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Mixing it up

By | November 9, 2016

A key focus for Physical Education and the Intermediate Department this year has been to align our units through innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Based on the idea that learning transcends the walls of the gymnasium and should move seamlessly throughout subjects, we found inspiration in the Olympic Games.

Both departments worked together in Term 3, using the Olympic Games as the perfect platform to explore Social Sciences, Physical Education, pastoral and leadership opportunities and allow the students to create their own Physical Education experiences. The girls amazed us with their creativity, inclusiveness and respect for others. Year 8 students Madalyn Rideout and Samantha Cave share their experience and capture the overall spirit of the day.


This year the Olympics were held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In Term 3, the Intermediate Department decided to base our learning on the Olympics. We have been learning a lot about the history of the Olympics and have been comparing the Ancient Olympics to the modern day Olympics.

In Physical Education, we split into groups and developed our own Olympic sports. Each sport was creative and unique. The planning and preparation was a long process and we had to work co-operatively to achieve our goal. We learnt about the Olympic oath and what it meant to have good sportsmanship. Once each group had created a sport, we decided as a class which two sports to include in our Mini Olympics event.

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Finally, after all the hard work and preparation, the day of the 2016 Woodford Intermediate Mini Olympics had arrived. There were six countries competing against each other, two from each class. The countries competing to win were Japan, China, USA, New Zealand, South Africa and Great Britain. The competition was tough. There were many events on the day but our favourite was Shoot for the Stars. Shoot for the Stars was an event designed for athletes who are in wheelchairs. The aim of the game was to hit the target – with a basketball – whilst being pushed in an office chair (a wheelchair).

“And the winners are…” announced Mrs Barham, “South Africa and USA!” Everybody cheered as the winners received their prize. Overall the Intermediate Department learned a lot about the Olympics in the classroom and on the playing fields. We enjoyed competing against the other countries and working as a team. The Mini Olympics was a great experience for our future athletes who are aiming for gold.

Samantha Cave and Madalyn Rideout, Year 8


Next year we will look at combining the Lets Move Unit with gymnastics, Te Ao Kori and dance alongside an integrated English and Social Science unit on early Maori settlers, and myths and legends.