Learning Across Levels

Learning continues even at Level 4

Although Term 3 was disrupted by the Covid Lockdown, Te Huka and Poihipi students carried on their learning. It just looked a little different. The Lockdown encouraged us to adapt, be flexible while still keeping learning at the forefront for our students. 

A great example of this was the Recycling challenge that the Kinloch community ran. The challenge was to create a recycled item that could be put on a letterbox or a fence. Scott (room 5) and James (room 15) won the $50.00 voucher from the Kinloch General Store with their “Coke Bottle Trout” Creation

We used three Coke bottles. Two for the body and one for the tail and fins. We used a milk bottle for the base and an apple sauce can for the eyes and lure and as part of the base. Our Dad helped us paint it in the right colours. We had so much fun doing this! (Scott)


In the first week of Te Huka’s online learning, students were motivated with the challenge to create a reused item using a milk or other plastic bottle. To stimulate their imagination they were shown an array of examples including bird feeders, planters, toy houses/garages, and pen holders.



I created a pet house for my unicorn, lion, hedgehogs and cat to keep them safe from predators. It has a swimming pool, hydroslide and balcony to watch sunrises and sunsets. (May)

I created a bird feeder so the tui and fantails will not starve when snow covers the ground in winter. The pine cones provide camouflage so predators can not catch them when they are feeding. (Thea)

The construction experts and engineers in Room 5 took on the challenge of creating a playground. They had to label and explain their design.


I made a Lego playground for my Lego men. It included a little plane, so they could fly to the moon, and a runway to take off. The little bike is for them to travel around the park. The skateboard park is for them to practise their tricks for a competition. (Benjamin)

I created a tropical island playground. The seesaw was tricky to construct, so my sister helped me. The water fountain sprays water onto the people relaxing in the pool. The barbecue is under the shade of an umbrella so the person cooking the barbecue won’t get sunburnt. (Max)

Lockdown meant that teachers looked at new ways to carry on Term 3’s Inquiry topic, ‘Wonder of Wai’. This was a science investigation and scientific language focused concept for the Poihipi and Te Huka Teams. Students were learning about the important role water plays in their lives (water cycle, weather, properties, significance to Tūwaharetoa). It  involved  lots of hands-on water based experiments. Students made  and recorded observations and shared their opinions using scientific language. They learnt to write instructions to teach their buddy classes their  favourite experiments and used sequential language (first, next, then, finally) to explain the experiments.

The students asked questions including:

  • Why is water so important?

  • What would happen if our water runs out?

  • What are the different forms of water?

  • How do we use water in our everyday lives?

  • Where does the rain come from?

  • How old is our water?

  • How can we look after our sources of water?

Kaitiaki is the Māori concept of guardianship for the sky, the sea and the land. A kaitiaki is a guardian. Kaitiakitanga is the process and practice of protecting and looking after the environment. For Māori, water is the essence of all life. It supports all people, plants and wildlife. Māori relate their identity to a water source (moana, awa) and water is an important part of the Ngāti Tūwharetoa Creation Story. As a class we considered how we can all be a guardian of the water sources around us.

As part of our AAA inquiry cycle, the students were asked to sequence and describe the water cycle. Here is an example of what they said:

The water cycle is the path that all water follows and moves around the earth (in a cycle). Evaporation is when the sun warms water drops, and they rise up into the clouds. Precipitation is when the clouds get heavy with water droplets and then the cloud explodes, and they come down as rain. Accumulation is when the rain from the clouds collects and forms a lake or river. The water cycle is important because it is how water reaches plants, animals and us. (Frankie & May).

The students also made their own ‘water cycle mobiles to understand and explain that water moves around planet Earth in a cycle.


Students created our own water cycles in a bag to see what happens to water when it is heated by the sun (evaporation). They discovered that the water was being heated up by the sunny window. The water turns into vapour through evaporation. Because it has nowhere to go it sticks to the sides of the bag turning back into a liquid as condensation. It then slides back into the pool of water below as ‘rain’.


To understand the part clouds and precipitation plays in the water cycle, the students conducted the “Storm in a Glass” experiment.

Room 5 students thinking:

Prediction - I think it will explode like a volcano and go everywhere (Lacey)

Observation - First I saw the blue dyed water turn the shaving cream blue. Next the shaving foam got too heavy with water so little blue drops fell through the shaving cream. Finally it the dye fell through the shaving cream and it turned the clear water blue.(Max.S)

Hypothesis - The sun shines on the lake and sucks water up into the clouds (evaporation). When the clouds get too heavy it falls like rain. This is called precipitation. (Kyesha)


As a class we kept a “cloud” diary to record the date/time as we noticed the clouds, what type of cloud they were and whether precipitation followed the appearance of certain clouds. What we found was that:

The appearance of Cirrus clouds mean a change in the weather. Cumulus clouds mean sunny settled weather. Stratus clouds are accompanied by fog or drizzle. Nimbus clouds blanket the sky and mean it’s  rainy or stormy. 

Our celebration day in Week 10 was centred around “students as teachers” teaching our buddy classes to conduct their favourite water based experiments using the instructions they have created.

Keywords: water cycle, condensation, precipitation, evaporation, accumulation, clouds, rain, sequential language, instructions, materials, method, prediction, observation, hypothesis