Week 7 -  Term 4  -  2019

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Calendar of Events - Term 4:


Kia Ora, Talofa Lava, Malo e Lelei, Bula, Namastē, Namaskar, AyubowanKia Orana, Taloha Ni, Kumusta,  Aloha Mai E, Fakaalofa Lahi Atu, ‘Alii, Malo Ni, Halo Aloketa Aloha, Nī Hāo, Sawatdeekhrap  Sabaidi, Terve, Dobradan, Bonjour, Hola, Guten Tag, Ciao, Salaam, Olā, Zdravstvuyte, Konnichiwa, Ahn Young Ha Se Yo, Hoi, Merhaba, Jambo, Yasou, Shalom, Salamat Siang, Ahoj, Xin Chāo, Sawubona, Bok, Yiassoo, Hej, Dia Dhaoibh, Cham Reap Sour, Hoi, Vanakkam.


This Week’s Thoughts:


I share this thought with our staff quite regularly. It has really registered with me, to the point even if I am in a rush, I just can’t walk past a piece of litter. That even extends to my daily trips to Palomino for a coffee.

As parents, teachers and leaders others - especially children - are watching us and learning from what we do.


So, the standard we walk past is the lesson we are teaching those who are watching us.


Waitakere Zone Athletics Champs at Trust Stadium:


I apologise I don’t have time to write a full story for this today, I will provide lots of pictures and more information next week.

I do have enough time to tell you Western Heights is once again ZONE CHAMPION. This is so cool and we are so proud. Huge congratulations to Super Athletics Coach Nuree who masterminded the selections, training and tactics - our children are so lucky to be coached by such a champion.

PS: Sorry I also didn’t have time for photos and a story on Grandparents’ Day - that will also be covered next week.

Thanks for understanding.


Jump Jam Nationals - Follow Up:


On Friday we were privileged to see a live performance from our two Jump Jam Nationals teams. Both teams claimed third place in New Zealand for their outstanding performances, creativity, energy and costuming. It was absolutely awesome to see them perform live and they were stunning - as expected.

Below are the official photos from the National Champs.


Hlaina and Nicole win Humanity Awards:


Specsavers sponsors Humanity Awards for primary age students across New Zealand. They do this in honour of Fred Hollows and the Fred Hollows Foundation, where “compassion, integrity and kindness” are their promoted values.

Hlaina and Nicole received their special certificates from a ‘Specsavers’ representative in recognition of demonstrating these values each day at Western Heights.

Congratulations to these two wonderful ambassadors for our school and their families, and our shared values.


South Korean Experiences:


Sue has been teaching our senior children Korean Language and Culture for two years. This is funded by the Korean Education Centre, so is free to us. A wonderful opportunity that our children have loved.

Last week we took a small number of particularly enthusiastic students on a Korean Culture tour. They visited a Korean Supermarket. Received lessons in traditional Korean instruments, and participated in an official Korean Tea Ceremony.

It was a brilliant opportunity for our children and they were perfectly behaved, showed exceptional manners and respect and learned heaps.


Sue was presented with a beautiful Greenstone pendant at her official farewell last week. She is off to Australia and we wish her well.




A lot of times I see parents feeling frustration at being asked to move to the top of the zone when there is no-one behind them. Their thinking is, it’s a quick stop and drop and they are not holding anyone up.

The problem is, they are showing others it is OK to stop there, so others then copy that example.

Often there is no-one behind you when you first stop, but then in a matter of seconds there is a big queue.

Every day I do my best to keep traffic flowing, to avoid drivers experiencing “road rage” and doing something dangerous. Often I will see a driver who has had to wait for a bit roar off at speed due to their annoyance. 

With the way so many parents cross the road at dangerous spots, dragging children along behind them, it will not be long before one of these drivers hits one of our children.


Please try to understand I am not policing the Drop Zone, No Stopping on Yellow Lines zone because I enjoy it - it is for everyone's safety, especially that of our little children.

Please do your bit and make good choices in and around our school drop off zone. Thanks.


How Preschool Teachers Leverage Student Curiosity into Early STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) Exploration:


Young learners are full of curiosity so it's the perfect time to introduce them to science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts. At Educare New Orleans preschool teachers have been trained to teach STEM ideas through play. They set up play centers that explore concepts like building and states of matter. At first many of the adults thought the material would go over kids' heads, but they've been excited that when done in a play- based, age appropriate way that includes lots of hands-on discovery, the kids love it.


"It can be engaging by allowing the kids to just play, stepping back, observing and encouraging them to see how the tool was helpful to them, just based on what they were doing, as opposed to me telling them what to do," said Giselle Scott, a preschool master teacher in an Edutopia video about the program.

Janay Parham, a preschool assistant teacher, likes exposing students to different subjects, materials and tools that they can use in their future school careers.

"When I was growing up they didn't give us a lot of opportunities to do hands on activities when it came to science," said Parham. "I think if I would have had those opportunities that I'm giving my students, that I would have been able to understand it more and be more interested in it. It's really fun to be able to explore those things with my students now.”

"Our classrooms, if you're just walking by, it looks like a ball of fun," said Angie Belisle, the school director. "It looks like kids running around playing. It's not stressful to the kids. The teachers make sure activities are tailored so that it's engaging.”

But they also collect data to make sure their program is high quality and that kids are leaving school-ready. Teachers collect observation data daily by interacting with kids in their play and talking with them. They take notes on both their cognitive and social development.

Master teachers also use data to support professional development through "reflective supervision." The emphasis is on growing as a teacher. Master teachers help their less- experienced colleagues by discussing both what went well and where the teacher can continue growing.


Junior School Museum Trips:


Last week our junior classes travelled by bus to Auckland Museum. We had an awesome level of parent support with enough parents to be able to limit their groups size to three.

Even then some parents had a challenge as there was so much to see and experience and our little ones were very excited!

Thanks to Team Leader Annette Pram and her fabulous team of teachers for ensuring it was a brilliant learning experience for a huge number of WHS junior students.


Short Tech Tip = A Weekly Series:


Use old newspapers at the bottom of your dustbin to absorb food juices.

You can use unscented dental floss to perfectly cut soft solids like cheese.


Random Fact = A Weekly Series:


Wisdom of Children = A Weekly Series:


Parenting Tip = A Weekly Series:


David Pogue’s Life Hacks - A Series - Food Tips:


Thursday’s Thoughts:


Kindness is the Key:


Cats and Dogs This Week:


Signs of the Times:


PS - check out the message at the bottom of the sign...


Western Heights School

126 Sturges Road


Auckland 0612

P -  09 8361213

E -  macash@mac.com

M - 021 779 009

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Ash Maindonald



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