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Arataki Primary School - Jacey Shirley

2019 | Manaaki whenua, manaaki tangata haere whakamua!

School: Arataki Primary School
Host: Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
Region: Bay of Plenty
Arataki School website
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology
Toi Ohomai website
Reflective Journal/site
Google site- STLP

Manaaki whenua, Manaaki Tangata haere whakamua! (Care for the land, care for the people and move forward!)

 The vision for science at Arataki School is to be authentic, meaningful and engaging, awakening curiosity and fostering a love of finding things out. Arataki School started the journey of building a sustainable science teaching and learning programme in 2018 with its first teacher participating in the Science Teaching and Leadership Programme. The major focus for 2019 has been developing teacher understanding of the Nature of Science strand and how this will strengthen the Arataki School curriculum. Having two teachers at the school with the knowledge and passion for science will ensure greater support for the whole community.

 Jacey has had nearly 10 years’ experience as a teacher and has been passionate about promoting literacy and fostering students’ learning strategies, particularly in reading. She is also interested at how the Nature of Science and science capabilities can integrate within the enquiry learning process.

 During her time on placement at Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology Jacey was hosted by Dr Heather Hamerton who is head of research there. Jacey spent most of her time placed in the sport and recreation faculty led by lecturer Tracey Clissold. This included attending meetings and working with the research committee who review and provide critiquing for staff and students taking part in research projects. She also attended lectures and workshops on exercise physiology, athletic conditioning and nutritional health.  A highlight was attending lectures by internationally renowned nutrition scientists and exercise physiologists. She spent some time attending a plant identification field trip for environmental sciences and labs involving plant and insect dissection. Jacey also presented a seminar on the Science Teaching Leadership Programme and the New Zealand science curriculum.

 This experience has given Jacey insight into how the human body responds and adapts to various conditions such as heat, and developing training programmes to suit a variety of athletes.

Some highlights for Jacey have been as follows:

  • Having a DEXA bone scan and learning about how it is analysed. This gave her clarity and helped her to make connections with all the learning she had been doing about athletes and how body fat, muscle and bone density are measured and monitored.
  •  Learning about new research on the implications of applying force to the skeleton (jumping exercises) and the impact this has on bone health for premenopausal women.
  • Using observational drawing during invertebrates’ laboratory, to slow down, notice and describe external and internal features of a flower and locust.
  • Attending a lecture about female athletes by Stacey Sims who advocates tracking the menstrual cycle during training to work with it rather than trying to stop it.

Jacey would like to thank Royal Society Te Apārangi, Heather Hamerton, the research team at Toi ohomai, Tracey Clissold and Lisa Denmead for sharing their knowledge and providing amazing opportunities to engage in real world science. She is eager to return to her school to inspire and build on the staff and students’ knowledge of the Nature of Science and capabilities. She has found the leadership element of the programme significant in terms of her personal development.