We hope that your time with us brings much satisfaction and to fill your days, we aim to provide a rich smorgasbord of tasty and varied learning experiences that will challenge, engage and inspire you to be the best you can be!
As with the year 8 classes, we have 4 syndicates where you get a chance to develop as a learning family- sort of like a ‘school within a school’. There is Syndicate A, B, C and D. Three syndicates are made up of 4 classes and one is of 3.
The first term is spent finding out about life at Somerville and all the varied programmes, that are available to the students, such as in sports, dance, drama, Taha Maori cultural group, choir, orchestra, financial, leadership, debates, extension and support programmes, talent shows; the opportunities are vast and there is something for everyone to shine in!
In term one, each syndicate introduces their own ALJ (authentic learning journey). An authentic Learning Journey provides opportunities for students to be involved in real life learning, and this learning is created around a ‘rich and fertile question’ such as “is Peace possible in our generation?”
Students are also introduced to the Technology and Specialist subjects that they will be involved in. These are:
- Hard Materials
- Specialist Science
- Graphics and Design
- Food Technology
- Dance and Drama
At the end of term and early term two, a huge highlight is the annual Year 7 camp where each syndicate gets to go away to Motutapu island camp for an entire week of team building and outdoor activities. We are totally convinced it is the best camp in the world! By Friday, students coming back from Motutpau camp are buzzing with all the thrill and challenges that they have mastered. A lifetime memory for sure!
All students are involved in a syndicate Authentic Learning Journey, which is based on a fertile or rich question, and this question is explored and fleshed out in an integrated approach to learning, so that it may involve any number of or all of the curriculum areas. Separate units maybe taught for certain Health topics. All students have a block of Science Specialist teaching once a fortnight. Students will have the option of being able to participate in specialist Science Fair classes and lessons.
At the end of term 2 our choir and orchestra take part in the Somerville Music Festival together with a number of the primary schools in our area.
Every second year we have a school production during term 3 in which students with an interest in drama get the opportunity to shine on stage. Term 3 is also the term for participation in the Howick and Pakuranga Dance Festival, the Koanga Festival and school and Eastern Zone speeches. A 'dads and lads breakfast', 'girls night out' and a music festival stage challenge are also features of the term 3 calendar.
In term 4 there is an air of excitement as each syndicate busily prepares for their ALJ evenings, where they showcase all the wonderful learning and experiences that have gone on. Before we know it, the year of the year is upon us and so too, the anticipation of more challenges in Year 8....