An average day at Ridgway

It’s 8:55 in the morning, and the school bell rings. Students stream into their classes, either in the Kotare, Tui, Kukupa or Kaka whanau. The teacher (or teachers) take the roll and lead the class in the school-wide karakia. Then it’s time for maths!

In most classes, students are divided into different maths groups, all doing different activities such as learning with the teacher, doing workbook tasks or completing hands-on maths activities. Maths usually lasts for about 45 mins to an hour.

Depending on the day, some classes may go out for fitness, playing games or doing running. Handwriting also happens during the morning, a daily activity for the younger classes. Sometimes teachers may have some other events planned, such as swimming lessons or coding (for older students).

10:35 is morning tea time! Students eat a snack in the classroom before going out to play. Play areas include an adventure playground, a courtyard, hopscotches and foursquares, an asphalt court and a large field (although this is sometimes closed due to mud). Teachers walk around the school, wearing hi-vis jackets making them easy to spot! They will help with anything, from playground kerfuffles to knee grazes. Morning tea lasts for about 20 minutes.

After the morning tea bell rings at 10:55 it’s time for everyone to go back to class. Usually most classes will be doing silent reading for 15 to 20 minutes. After silent reading, classes will generally be doing either Inquiry (a school-wide topic which changes every Term), or Literacy. In Inquiry, recent topics include Natural Disasters, Light, Navigation or Under The Sea. The whole school studies it in lots of different ways. Literacy includes writing, reading and sometimes homework. Literacy is one of our base subjects, and is studied almost every day.

Lunch at Ridgway is at 12:30. At lunch students get to go out to eat and play. In the breaks, Peer Mediators will be going on patrol. Peer Mediation is a programme where some Year 7&8s walk around the school solving arguments,sorting out misunderstandings and rewarding good behaviour with R cards. Peer Mediation gives the senior students a responsibility, helps kids in the playground and makes the teachers’ lives easier!

Finally, it’s the last block of the day. In the afternoon, activities such as Art or Sports are common, usually happening every few days. Sports played in the afternoon include Rounders and Longball (both similar to baseball), soccer and various ball games. Art happening at Ridgway is a broad spectrum, from Native bird paintings and tapa creating to freeform art and Mother's day cards! But really, the last part of the day is usually the least planned and the most go-with-the-flow. You never know what’s going to happen!

On Tuesday afternoons, the middle and senior schools (Yr 4 - 8) have electives. Electives are a chance to do different things, with choices of multiple sports (Term 2), and creative activities (Term 3). For the seniors (Yr 7&8), technology at Mount Cook School is a weekly occurrence, every Wednesday afternoon. Activities at tech include woodwork, sewing/soft materials, cooking, movie making, and electronics (such as making remote-controlled cars).

3 o’clock is the end of a busy and fun day at Ridgway. We clean up, say bye to our friends and go home, ready for the next day!

By Julia Randerson and Sasha Crane
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