Year 8 News

By Ms Adele Quinn | Posted: Wednesday April 11, 2018

Year 8 - Communities - our field trips this term

PEEL FOREST - Early Settler communities and biological communities

Over Monday and Tuesday, 26 and 27 March, the Year 8 classes went on a trip to Peel Forest to find out about communities - Early Settler communities and Biological communities. This was an integrated trip for Year 8 Homeroom and Year 8 Science.

Our first port of call was the church in Peel Forest, where students had the opportunity to look inside the historical Mt Peel church and were spoken to by Rose Acland. Rose Acland shared her extensive knowledge about the early beginnings of Mt Peel Station and what life would have been like. We then were able to explore the outside of the church and the cemetery.

We then headed down to Clarke Flat and set up base to have a look at and think about the biological community at Peel Forest, and what sort of introduced species might be having an impact on our native communities.

We had quiet time and used our senses to make observations and we also learnt the skill of how to measure the height of a tree. We looked at and drew a profile of the forest, identifying adaptations that our native plants have to succeed at different height levels in the forest. We also played a game called “Possum Picnic” which mimicked what happens when possums are let loose in our forest. Part of the game was looking at what humans can do to possums to prevent the damage that the possums do to our native plants (flora) and animals (fauna). Our next steps are to put all this information together in a booklet - looking at the forest community as a whole, and coming up with reasons why plants have the adaptations they do. Also analysing what introduced species do to our native forests and how we can take action (participating and contributing) to make a difference.

At Clarke Flat, we were also able to show students 3 sawmilling pits that had been used when the first settlers to Peel Forest arrived. Students were able to imagine what hardships early settlers had to deal with providing some insight for their Social Studies assignment.

A BIG THANK YOU to the parents and caregivers who gave up their time to come on this trip with us.

THE WAIHI RIVER - the river community

On Wednesday 28 March we had another hour out. This time each class visited the Waihi River under the footbridge. Chris Konings from Waterwatch met us down there and talked to us about the river, what might change it and how. We then learnt the skill of kick sampling to find the invertebrates (animals without backbones) in the river. Some students also did some chemical testing of the water - looking at dissolved oxygen, nitrates and phosphates. Our next steps back at school are to look at the biological and chemical data and work out how healthy the Waihi River is in this area. The Year 8 homeroom classes will also use the data collected for their Maths.

A BIG thank you to Chris Konings from Waterwatch for spending the day at the river with Geraldine High School