Year 7 and 8 Skills 4 Living – Your survival kit

Image source

Learning intention: Students will have a greater understanding of the necessary goods and services provided in our community and their importance for survival. They will consider the requirements to be self-sufficient, in terms of food, fuel, shelter and medicine.

Success criteria: Each student will prepare a “virtual survival kit” (report, poster or slideshow) that lists all the necessary requirements to survive indefinitely in an isolated location. 

Over the past couple of weeks most of you have experienced what it is like to be without telephones, internet, ATM’s and EFTPOS. You have also probably had times when there was a power failure, the tanks ran out of water or the gas bottle was empty. Often we take all these products and services for granted – we expect that we will always have access to electrical lighting; heating and cooling; cooking and washing appliances; waste disposal; communication and entertainment devices.

However, sometimes natural and man-made disasters occur (floods, bushfires, tsunamis etc) and all these goods and services are unavailable. There are groups of people who plan for such events – sometimes called “preppers” or “survivalists”. Some even believe in an apocalypse (doomsday or end of the earth as we know it). Your task today is to prepare a virtual “survival kit” to document what you would need in the case of some disaster that prevented you getting anything (food, water, power, shelter or any other materials and equipment) from outside this school. Can you think of any movies that begin with this premise?

You will need to grow your own food, because you cannot store enough to survive in the long term. You will need some way of producing energy if you wish to extract water from the ground and have hot water and lighting. Your report, poster or slideshow should include a list of requirements and a description of how they will be used.

Some resources:

Please add any other resources in the comment windows below.

Year 8 Skills for Living – Apollo Bay Camp

Learning Intention:

Success Criteria:

Your task today is to write a blog post about last week’s camp. Please include the activities you enjoyed, what you learnt and the most memorable part. You may like to use these prompts…..

  • The most difficult thing about being on camp was….
  • The best food we had was……
  • I will always remember when….
  • The funniest part was when….
  • The interesting thing about staying in a YHA is….
  • I was happy to get home because….

Year 7 and 8 Skills for Living – “A Winter’s Tale”

The Bollywood dancers – Year 7 girls

Your task today is to write a blog post, including an image, about the production. You can find images of the production in the “student public folder > 2012 > Production photos”. You could write it as a newspaper review, including what you enjoyed about the performance and how it compares to other shows you have seen. Or you could write it as a performer – what you felt before, during and after the show. Make sure you include the following:

  • a description of the characters and the setting
  • the storyline – what is the show about?
  • what are the highlights?
  • who were the ‘behind the scenes’ team who made the show such a great success?

If you didn’t participate in the production and didn’t get the opportunity to see the show, write a review of your favorite TV show or movie. You will still need to include the four dot points above.

Year 7 and 8 Skills for Living

Each student needs to reflect on their Semester 2 Learning Goals and send a statement through to me by email. Each student has

  • 3 academic (subject-related) goals,
  • 2 “You Can Do It!” goals (confidence, resilience, persistence, organisation and getting along) and
  • 1 personal goal.

For student reports, I need to write a paragraph about how each student has achieved or not achieved their goals. So, students should write about each goal and state wether they have achieved their goal and if not, why they didn’t. Are your goals still relevant? How can you make sure you achieve these goals this term or next year? Send to me at brittgow(at)gmail(dot)com.

Year 7 Skills for Living

Today we have several things going on due to production rehearsals and a special program with Quantum Victoria.

The boys who have not been going to Dance classes and have been working on their ideal school project will be signing up to Minecraft today. You will each be given a sheet of instructions, a web address and Minecraft access code.

  1. Firstly, get a Mojang account, by going to and registering with your name, email address and password.  Go to your email and click on the confirmation link.
  2. Next, register with Quantum Victoria – when you use the invitation code, make sure you use a capital ‘Q’ and exclamation mark ‘!’. Go to your email and click on the confirmation link – if you can’t find the message, it may have gone to ‘junk mail’.
  3. Start playing Minecraft by going to Quantum Victoria Massively Minecraft and have fun!

For those students who have been doing Dance – you need to complete your Maths homework – send me a photograph annotated with the length, width and height of a rectangular prism. We will calculate the surface area and volume of this three dimensional shape.

When you have finished, you can design the programs, posters and tickets for the school production – An adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, “A Winter’s Tale”. The show will be on Monday 29th October (7.30pm) and Wednesday 31st October (7.30pm). Tickets cost $5.00 for children and $10.00 for adults. Make sure your design is cohesive across the three items and uses appropriate fonts and creative commons images.

My Ideal School

The Guardian newspaper in United Kingdom is running a competition similar to the task we have been doing at school during term 3. They are calling for entries into “The School We’d Like” competition, with the judging criteria as follows:

• Measurable benefits to your school community, please provide clear evidence where possible.
• Innovation – is this an example of clear innovative practice which could be used by other schools to the benefit of their communities?
• Consultation – evidence that there was a genuine consultative exercise across the school community to develop the idea.
• Collaboration – compelling evidence that teachers, students and other members of the school community worked together on the project.
• Pupil voice – evidence that pupil voice was developed by the exercise.
• Evidence that as many students as possible had the opportunity to learn or be exposed to life-long skill development such as project planning, financial planning, consultation, collaboration, presentation and interview.
• Evidence of positive learning from the exercise both for the presentation group and the wider school community.
• An indication of how the school community would use the lessons learned through the competition in the future.
• Sustainability: thought about the long term plans, how their idea will be maintained and sustained.

Consider this criteria as you prepare your plan and up to 500 word report describing your ideal school. Remember to justify each component of your plan and describe how it will improve student outcomes.  When you have completed your blog post, including an image of your ideal school, please add a comment below, with your blog address in the message.

Monday 3rd September

Year 8 Skills for Living: Period 2 and Period 6

While I am away on Monday you have a choice of the following activities:

1. Those students who were in the group that organized the “Shake’n’Dog” fundraiser on Friday can write a report that includes the money raised, the costs and the net profit of that event. Could someone please write a letter to Mrs Julie Bos from the Hawkesdale Post office who donated four bottles of milk? You will also need to write about what worked well, what could be improved and what you learned from the activity. Who worked well as a team? Would you be interested in working in the food industry? What would have happened if you had to pay wages to the people who worked? How could you have made a greater profit? Please submit this report to me by email at brittgow(at)

2. Go to the ApolloHawkes wiki and complete any unfinished tasks. This week’s task is to comment on five pages that belong to Apollo bay students. Make sure your comments are appropriate and include one compliment, one suggestion and one question to keep the conversation happening.

3. Go on with the Apollo Bay Camp Menu. Remember we need three breakfasts, three lunches and three dinners hat can be prepared at the Youth Hostel. You need to write out a list of ingredients for each menu item and submit a shopping list of the quantities required to feed 20 people – 18 students and two teachers. Again, you should submit this to me by email.

4. The last option, when you have finished at least two other tasks, is to continue with your Ideal School project. You need to be able to describe your vision to another person and justify why you have included each element of the plan. How does your school improve learning? What knowledge and skills do the students learn here that they cannot learn at a traditional school? Why should schools be more like your school? This can be written as a blog post or submitted to me by email.


Celebrate Father’s Day and Teamwork!

During period 4 “Skills for Living” today I will be assisting the Year 8 students set up for the “Shake ‘n’ Dog” fundraiser. Your task is to write a blog post about one of the following:

  • What does your Dad mean to you? What do you and your Dad do together? How does your Dad make you feel special? What does it look like and feel like when you and your Dad are together? Add an image that portrays what is special about your Dad. (Make sure it is a creative commons image)
  • Next week is Blog Action Day with the theme “The Power of We”. Read the linked post and share your ideas on your blog. Think about the quotes below and write about what one or more of them mean to you. Coming up to the winter sporting finals, write about your own football or netball team and how you work together. What is special about working together as a team? What can be frustrating or difficult?

“There is no I in TEAM!”

“No Man is an Island” (John Donne, poet)

“Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much” (Helen Keller)

“Most great learning happens in groups. Collaboration is the stuff of growth.” (Sir Ken Robinson Ph.D.)

Teamwork divides the tasks and multiplies the success.” (Author unknown)

If, for some reason, you are unable to post to your blog, you can write your work in a Word document and email it to me or write this in your Skills for Living book and submit.