Week 9  -  Term 1  -  2019

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Calendar of Events - through to Week 4 Term 2:


Kia Ora, Talofa Lava, Malo e Lelei, Bula, Namastē, Namaskar, AyubowanKia Orana, Taloha Ni, 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.


Happy HOLI Celebrations at WHS:


Thank you to Mrs D’Lima for her usual awesome enthusiasm for this special day.

All our junior and middle school children had a brilliant time firing water pistols and smearing coloured powder all over every nearby person.

It was heaps of fun. I learned my lesson from last year, having worn a beautiful, pure white dress shirt last year that quickly became blue, purple, red, yellow, green and mixtures of all of the above, I kept it to be worn on all such future occasions. I’m thinking in a few years it will be quite unique.

Following the water and colour fun we had water races. The prize for the winning team being - appropriately enough - to be drenched in the very coloured water they had been racing to transport.

It was so much fun - though it did take a fair bit of scrubbing to get clean afterwards!


Wearing White to Support our Muslim Community:


Our thoughts and love go out to all those members of our community of the Muslim faith. As a school last Friday we showed and shared our respect for our Muslim community by wearing white.

White is the colour our Muslim brothers and sisters would traditionally wear for a funeral. It is also the colour that represents purity and humility. I think we all agree the humble forgiveness shown by the Muslim Community in Christchurch can teach us all a lesson in tolerance, kindness and forgiveness.


Our whole school gathered together for a two minute silence (as did the rest of NZ). At the end after the National Anthem, our boys broke into a very moving, spontaneous Haka.


Junior Classrooms Slide-share for Board of Trustees Meeting:


As you should all now know, our school is governed by a Board of Trustees - and very well too in my humble opinion.

Our Board meet twice per term - currently in weeks three and five, but possibly in weeks five and ten from mid year onwards. On the morning of the second meeting each term they come and join our staff for morning tea before going on a tour of our classrooms.

There are too many classrooms to do justice to them in one visit, so one term they visit half the classes and the classes not visited provide a slide of what has been happening to share at the meeting that night.

So, to the right and below, we have the slides produced by each of our year one and year two classes. They give a picture of the learning that is happening, the values and topics being focused on, and the relationships being built. 


WHS Netball:


This year we will have the most teams ever competing in the Saturday Netball Competition at Te Pay Courts. After many years of awesome service managing our WHS Club, teacher Tanya Boyd has stepped away to give her time to focus on her English Second Language qualifications study. Teacher Nuree Greenhalgh has stepped up and is our new WHS Club Manager. Below, our junior year one and two children have begun training. I just love that Matilde is wearing her too-cool  Tutu to training.


Board of Trustee Election Year:


Board of Trustees elections are to be held in June 2019.  If you are interested in finding out more about this opportunity to contribute to the Governance of our school, you are warmly invited to attend a Board of Trustees meeting as an observer; come and see how it runs and meet current Trustees.  The next meeting will be held at 7pm on Wednesday, 22 May.           eMail current    Chairperson Nic Yelash to register your interest to attend, or if you have any questions about the election process:       nicolayelash@gmail.com


Beyond Water:


On Friday we had the awesome privilege of a visit from Sharon and Peter from ‘BeyondWater.’

They are dedicated to combatting water poverty.

In 2007 they founded BeyondWater, a charitable organisation in Australia which fights poverty through the provision of clean drinking water and sanitation facilities. Their focus is on East Africa, where they relocated to in 2012.

Holly-Kate and Maia were inspired by their visit to our school last year and organised a sausage sizzle to raise money for this important cause. The money they raised helped build a toilet block at a school in Kenya. Previously the 220 students and teachers had no toilet. It’s hard to imagine what that would be like.


This is such a worthy cause, providing an absolute necessity of life - water for drinking and sanitation, and toilets for children and teachers.

As a thank you gesture, Sharon and Peter presented me with a Shuka - a traditional robe worn by the Masai - in blue, which represents s the colour of the sky providing water in the form of rain, which is fundamental for the cattle.


The Facts

Lack of access to sanitation, including the practice of open defecation, costs the poorest countries 207 billion dollars each year. That’s almost double the amount the world gives in aid money to help low-income countries develop.

Globally, 31% of schools do not have clean water and 34% lack adequate toilets.

980 million children worldwide do not have access to adequate toilets.

The number one reason girls don’t go on to secondary education is that they do not have single sex latrines.

Safe disposal of children’s faeces leads to a reduction of nearly 40% in diarrhoea.

Inadequate sanitation can lead to a number of health problems, including stunted growth, diarrheal illness, and even death.

Many girls who are enrolled in schools without latrines drop out of school as they approach their teenage years.

Where there is nowhere safe to go to the toilet, people have to defecate in the open.

Children’s faeces left lying around pose a severe health risk, particularly when they are close to the house where small children play. The health risks are increased where children do not understand the importance of good hygiene and have not been taught to wash their hands after defecation and before eating.

When out searching for water or for somewhere to go to the toilet, children are exposed to the risk of attacks by wild animals and bites from snakes and insects.

Children are the most vulnerable to diseases which result from dirty water and poor sanitation such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery. As well as being more likely to catch the diseases in the first place, children, especially those under five, are less likely to recover than adults.

The Results

Establishing sanitation facilities impacts schools as well as the wider community. Schools are able to recruit teachers better, especially in very rural areas. Female student attendance increases dramatically, especially as they get older. With the implementation of a hand washing station and lessons arranged around this, the health level of students increase. They become life long implementers of hygiene because have put it into practice since their childhood. Children are more open to discuss and change hygiene habits than adults whose behaviour has been ingrained over a lifetime.

Latrine Costs

The price of one block of two toilets is $2,500. In most schools we complete a block for the boys, another for the girls and one for the staff. We ensure that they have a privacy wall for child safety purposes, the teachers are able to monitor access to the latrines.

Latrines are made from stone or brick, coloured bonding iron (for the roof) and steel doors. Latrines are ventilated through a small window and roof piping.

Hygiene Program

Hygiene education is an essential part of the BeyondWater projects. While we hope long term to reach the adults in the community, our focus is on schools where we have built latrines. Once the latrines are there, we install a hand washing facility and give liquid hand soap. However, in addition to this we have a morning program with all students that teach the importance of washing hands after using the latrine. This is done through drama, games, art and song. Where possible we teach in small groups how to make the soap with locally available materials.

When available, we distribute underwear to the students as we have discovered that many do not even have one pair. This is because they are expensive for the needy families we work with and they are always thrilled when they get a new pair. Our education teams are made up of staff and volunteers from within Kenya who specialise working with young children.

A hygiene program ranges from $100 to $300 depending upon location.


https://www.beyondwater.global/         https://www.beyondwater.global/school-latrines/


Tour Diary Snippets and Stories 


Manchester - Dubai:

The following day saw another 5am start as we caught an Uber to Manchester Airport. The Uber was a Prius and apparently in England cars will all be electric by 2040. No more petrol or diesel cars.

Sweden is already well down this path and is now laying charging strips built into the road to recharge your vehicle as you drive above them. That is innovative Swedish Engineering.

The following day saw another 5am start as we caught an Uber to Manchester Airport. The Uber was a Prius and apparently in England cars will all be electric by 2040. No more petrol or diesel cars.

Sweden is already well down this path and is now laying charging strips built into the road to recharge your vehicle as you drive above them. That is innovative Swedish Engineering.


They are my new favourite shoe by such a long distance - pun intended if somewhat poorly executed. $120 US was very fair in my humble opinion.

Our final days of the trip were in Dubai. We had not been here -  in fact all of the countries we visited on this trip were first time visits.

Dubai is awe inspiring. One of our best experiences was visiting the Museum of Dubai. The history of this place dates back to 3,000 BC but in the 1930s and 40s it was just a fishing and pearl diving village with a moderate port that was unable to allow Dubai to really develop because of the way it had silted up over time. In the 1960s the population had reached 50,000. In 1969 oil was discovered and Dubai began its incredibly rapid rise to a world class international city. The port was cleared of silt, widened and deepened and massive investment from oil - which hit peak prices in the 70’s - saw expansion unlike anywhere in the world to that point. 

In no time the population of the city of Dubai was over half a million. 

What made the museum so brilliant was the set-up. You walk in to a room with sand on the floor and life-size figures engaged in their daily living rituals according to the time period. In one part you walk into a Bedouin tent and experience first hand what living this way is like. In another room there is a ship being built - it is half a ship, but butted up against a huge mirror so that it appears to be a whole ship, but also so you can see into the mirror what the “workmen” (with their backs to you) are doing.

There are panels in the ceiling representing the sea with diver’s legs extending below them and a diver, attached to a rope, at ground level pearl diving.

Hard to explain but most impressive.


Community News:


House for Sale: 

A message on behalf of one of our colleagues.

Fantastic, well presented three bedroom home, perfect for a first home buyer or as a rental property. 

Priced at $625,000. Call Team Tomes at Harvey’s Real Estate on 021814001 to book a time to view or come to the Open Homes 2 - 2:30pm both Saturday and Sunday.  

Address is 2/33 Forest Hill Road, Henderson.


David Pogue’s Life Hacks - A Series - Travel and Ketchup Tips:


Catch Ups:


Dhwani and her beautifully made Leprechaun Trap. It even has glowing gold inside to tempt the little creatures.


Te Kete Aronui Numeracy and Literacy Programme

Who is it for?

For Year 1 - 8 children of Maori descent.  This is a funding requirement set by the funders (Te Putea Whakatipu Trust) of TKA. 

Where is it run?

Our site address is:  Te Whanau o Waipareira, Cnr Edmonton & Great North Rds, Henderson. 

How is it run?

There are two sessions which run from Monday to Friday 3.30 - 4.45pm and 5.00pm - 6.15pm.  Each session is 1 hr 15 mins long.

Groups numbers are a max of 6 students per Tutor. 

Each session comprises of:

10-15 mins - Whanaungatanga activities ie numeracy and literacy games, getting to know you, quick short activities etc

50-55 mins - Individualised learning plan

10 mins - Internet based game time

We use a good cross-section of recommended internet-based, subscription-based and paper based products which are aligned to the NZ curriculum.

We use a broad range of resources that suit every learning style.

We provide homework sheets to reinforce learning at home.

Children are incentivised to bring homework back and to keep attending by receiving rewards.

Pre-assessments are taken again every 4 months to check on progress.

How much does it cost?

$5 per child per session.  We encourage whanau to attend once a week.  It is their responsibility getting the child to and from the learning venue.

If you are interested in what they do:

For the moment,  whanau can call Nancy Matana directly on 0211451495 or they can use our number 0800 924942, this is to discuss learning concerns/outcomes and to book an assessment appointment.

An initial assessment will take approximately 1 hour.  We discuss together the learning plan with parents going forward.  Later on we'll engage with the school/school teacher to collaborate learning goals for the individual.

After the assessment has been completed, a start day and time is confirmed by myself and the parent for suitability.


Thursday’s Thoughts:


Kindness is the Key:


Welcome to our Newest Western Heights Whanau:


The warmest of warm Western Heights welcomes to

No one new to welcome this week. Our roll sits at 660 at present but we will have a new cohort of five year olds joining us at the start of term two.

We are delighted to have you join our Western Heights whanau and hope and trust you all feel right at home here.




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Western Heights School

126 Sturges Road


Auckland 0612

P -  09 8361213

E -  macash@mac.com

M - 021 779 009

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