Co-constructed Unit: Yr 10 Health

For my Year 10 Health class in Term 3, we are doing “Teenage Issues.” I saw this as an opportunity to co-construct a half-unit with my class. Half the Unit is finding out and doing some activities about teenage issues and then, selecting one and doing an investigation and presentation into it. The reason that I wanted the opinion and input from the students is to make the class most relevant to them rather than, what I thought was topical.

The  first activity that I got the class to do was to just brainstorm “teenage issues.” They wrote their brainstorms and lists on the whiteboards. I then, asked the students to pick one of the issues that “stood out” to them and individually write “what it is” and “what the effects of it is.” All the students folded their paper in half and then we shuffled them. We sat in a circle and each girl read out one of the issues. After hearing each student’s issues the girls created a “top 4.” From the “top 4” the students then, wrote questions about “what they want to know.”

From here, I collated the questions which has effectively made the learning intentions for the next 4 lessons. My purpose of doing this was to give some ownership to the students and make the relevant to them.

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I will ask the students at the end of the unit how this affected their interest, learning and engagement in the subject.

Harakeke Manu

At the PENZ Conference I attended a workshop hosted by Harko Brown. In this workshop I participated in a number of tag and chase games which were traditional Maori games.Then, I made a manu out of harakeke with another teacher. This shows a positive attitude towards Maori culture and history.

One of the most memorable warm-ups we did was when we had to run with someone else, with arms linked. This required a lot of co-operation and trust with our partners. This game is one that I will use in my teaching in the future. I will introduce it as a traditional Maori game and include some teaching around the concept of “running together.” This is a simple and effective way to acknowledge the bi cultural nature of New Zealand and show the importance of Maori culture.

Once we had completed making the harakeke manu we connected it to a long stick and attached a ribbon. We then challenged other pairs in a tag-game. The aim was to get the ribbon trailing you stick to touch the other person’s body. This activity required minimal equipment and it was very enjoyable using natural resources.

This workshop will inform my future teaching by including some Maori warm-ups with Maori language and values as well as, considering how to use natural resources such as harakeke to create equipment for movement activities.

Term 2 Reflection


  1. Professional relationships; During this term I think I have maintained and built-on strong professional relationships at the School. I have been intentional about going to interval at morning tea to meet teachers in other departments. I have continued these School-wide relationships through Blake House events, Yr 9 Form class meetings and Beginner teacher meetings. I am also a member of soup club which is where every Friday we eat soup together. I have found that these opportunities have enable me to build strong relationships with colleagues across the School. Another positive of this is that I am able to ask teachers of other subjects how some of my students are doing in other curriculum areas because of the relationships I have with them.

4. This term I have shown excellent commitment to Professional learning. I have attended all Wednesday mornings Week A PD meetings and contributed to the discussions at these meetings.I have also attended the PENZ New Graduate Mentoring Programme. More about this can be found here. From this I have made some contacts with a teacher at Marist College who I will work with to develop more Level 1 Health Units.

5. I have demonstrated leadership in the Level 1 Health Education. I have developed the Units of work for this and have created shared Google Drive and Classroom with the other teacher of the this subject. I have talked about this further in my Google Classroom blog. For this I have also initiated moderation meetings. This is demonstration of how I have taken responsibility in a learning area and shown leadership.

11. For some of my classes this term I have made opportunity to hear student voice and for them to have some input to what is happening in the classroom. For three of my classes I have done a “how are things going” task. For this I asked students to write what helps them learn, what they enjoy, what is working for them. I also ask them to ask what the barriers are for their learning or how things could be done differently. This feedback informs how I teach. For example, my Year 10 girls told me that visual things such as video clips help them learn. As a result, I have made sure to include these for this class. Through these questions I have also learned that my instructions are sometimes rushed or unclear. From this feedback, I have worked on slowing down my instructions so it is clearer for the students.

12. I have done a lot of reflecting on my practice this term. A particularly provoking meeting in this area was with my HOD, Adam. More can be read about this in my blog post here. A result of this meeting is that I have observed other teachers across the School. I will continue to do this next term to gain more ideas across the School. From my observation . Something that I have learned and put into practice from this observation is to differentiate learning by having students write their own learning intentions and success criteria. This is something that I have trialed in Level 1 PE and will continue trying next term .

Things that I need to work on for next term are;

Ongoing contact with parents and keeping up with informing them with what is happening in class (Department TaI)

2) Demonstrate commitment to promoting the wellbeing of all akonga

3) Demonstrate commitment to the bicultural partnership in Aotearoa NZ





PENZ New Graduate Mentoring Programme

On the 3rd of July, I attended the PENZ New Graduate Mentoring Programme. This was a helpful half-day of learning. A number of new graduate teachers in their first or second year teachers me to discuss issues and get advice from experienced teachers.

The topics and overview of the day can be seen below;

Schedule for the 1 Day PD Session: Enhancing Graduate Teacher’s Tool Box

Time Frame Session
12.00-12.30  Arrive at Manurewa High.

Introductions & Whakawhanaungatanga.

1 12.30-1.30

(60 mins)

 Surviving your first 6 months and onto the rest of the year:

1.    how to use your planner

2.    behaviour management

3.    setting expectations

4.    teacher registration & portfolio

2 1.30-2.30

(60 mins)

 Marking & Moderating NCEA:

1.    how to mark internal assessments

2.    external & internal moderation

3.    creating/modifying standards

2.30-3.00  Afternoon Tea (supplied)
3 3.00-3.45

(45 mins)

 Culturally Responsive & Relational Pedagogy:

1.    What is it?

2.    Working with home: parent, teacher interviews, calling home, school counsellors etc

4 3.45-4.30pm

(45 mins)

 Using Feedback to enhance practice:

1.    using technology

2.    teacher rubrics

3.    student feedback forms

4.    video analysis

5 4.30-5pm

(30 mins)

 Creating support networks:

1.    What are our group’s needs?

2.    Where to from here?

The notes that I took from the workshop are shown below.

The key things that I will take away from this workshop is to model the behaviour that I want my students to demonstrate and to always have high expectations. It was also helpful being reminded that as a teacher we need to maintain professional distance from our students. This was put like this; “I’m not here to be your friend, I am your teacher. ” Moving forward  I will also work-on praising positive behaviour rather than focusing on the negatives.

3 july