West Park School - T2 Wk 6

Friday 10th June 2022


Kia ora, Talofa, Kia orana,

Greetings Parents, Grandparents and Caregivers,

With winter now here, staff ask that you please ensure that your child/ren are being sent to school with warm clothes and wet weather gear in their bags. It’s incredibly hard for any child to be ready for learning if they arrive at school cold and/or wet.

Growth Mindset in Math

In general, a growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and ‘smartness’ can also be learned and that the brain grows from experience and effort. The opposite, a fixed mindset, is the idea that you are smart, or you are not. In math, that translates into “some people are good at math, and some are not.” Did you know that praising efforts rather than intelligence or results can impact your child’s ability to persevere in challenges! The goal is to have children thrive on challenges and see failures, not as a sign of low intelligence, but as a learning opportunity. Brain research tells us that making mistakes actually wires more connections into the brain! When a person has a growth mindset, they accept challenges, see their efforts as worthwhile, and are open to learning from mistakes. Students with a growth mindset achieve at higher levels than those with fixed mindsets. How can you help? Some simple ways:

  • Adding “yet” when they claim they are “not good at this” (Respond: “You are not good at this yet.”)

  • Ask questions that focus on their effort and choices and get them to reflect on satisfaction of that effort (e.g. What did you learn today? What mistake did you make that taught you something? What did you try hard at today?)

  • Model this yourself as you share about your day

Lollies and Treats

Lollies and treats last year became a significant issue across the school. They were being brought into school and distributed by students on birthdays and special days, which in the first instance seemed to be an 'okay' thing, however, it also began placing pressure on families who felt that they also needed to provide their children with lollies and or treats to hand out to classmates when it was their child’s birthday or special day. Peer pressure can be a very powerful thing both in positive and negative ways; sadly, we saw it become a negative one for many. To that end, we asked that students/parents and staff not hand out lollies and/or treats at any time. The request was well met and the issues disappeared. Staff have noticed though that the same issue is slowly starting to creep back into school, so we are again reminding students, parents and staff that the distributing of lollies and treats is not allowed.

Te Kāhui Ako o Tarikākā

For the past few years the school has been part of a local school’s group (Te Kāhui Ako o Tarikākā) which was set up to try and better serve the needs of each school in the area. West Park School will continue to be officially part of the group until the end of the year. The decision to withdraw came about after our school leadership team evaluated in conversations with their teams, the actual benefits to our school in light of our ongoing specific annual student and staff professional development needs.

West Park School will continue to be an active participant in all Northern Cluster meetings and associated activities, as well as contributing to Kāhui Ako conversations, if appropriate. This decision has not been made lightly with a significant amount of consultation, thought, reflection and Board questioning having taken place.

By withdrawing we have also managed to reduce time demands on our teachers.

One of our School Value - Laughter

Laughter Helps Us Stay Positive

Laughter can be an important tool for keeping our troubles in proportion, and for realizing that things aren’t always as bad as we think they are. But even when things are as bad as we think they are, laughter helps create positive emotions and helps us find a frame of mind in which we can more easily cope with the struggles of life. Laughter eases tension and sharpens our ability to concentrate. Laughter is a lot like changing a baby’s nappy. It doesn’t permanently solve any problems, but it makes things a lot more acceptable for a while.

West Park School Board of Trustees approved 2023 terms dates are as follows:

  • Term 1: Tuesday 31 January - Thursday 6 April

  • Term 2: Monday 24 April – Friday 30 June

  • Term 3: Monday 17 July – Friday 22 September

  • Term 4: Monday 9 October – Thursday 14 December

Have a lovely weekend.

Luis Echegaray


Newsletter Sponsored By

Update from the Board of Trustees

Trustee Elections

This year is an election year for all School Boards across the country and we are busy planning for the West Park School Board election in September. Elections are run every three years and our Board has 5 community elected seats. At our 4th July Board meeting we will be deciding whether we make two of those seats mid-term elected seats. This means we would hold elections every 18 months instead of every 3 years, with only some of the seats being made available at each election. Having mid-term elections will help with continuity on the Board, as there will always be some experienced members around the Board table. We welcome you to come join the discussion at our next meeting - please RSVP to board@westpark.school.nz.

Culture Review

Last year we saw a higher number of staff decide to leave the school than we would normally expect to see. Each staff member had their own reasons for leaving, including promotions, career and lifestyle changes. However, when considered together, we would like another level of assurance that we are achieving the right outcomes in regards to staff wellbeing. The Board has therefore engaged an independent consultant to undertake a review of staff wellbeing, focusing on how well we are meeting our objectives, which are stated in the school charter. We expect this review to be completed by the end of Term 2. We will advise you of any key outcomes from this process in our communications in Term 3.

Last Board Meeting

It was great to hear another update from the Student Council at our 30 May meeting. Zoe Magil and Liam Henry shared how the Council plans to run a writing prompt competition, a bake sale and a student vs teacher quiz, among other things, to help with fundraising. They are trying to raise funds for some football nets for the goals on the top field.

We also agreed our provisional priority focus areas on our Hautu plan. The priorities were identified through a workshop we had last year. Our next step is to handover to the next Board so they can lead the engagement with the community. The focus areas identified are:

  • Maori representation on governance

  • Engaging with Māori community in decision making

  • Relationships (Māori identity, language and culture; Community engagement; Transitions; Funding)

  • Māori ākonga enjoying and achieving education success as Māori

  • Governance framework to further reflect West Park’s equity focus

As mentioned above, our next meeting is Monday 4th July at 6.15pm in Rooms 14 and 15. You are welcome, as always, to attend this Board meeting. Please email board@westpark.school.nz to RSVP. We hope to see you there!

Junior School Update

Last week was all about rainbow fish in Room 3!

We learned the poem, read the book, and did a bunch of cool crafts! Here we are reciting our poem, illustrating it for our poetry books, and displaying our very own rainbow fish in the ocean.

Room 3 Rainbow Fish

Middle School Update

To infinity and beyond! Rooms 7 and 8 students are having a blast learning about space and our solar system. We visited Space Place to explore the exhibitions, to learn more about Rocky Planets and Gas giants, and also to learn more about the Matariki star cluster. It was a great opportunity to take students to the Botanic Garden where we even had a picnic!
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Senior School Update

Pink Shirt Day in Room 19 and 20

A couple of weeks ago our school celebrated Pink Shirt Day where students were encouraged to wear pink to show their support against bullying. In Rooms 19 and 20 we decided to create our own t-shirt designs that promote kindness and standing up against bullying. The students worked hard to think of a slogan to go on their t-shirt and spent time decorating them. These are some of the designs!

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School Notices and Upcoming Events


Another reminder to stop on the yellow lines outside both entrances to school when dropping off and picking up your child/ren. This is for the safety of themselves and others crossing the road.

Change of Clothes

We are after any spare/no longer loved clothes that could be donated to the school. We have run out of clothes (especally pants) in the office. If you have any lying around we would love if you could bring them into the office.

Also, if your child does come in home with clothing that is not theirs - it would be great if they could be washed and handed back to school.

Winter Illness

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2022 Term Dates

Term Dates 2022:

  • Term 2 Mon 2 May – Fri 8 July (10 weeks)

  • Term 3 Mon 25 July – Fri 30 Sept (10 weeks)

  • Term 4 Mon 17 Oct – Fri 16 Dec (9 weeks)

Upcoming Events

  • Friday, 10 June - Rooms 16 and 17 trip to Carter Obs.
  • Monday, 13 June - Years 1 and 2 trip to Te Papa
  • Wednesday, 15 June - Room 10 trip to Carter Obs.
  • Thursday, 16 June - Pump dance workshop
  • Wednesday, 22 June - School Photos
  • Thursday, 23 June - School Photos / Pump dance workshop

  • Friday, 24 June - Matariki (School closed)
  • Monday, 4 July - BoT meeting (6.15pm)
  • Friday, 8 July - Last Day of Term 2
  • Monday, 25 July - First day of Term 3

Community Notices

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Rachel Coward - Music and Drama Teacher

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