Monday, July 11, 2016

Opunake Primary - a most amazing school


At the end of the term Opunake Primary  fill two blacked out  rooms ( joined to make one) and the immediate corridor with the work  completed by the classes based on their current theme/study/topic this term all about STEM/STEAM

I have been to several of their open days and always leave in awe of the work done by the students and their teachers. The open days cover three days and two evenings and are the time for students to share their work with their families.  I observed students informing their families and  the visitors were as awestruck as I was.

The school bases its work around the ideas of James Beane and Inquiry learning integrating all aspects of the curriculum.

Link to great information about the James Beane approach

For more information about learning at Opunake School
STEM Teaching at Opunake School
Newsletter to parents about current STEM study

I have written a number of blogs based on my visits to this school which cover the approach the school uses. The below links will give you information on the process Opunake Primary use:
Alice inNumberland

Alice in Numberland

Egypt Are You My Mummy?

Zero Gravity

Shackleton's exploring of Antarctica

One end of term display was web based. CSI

One class web based open day
Watch the science experiment
Solar power challenge
Static electricity experiments

Environmental Science

Maths Science and Harry Potter 

I am still coming to terms with my last visit which was based around STEM ( science technology engineering and maths ) or really STEAM ( as it also involves the arts). The principal and a staff member have recently returned from an inspiring STEM/ ISTE Conference held in Denver - information on the school site.

Opunake is part of a group of schools involved in using technology : The Moa Kluster. Check them out.

The photos below will give you some ideas of the experience of taking part in a visit.

The principal Lorraine talking to a visitor in the corridor

Mecanno robots programmed to move

Every wall covered with students work based on STEAM

Science experiments

Working with electrical switches.
Battery powered machines

Computers and elecronics
Water experiments

Programming the robot

The Three D printer at work

Student informing parent
PowerPoint about da Vinci
Da Vinci at work - a STEAM learner.

Camera less photography - based on Len Lye

Scan to watch student video

Computer generated alien portrait

Liquid clock data

Model making

It is impossible to give a full picture of the amazing work on display

Scan to get student videos of their technology work


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the exciting work on display at Opunake School. We need to share such creative work. Far too many schools have become too focused on their students achieving National Standards - standards that narrow educational experience and , in the process, do not capture the diversity of talents our students have.

Bruce Hammonds said...

I am sure that such creative schools and/or teachers exist throughout New Zealand. Sharing the ideas of such schools/teachers is the only way to move education forward. This is preferable to the imposed , so called, 'communities of school clusters which have to have their targets approved by the Ministry and PD provided by Ministry approved providers. These CoLs are all about standardizing education to narrow Ministry goals. The very wrong approach if schools are to ensure the creativity we need in New Zealand is to be assured.

I wish I was in a position to be able to identify such schools. Before Tomorrows Schools advisers were able to do this. ERO do the very opposite - only searching for what the Ministry, or the Minister, wants. A Ministry of 'mis-education'. Creative schools focus on implementing the 2007 New Zealand Curriculum rather than the 'shonky' National Standards.

It is not that schools like Opunake are there to be replicated but anyone who visits such schools is sure to find ideas that are relevant to them