 minutes but hope you enjoy this short preview. Listen out for the music and interviews in our iminent first pod cast!

Where in the World is Woodford Junior School?

The following is a short video to show where in the world Woodford Junior School is. Thanks to David Kinane for the schools logo animation and to Dan Hess and the Stray Relay for the backing track!

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Comparing Climate Data

Year 4 have been comparing the temperature and rainfall data for Auckland and Plymouth. We have used excel to produce graphs and you can see here how clearly they contrast our opposite weather and seasons!

By looking at the rainfall graph you can see that at different times of the year the rainfall is completely different in the countries. - Sian

You immediately know that Auckland is on the other side of the world. As well when it is our winter it is their summer. - Francesca

The temperature graph shows that Auckland's summer is in our winter because the temperature lines go higher at completely different times. -Ciaran

We have lots of rain when they don't have much, because we are in opposite seasons. - Ben

In Auckland their winter is our summer. When we have our winter it is their summer.-Jack

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

So, what do you want to know about us?

As part of next Term's Topic, Room 1 are going to be creating movies and presentations about Meadowbank School. We were wondering if you UK guys would like to help us plan this project, by telling us what it is you would like to know? Maybe a list of questions? Your Head Teacher might have a few to ask! He may like to know if things he remembers from NZ schools 30 years ago are still happening?
New Zealand is a strange and exciting place! It looks and sounds a little bit like England, but there are lots of wonderful and suprising differences!
We will be starting this project on week 2 of Term 3 (23rd July, when you lot are all sitting around at home!) so any ideas you have, could you get them to us before you break up for your lovely long holiday?
We are looking forward to hearing from you all!
Mrs Jackson (Who used to live in Cumbria, but is now hanging off the bottom of the planet!)

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Clapping Games

Throughout term 2 students in the middle school (yrs 3 and 4) have been investigating different playground games from around the world and the past. Below are recordings of clapping games from the past and from different cultures. The students of room 1 researched and recorded these examples. They recorded them using Audacity. Click on the links below to listen to them.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

New Zealand 30 years ago.

Head Teacher, Philip Smith, has been reminiscing about his time in New Zealand. A search through his loft soon found the following slides. Enjoy!

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Thursday, 21 June 2007

Old Blog Stats

In the short amount of time that we were at Wordpress we had 510 visitors to our site, here is the map for old times sake. How long will it take us to get over 1000 visitors on our new blog site?

About Meadowbank

About Woodford


Use this post to post comments to your friends. This area is more informal, so you can chat about other things like TV and what you do after school. Remember you still have to be polite and respectful at all times. Every comment that you post has to be approved by a teacher at Woodford Junior or at Meadowbank.

War Poem from Woodford

Year 4 have been exploring forms of poetry this term. We studied Japanese Art and poetry forms of Haiku, Tanka and Cinquain, all of which have particular syllable patterns. World War Two was the focus for writing list poems. We combined our favourite images from Japan with music and our own poems using Windows Move Maker. We experimented with timings, video and music effects to create what we thought was an interesting “movie poem”. The following Movie was created by Matthew Philpotts and is an effective record of World War Two! More examples to come!


To celebrate the launch of Tohatoha between Woodford Junior School in Plymouth and Meadowbank Primary School in Auckland, we would like you, the children, to design a header for the joint weBlog site. You must design a header which will show our union across / around the world. The best images from each school will be uploaded to the Weblog for a vote so that you choose the best image, which you think should represent our partnership.

The image should be 847 x 200 pixels or be about 20cm by 5cm in size. Images can be hand drawn or produced with a graphics program. All entries should be returned to Mrs Hardie (by July 13th) or Mr Kinane.

Where in the World is Meadowbank?

The following is a short clip showing just where in the world we are! Now that we have moved to Blogspot we can show our video in all its glory! Thanks again to Dan Hess and the Stray Relay for the backing track!

Robotics at Meadowbank

We have a robotics G+T group at Meadowbank, it has only just started this term and the equipment is new to us. The students have to complete the challenge at the following wiki .

Do you have any RCX or NXT Lego sets at Woodford? We hope that you do, because one of the things that we are hoping to do with you is to create a joint robot that we can program collaboratively! (Maybe if you wish to take part in the Robozone challenge you could use this wiki as a starting point? Or maybe you could set up a challenge for us to complete?) The majority of our robo engineers are from year 4 and as you can see from the images below, there are quite a few girls in the group. This is because the focus of this project is not about building with Lego bricks but about problem solving especially being stuck. The students are celebrating every time that they get stuck, because when they are stuck they then have a problem to solve! To solve a problem they first have to identify the problem and break it down into smaller easier to solve problems. As the students solve each little piece of the puzzle they end up solving the bigger problem and then move on to find the next bigger challenge!

We will keep posting images and keep you posted of our progress as we move through term 3.

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The Alphabet Project

Our art G+T students have spent term 2 working with Mrs Jackson and with a little help from Mr Kinane, on a digital camera project. The idea originated from several books that we have in school, in addition, the students were shown the following flickr tool to help them really get into the idea. The students had to scour our school environment for environmental print. They had to find examples of letters or shapes in the environment that looked like a letter and then photograph them. Once the best ones were selected the students then had to edit them in a programme called The Gimp, which is a free download from the Internet. We hope that you like the slide show. It is our intention to now have these images printed up into a poster, we are looking into the costs first though.
We now intend to search the school grounds for different colours and hues to make an envrionmental colour wheel. We will be using the following flickr tool as an inspiration.

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The purpose of this blog is to provide a space where ideas can flourish, where two schools Woodford Junior, Plympton, England and Meadowbank Primary, Auckland, New Zealand can share ideas, resources and cultures. Who knows, over time maybe we will be joined by other schools from other countries.
Tohatoha is a Maori word that means to spread abroad, distribute, disperse, spread. This is exactly what we want our students to do, to distribute learning abroad, to disperse their cultural knowledge and share in the knowledge of their peers from the other side of the world.