Week 6 -  Term 4  -  2019

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Calendar of Events - Term 4:


On Thursday 28 November the GLEE Club, Senior and Junior Marimba, Senior and Junior Ukulele, and the Kapa Haka group will be presenting an evening performance for family and friends. The evening performance begins at 6 PM. Please have your child/ren at school by 5.30 PM. Drop off in the staffroom. 

This is a gold coin donation and tickets are available from Annette Pram in room 29. The gold coin donation for tickets will go towards reading books in our junior school. Each child will have two tickets only (limiting numbers due to health and safety requirements for our school hall). 

At the end of the performance, children will come back into the staffroom. We will mark each child off a roll once they are picked up from you. Please do not take your child unless you advise a teacher.

Thank you and looking forward to a night of talent and pizzazz.

Annette Pram, Nicole Nicholson, Aaron McGreal and Mark McLay


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 on Kindness:


There are three main myths about kindness that I would like to address:

Myth #1: Kindness is weak.

Kindness is NOT weak. In fact, it takes courage to show kindness. It takes strength. It takes setting aside what's easy for what's valuable. Being kind requires strength of character.

Myth #2: Kindness is the same as being nice.

Kindness is NOT just being nice. Being nice is one aspect of kindness, but that's not the end of it. Kindness is about making decisions that result in healthy relationships. It's about giving your time, your attention, your caring heart, your extra efforts, your helping hand, your selfless actions to lift up others. 


Myth #3: Kindness is a feeling.

Kindness is NOT a feeling, it's a choice. It's a behavior. You're not going to like everyone you meet. You're probably not always going to feel like being kind to them. But you can choose to treat everyone you meet with all the care and concern of people you do like. 

The more you practice being kind, the easier it is to demonstrate this behavior consistently. It becomes a habit. It becomes who you are, and you don't even hesitate to act in kind ways.

You can never do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.                                                - Ralph Waldo Emerson


Athletics Sports Days:


With a bit of manipulation of days we managed to squeeze in all our athletic sports events. Our children had lots of fun and competed well.

The idea of our Junior Sports is to give our little ones a ‘taster’ of the events they will compete seriously in when they are older. At Junior stage the emphasis is on participation and fun - and that was clearly in evidence.

By Middle and Senior School time, the focus is again on participating, but with the opportunity to compete to the best of your ability and perhaps represent our school at the next level- Zone Athletics Sports.

Zone Athletic Champs take place at the Trust Stadium. Children there compete on tracks and in settings exactly the same as professional athletes use. It feels pretty special for them to be competing in such an environment.

Prior to Zone Champs our first and second place-getters from our school sports are training with Nuree Greenhalgh and Tim Taura most lunchtimes, to ensure they are as best prepared as possible. My thanks again to Nuree and Tim for their hard work here.

Our senior sports day finished with the staff vs students relay races. I think Karma must have been lying in wait for me because I had been giving my team so many reminders about how  important it was to beat the students. When it came to the race I tripped and fell half way down the first leg of the race, destroying any chance my team had. The rest of the team gave their all though with special credit to go to Kat our Grounds Manager who was so nervous before the race but ran really well. Mr T - Tim Taura - absolutely set the track on fire running the final leg and was close to catching the winning room 24 team, but not quite. Well done room 24, apologies to my team.

Slo Mo Compilation Athletics 2019

Ukelele Festival At Trust Arena:


Last Saturday Music Teacher Mark McLay - ably supported by Board Chair Nic Yelash - took five members of our senior ukulele band to perform at the Auckland Schools Music Festival held at the beautiful Trust Arena. Our children were awesome as always and had a great day. Mark has plans to take a much bigger group next year.


Teacher Vicki Nabete Presents In China:


We have an internationally recognised staff at WHS. Jenna Aalbers is off to India for four weeks on a Prime Minister’s Award trip next week. We are excited for her and know she will be an outstanding representative of WHS, west Auckland and New Zealand.

Last week Vicki Nabete presented at a huge conference in China. Vicki taught for a number of years in China and is held in high regard there. Speakers from the United States also presented alongside Vicki.


Catch Ups:


Thanks to all those parents who are doing the right thing and moving to the top of the zone to do drop-offs and collections.


PLEASE NOTE: You cannot double park in our drop off zone and get out and leave your car. Doing so can cause severe disruption and traffic jams - especially if you have a large vehicle.


Play-based Learning Can Set Your Child Up For Success At School and Beyond:


Preschools and schools offer various approaches to early education, all promoting the benefits of their particular programs.

One approach gaining momentum in the early years of primary school curriculum is play- based learning. Research shows play-based learning enhances children’s academic and developmental learning outcomes. It can also set your child up for success in the 21st century by teaching them relevant skills.


What is play-based learning?

Children are naturally motivated to play. A play-based program builds on this motivation, using play as a context for learning. In this context, children can explore, experiment, discover and solve problems in imaginative and playful ways.

A play-based approach involves both child-initiated and teacher-supported learning. The teacher encourages children’s learning and inquiry through interactions that aim to stretch their thinking to higher levels.

For example, while children are playing with blocks, a teacher can pose questions that encourage problem solving, prediction and hypothesising. The teacher can also bring the child’s awareness towards mathematics, science and literacy concepts, allowing them to engage with such concepts through hands-on learning.

Relationships between play and learning, research findings support the value of good quality play-based early years programs.

How does it compare to direct instruction?

Play-based learning has traditionally been the educational approach implemented by teachers in Australian preschool programs. It underpins state and national government early learning frameworks.

Research has shown the long-term benefits of high-quality play-based kindergarten programs, where children are exposed to learning and problem solving through self- initiated activities and teacher guidance. 

In contrast to play-based learning are teacher-centred approaches focused on instructing young children in basic academic skills. Although this more structured teaching and learning style is the traditional approach to primary school programs, research is emerging that play-based learning is more effective in primary school programs. 

In these recent studies, children’s learning outcomes are shown to be higher in a play-based program compared to children’s learning outcomes in direct-instruction approaches.

Research has also identified young children in direct-instruction programs can experience negative effects. These include stress, decreased motivation for learning, and behaviour problems. This is particularly so for children who are not yet ready for more formal academic instruction.

What can be gained through play-based programs?

As with traditional approaches, play-based early years programs are focused on teaching and learning. In such programs, play can be in the form of free play (activity that is spontaneous and directed by the child), and guided play (also child-directed, but the teacher is involved in the activity as a co-player) with intentional teaching. Both have benefits for children’s learning. To capitalise on these benefits, an optimum play-based program will provide opportunities for both free play and guided play.

In constructive play children cooperate and problem-solve, engaging with mathematical and spatial concepts to design and create three-dimensional constructions from their imagination.

Involvement in play stimulates a child’s drive for exploration and discovery. This motivates the child to gain mastery over their environment, promoting focus and concentration. It also enables the child to engage in the flexible and higher-level thinking processes deemed essential for the 21st century learner. These include inquiry processes of problem solving, analysing, evaluating, applying knowledge and creativity.

Play also supports positive attitudes to learning. These include imagination, curiosity, enthusiasm, and persistence. The type of learning processes and skills fostered in play cannot be replicated through rote learning, where there is an emphasis on remembering facts.

The inquiry-based nature of play is supported through the social interactions of teachers and children. Teachers take an active role in guiding children’s interactions in the play. Children are supported in developing social skills such as cooperation, sharing and responding to ideas, negotiating, and resolving conflicts.

Teachers can also use children’s motivation and interest to explore concepts and ideas. In this way, children acquire and practice important academic skills and learning in a playful context.

For example, research indicates the increased complexity of language and learning processes used by children in play-based programs is linked to important literacy skills. These include understanding the structure of words and the meanings of words.

Another study found children’s vocabulary and ability to tell a story was higher in a play- based classroom than a traditional classroom.

Teacher-led learning and direct instruction methods have their place in educational contexts. But the evidence also points to the benefits of quality play-based programs for our youngest learners. In play-based programs, time spent in play is seen as important for learning, not as a reward for good behaviour. In such classrooms, children have greater, more active input into what and how they learn.

Research shows play-based programs for young children can provide a strong basis for later success at school. They support the development of socially competent learners, able to face challenges and create solutions.


Outstanding Achievement - Ex WHS Student Jessica McCarthy:


Short Tech Tip = A Weekly Series:


Paste the plain text of what was copied When you copy text from any source, programs will usually include any formatting that comes with it. To paste this as plain text, press Ctrl + Shift + V instead of the standard Ctrl + V, and the system will paste unformatted text. This also works on Mac: Cmd + Shift + V.


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:


Western Heights School

126 Sturges Road


Auckland 0612

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E -  macash@mac.com

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