Each school here is in charge of deciding what curriculum they use to meet the national standards. This gives them them a lot of flexibility, so the schools I am visiting all look very different. Last week I had two great adventures with schools.
The first one was honey extraction with the Te Aro school. I spent the whole day with Claire's class (they use first names for their teachers) learning about how to get the honey out of the hive. Martin, the beekeeper, works with Claire's on a regular basis and the students study the bees in a cross-curricular context throughout the year. (More about the bees on the Idea Toolkit page of this site.)
Intermediate school is the equivalent of middle school. At the beginning of Term 1 each year SWIS takes it's students to camp. One of the organizing teachers said it is really a great way for the kids to bond, and as a parent I have to agree. Last week before camp, Carlo said he didn't know how to make friends at his new school. Yesterday, he came home from school talking about his friends and saying that one of them helped him in German class, and that made it really fun for him. I was very impressed by how well organized the camp was but, also, how much freedom the students were given. (More about camp on the Idea Toolkit page of this site.)
Last Friday we met up with some of the other Fulbrighters with their families and friends at the Night Market on Cuba Street. Afterward we strolled around and eventually found some music and dancing in the street, which, of course, we had to participate in.
On Saturday we hosted a hike leaving from our apartment to the Devil's Gate Seal Haulout followed by a potluck. The walk was 10 miles roundtrip, so we were all good and hungry when we got back to the apartment. It was a lot of fun having people over, since we had not hosted any get-togethers since before we moved out of the house in ATX.
Sunday day was time for catching up on some rest. In the evening we went to another potluck and New Zealand trivia night hosted by another Fulbrighter and her family. Our team did pretty well, but learned we aren't looking very closely at our money, as we knew neither the birds that are on the back nor the people who are on the fronts.
It was a truly lovely weekend filled with good food, great exercise, and wonderful companions!