Thursday, October 18, 2012

Goodbye Pork Pie--James Cook HIgh School style!

The Mean machine before the class 'pork pies' it.

Goodbye Pork Pie, James Cook High School style.
The students in James Cook High School excel in many areas, ranging from academic performance to sports, music and dance. Top study awards are going to some those students who work hard. For the most diligent students who achieve academically, there is help available so that they can continue to build on their successes. Of course, we would love to see more help from companies and other support structures to build on this progress.
For those who excell at sports It is not a ‘pie in the sky’ dream  anymore for them to aim for placement in regional, national and even Australian sports teams, as members of development squads or junior selections.
I remember students coming to see me in the past (in my role as counsellor), talking about becoming ‘professional’ sportspeople and wondering if they would make it. What I am noticing now is that they have the dreams and are already on the road to success by being selected for some of these development squads.
Our students love to dance and sing. Some are getting recognition for that. I am not just talking about James Cook High here, but many schools in the ‘South,’ where students are achieving at a high level on the international scene. Hop-Hop dancing comes to mind here.
The Students and Staff at James Cook High School are shining in another area too. They are involved in a project that will see a re-enactment of the journey made by the famous yellow Mini from the film, Goodbye Pork Pie.
The schools Caretaker, goes way beyond his job description in this latest venture. A clapped-out Mini has been purchased for $500 and the students in the Technology Department, along with Cameron (the Caretaker), Stephen Shand and Richard Wood (Teachers) are doing a major fix-up. They are giving this ‘ugly at the moment' car the 'Full Monty.' Yes, they are stripping it down and will transform the beast into ‘a time-gone-by' apparition.
PPG, a local auto painting company are training the students in the skills needed to make the car shine, bringing it to a pristine finish.  What better way is there to involve the students in the world of real learning? The cross-curricular possibilities are huge here; something the school’s new principal is particularly keen to explore.
In the next month or so, this car will be readied for a re-enactment of the journey that the original car made so many years ago in the film that made it famous. Money will be raised for Leukaemia research.
The students are transfixed by the project. I am hearing that they are arriving home, tired but incredibly switched on. They are learning a range of real skills by being involved in this work. Just think of the ‘parallel’ learning that is being achieved, using mathematical, practical skills and a smattering of science. Then, there’s the working in a team and the huge amount of pride that goes along with success.
Look out for a new-looking Mini travelling the streets of Manurewa; once of course the car gets its necessary documentation. The kids will have driving licenses too!
Watch this space for more reports on our big project. Yeah, our school rocks, along with our brother and sister schools in the South.

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