Thursday, February 19, 2015

Animal Farm Commandments

My Y11 class were working on Animal Farm today, discussing the commandments that were made and then broken by the animals. Animism was a theory created by Old Major (Karl Marx) that was subverted and perverted by the pigs as they became a ruling elite.

We came up with some commandments of our own:

  • No one must be treated differently because they are different, everyone is the same.
  • Survival of the fittest.
  • No living human being shall be on the streets. They should be living in a house.
  • Love your enemies.
  • No animal shall be killed except pigs.
  • We are allowed to eat whenever we want to / wish.
  • No murder.
  • No unconfortable shoes.
  • Do no steal or desire what does not belong to you.
  • Obey your parents and then you'll have an every lasting life.
  • Love each other.
  • Everyone to be treated equally.
  • Free WIFI.
Obviously we have a range of ideologies (and levels of seriousness) in class.

We have also been looking at propaganda as part of our novel study.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Reading time

At Tamaki College we value reading, and schedule one library period per class as part of the English programme. The students are welcome to use the library at lunch and after school as well.

Here's 9RTd in the library today.

Initial values paragraphs

I just had a look at some of the paragraphs the Year 9 students wrote and they are very cool. Here are a couple to get you started before we complete the essays on Monday.

One value I have is commitment. This means that if I join something I have to stay committed to it. Goals are important to me because I used to quit and give up on things that I should have put more effort into. I think that never giving up is one value related to commitment. When I show this value I try to stay clam, think of positive things and do it hard and fast.


One value I have learned at Tamaki is respect. I think that it is important to use it because if you want to be respected you have to show it back. When I show this value I try to be nice to everyone I see and not judge them based on what they look like before I know them.


Integrity is all about honesty and trust. Remember- don't lie, be honest to yourself. Being honest and doing the right thing is awesome, you would feel so great afterwards. But if you don't show integrity you will be scarred with a lie and you would look back at it and you would feel really bad.


One value that I think is important is respect. I place self-respect first. I beleive that you have to respect yourself before you can start respecting others. It is very important because it shows that one values another as an individual.


One value that I think is important is integrity. It is important because it means that everything is going to be alright because everyone is showing honesty to each other. It makes our environment much safer. When I show this value I try my best to be honest all the time to adults, friends and myself.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Values with 9RTd

We were talking about values today, with the focus of "What we value is who we are." We know the Tamaki College values-Respect, Integrity, Success and Responsibilty. One group said that "A value is something that you hold and treasure for generations and is something that is very useful in life."

We thought about the following questions:
  • Where do you think we get our values? 
  • What is one example of a value your family feels is very important?
  • Does anyone have an example of a religious value you hold and have been taught?
  • Which of your values come from your cultural beliefs?
  • What is a value that is widely held in this country and that may be less important in other countries?
  • Can you think of a value someone else has that you do not share? What is it?
We shared our values and made a word cloud.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Family trees

9RTd made some great takeaway boxes so that I could get to know them. It included a family tree, fact sheet and a letter. Thanks 9RTd, love the work. So happy to be teaching you this year.

Here's one of the family trees, from Malulu.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Just because... portrait poems

9RTd did some portrait poems- here's one from Henry. Thanks Henry!

Just because I’m brown

Doesn’t mean you’ll have my crown

Doesn’t mean I like being put down

Doesn’t make me your clown

Just because I’m brown

Doesn’t mean I was found

Yous tied my hands and beat me down

Just because I’m brown

I’m not just a voice in your head

To me it all matters about what you said

Doesn’t mean you really cared

Cause all along you thought I was always in the air

Just because I’m brown

Am I just an outsider ?

Do I really matter ?

Can you like me for who I can be ?

Colour doesn’t define who I am.

10RLe creative writing

"This is my voice. There are many like it, but this one is mine." 

We'll be updating the blog with creative writing periodically. Here's a picture of the class working hard during our regular Friday creative writing time. Today we're using a quote from Zech Soakai as the starter for either a poem or short story.

We'll put some completed writing up next week.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Responses to Brown Brother

Here are a selection of the student responses to Brown Brother by Joshua Iosefo...

"I think that the speech had a big impact on people because of the fact the it was all true, and it relates to a lot of people in many communities. He spoke a lot about how people assume a lot of things just by looking at you. He also talks about the brown statistics and about how most brown Pacific Islanders are truck drivers, fast food eating and box packing people.

Not all Pacific Islanders do those types of things, most Islanders now are rugby players and fashion designers- people can shape their own future and are capable to do anything."

"This poem was very strong because he is standing up for people who are being stereotyped and for all people who think that everyone should have equal rights like not getting judged just because their brown.

This means that when he heard it he knew that we could relate to the poem about being judged or stereotyped, racism and being called poor because of the clothes we wear, the traditions we have in our culture or what we look like."

"Joshua had an impact on people because of words and phrases he sent out to us. Telling us that we’re not stereotypes, were just people with different colour skin to others. “Brown like the bark of the palm tree that supports my heritage.” Joshua made his poem to make people think about their future, or what they’ve got themselves into. Joshua is speaking up and showing what people would expect from us because we're brown. They look down at brown people because of some people making shame of our cultures, making the society think differently about us Islanders. Really it’s about what the society expects from us brown people."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Express Yourself

Our Year 10 theme for this term is Express Yourself! We started off with the classic NWA song, and now we're moving on to spoken word poetry. This week we have looked at Brown Brother by Joshua Iosefo and Pink Plastic by Zech Soakai.

Check out the videos below.

Brown Brother- Joshua Iosefo

Pink Plastic- Zech Soakai

We're working on our creative writing and close reading skills, moving towards writing and performing our own spoken word pieces.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hello! Welcome back!


So glad to be back blogging here again. The plan is that we post bits and pieces of student work from my bautiful and talented junior classes- 10Le and 9Td.

Here's a poem recently written by Helea Hape Albert, based on a structure we studied in class.