Week  9  -  Term  4  -  2020

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Last Message for 2020:


It has been quite a year, but for most of us we made it through mostly OK.

For those who have been hit hard by Covid19, especially those hurt financially, our thoughts go out to you and we sincerely hope for better things to come for you, our economy and our country.

On behalf of our Leadership Team, our Board of Trustees, and ALL our 68 staff we want to say a heartfelt THANK YOU for your support, patience, cooperation and understanding this year.

Honestly, you, our parent community have been simply amazing. The trust you have placed in us is humbling.

Our staff  have shown tremendous resilience. Many of our team had to deal with huge challenges around the care of loved ones and lack of access to those loved ones during our Lockdowns. Many had real uncertainty for partners and family members in terms of employment situations - and the list goes on.

Despite this, all of our team remained positive, focused and determined to do all they could for our children - working long and hard, and creatively, to ensure children were engaged, encouraged and learning.


Considering all the challenges we have faced - including a draining twelve week term in term two - our children have coped and succeeded remarkably well. Our achievement data for the year is encouraging. Some have experienced a small ‘blip’ but overall our children have achieved exceptionally well. That is a team effort to be proud of.


So now it is time to say farewell to 2020 and to look forward to 2021 as a new year of new hope, new expectations, new opportunities and new beginnings.

We have planning already well under way, and will be doing everything we can to make it the best year yet at Western Heights. 

Thank you for sharing your beautiful children with us and for your faith that we will nurture and care for them to achieve the best outcomes for each one. 

Have a wonderful Christmas Holidays. Enjoy the hot weather - safely - and enjoy time with friends and family. Most importantly, be safe wherever you are so we can welcome back your awesome children on February 3, 2021.



As usual, we finish on Wednesday December 16 at around 12 to 12:30pm - depending on our Graduation Assembly.


There will be NO supervision of children offered by Western Heights from 12:30pm onwards. Usual After School Care programmes are operating from that time but we are UNABLE to supervise children after 12:30pm that day. Thank you.


Term Dates for 2021:


We start 2021 on Wednesday 3 February. Friday 5 February is a Teacher Only Day. The benefit of this to our community is Monday 8 February is a holiday due to Mondayised Waiatngi Day. This means families could have a four day weekend if they can make it fit work plans.

Our 2021 year will end on Wednesday 15 December - we have managed to finish on a Wednesday every one of my seven years here. It is a day that works very well with our end-of-year organisation.


Taking Jump Jam to Waitakere Gardens:


On Friday both our Jump Jam teams performed for our Whanau Time Assembly - to their usual, but exceptional, high standard.

They then took their show on the road - to Waitakere Gardens on Sel Peacock Drive. There they put on another two outstanding performances - much to the delight of all the residents.

At the conclusion of their performance both teams were invited to join the residents for a Jump Jam of one of their favourite routines. It was wonderful to see.

Below is a short clip of the visit.

 Waitakere Gardens Jump Jam 

Junior School Zoo Trip:


Thanks Sarah Layton for the Calendars - Plus It’s Not Too Late:


Huge thanks to Sarah Layton for assembling over 500 calendars for our parent’s orders. 

This is our only fund-raiser for the year, so it is vital we sell a good number. So, if you haven’t ordered yet it is still not too late. 

Email your order to macash@mac.com or send in the form or text me on 021779009 - whatever it takes, if you need one, let us know.

Thank you for all your orders so far and thanks again Sarah - awesome work.


New Life at WHS in a Three Picture Series:


Western Heights Netball - End of Season Photos:


Thanks to everyone who supported our awesome Western heights Netball Club this year.

Thanks to our players for turning up rain or shine, and doing your best and for being good sports.

Thanks parents for your support getting them to games and trainings and encouraging them from the sidelines.

Thanks coaches and managers - without you we have no club. Your efforts, enthusiasm, skills and dedication are inspirational.

Thanks Nuree Greenhalgh for coordinating EVERYTHING. You did an awesome job.


This Week's Cool Kids:


Amanda gained a Distinction in her Dance Recital and won an awesome trophy. Fantastic achievement Amanda.


At Right:  Cindy learned to knit and made this cool and colourful scarf. It also got her talking confidently to lots of us. Very proud of you Cindy.


Above and Below: Phoebe looking fabulous for her Ballet Dance Recital - where she won a medal. Awesome Phoebe.


At Right: Aleena and Lucas are talented musicians - sharing their certificate (Aleena) and medal (Lucas). Well done both.

Below: Turtle art work from Room 4 - I love it!


This Week's Writing - Thinking For Yourself:


When I was young, I thought other people could give me wisdom. Now that I’m older, I know this isn’t true.

Wisdom is earned, not given. When other people give us the answer, it belongs to them and not us. While we might achieve the outcome we desire, it comes from dependence, not insight. Instead of thinking for ourselves, we’re dependent on the insight of others.


There is nothing wrong with buying insight, this is one way we leverage ourselves. The problem is when we assume the insight of others is our own.

Earning insight requires going below the surface. Most of us want to shy away from the details and complexity. It takes a while. It’s boring. It’s mental work.

Yet it is only by jumping into the complexity that we can really discover simplicity for ourselves.

While the abundant directives, rules, and simplicities offered by others make us feel like we’re getting smarter, it’s nothing more than the illusion of knowledge.

If wisdom was as simple to acquire as reading, we’d all be wealthy and happy. Others help you but they can’t do the work for you. Owning wisdom for oneself requires a discipline the promiscuous consumer of it does not share.

Perhaps an example will help. The other day a plumber came to repair a pipe. He fixed the problem in under 5 minutes. The mechanical motions are easy to replicate. In fact, while it would take me longer, the procedure was so simple if you watched him you’d be able to do it. However, if even one thing were to deviate or change, we’d have a crisis on our hands, whereas the plumber would not. It took years of work to earn the wisdom he brought to solve the problem. Just because we could only see the simplicity he brought to the problem didn’t mean there wasn’t a deep understanding of the complexity behind it. There is no way we could acquire that insight in a few minutes by watching. We’d need to do it over and over for years, experiencing all of the things that could go wrong.

Thinking is something you have to do by yourself - for yourself.


This Week's Hack:


Thursday’s Thought:


A Message to Parents - Meningococcal Vaccination Reminder


I am sharing this email in full - it is an important read for parents. My mother was the oldest person in NZ to contract Meningococcal Meningitis, and she passed within three days of contracting it. 

Dear Principal, Board of Trustees and Parents

In February of this year, my daughter died of Meningitis, or more specifically, Meningococcal Septicaemia.  Although she was a 19 year student in her second year of study at the University of Canterbury, this disease impacts young people of all ages and kills up to 10 people in New Zealand every year.

The loss of our darling daughter has devastated our family, but it was terribly tragic to discover that we could have protected her if we had known about the vaccination.  Although there is a small cost for the vaccination, for many families it is free.

Your parent community needs to be aware of the availability of the vaccine and the need to vaccinate.  This request is supported by the Royal New Zealand College of GP's who are also trying to increase the rate of vaccination by communications with all New Zealand GP's.

Meningitis is a dangerous bacterial infection that can be life-threatening and deadly in just a few hours.  People who survive meningococcal disease often have serious long-term effects.

The Ministry of Health recommends that young people living in close together in places such as halls of residence be immunised against meningitis.  Please find below a link to the Ministry of Health's brochure regarding meningitis and vaccines available to your child as they perhaps move on with their tertiary education and will be flatting or living in halls of residence.


Thank you for reading this message.  Please take action.  You could save the life of one of your children.

Kind regards

Paul Chapman





If you double park in our Drop Off Zone you must stay in your car. 

Do NOT Lock and Leave your car when double parked please.

Brain Play coding, robotics, and 3d printing classes. 
After-school and holiday courses. Holidays on sale now! Free trials available. 
Ages 5+. 
Email us for more information on info@brainplay.co.nz or see brainplay.co.nz

This Week’s Humour:


Comedy Animal Photos of the Week:


Ash Maindonald



Happy Holidays. 

Stay Safe and Be Kind.

Thank you for supporting our awesome school and wonderful teachers.



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