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Fantastic Swimming Sports yesterday! Huge excitement and enthusiasm all day from students and wonderful support from parents and other whanau members. I think next year it is time to put a parents team into the relay perhaps?

A topic I return to over and over in assembly is that our students are privileged. There is no doubt that they enjoy a lifestyle which is not available to all people their age and you do not have to travel far to find that out. Students at Marsden Whitby are able to travel to school in safety, celebrate and enjoy the variety of cultures they encounter without fear of prejudice, experience teaching and learning from skilled teachers who show genuine care and love for their charges, and generally benefit from the environment in which they live. In return, we expect students to show respect – for the school and its environs, their fellow classmates and all staff; to complete work to the best of their ability and to ask for help where they need it; to wear their uniform neatly and to conform to the requirements of the school in all ways. We also expect them to be able to learn how to fail and how to respond to making mistakes. It is impossible to go through life without making a blunder of some sort and I do not believe there is ever a time when we stop making mistakes, because that is how we learn. What is crucial, however, is learning how to come back from that mistake. You have to acknowledge your behaviour/attitude/work rate has not been up to standard and then work out ways to move forward from there. What you cannot do is just run away from mistakes. That is in no way learning any kind of life lesson, nor is it developing those crucial skills that are needed in tertiary study, the work force and, quite frankly, life - resilience, teamwork, problem-solving and growth mindset. When children are learning to walk they have to fall and get up over and over again, but they don’t give up just because walking is hard. If that were the case, some adults would still be crawling. Instead, they persevere and parents help them along but they don’t allow them not to learn to walk! Allow your child to make mistakes, acknowledge that they are mistakes and then work alongside your child, and the school if necessary, to work out ways forward. We all want our young people to be valuable contributors to society but if we never allow them to make mistakes or to front up to their responsibilities, we are doing them a significant disservice. I read something recently which I thought might be useful in encouraging your son/daughter to talk more freely about what they have done in school rather than the monosyllabic answers I suspect many of them give. It may well be useful in teasing out some more reflective thinking about themselves and their situations too. I have reproduced a small part of it below.

What to say to your kid at the end of a school day
You’ve lived this scene. Your son or daughter comes home from school. You ask:

“How was your day?” 
And the youngster says, “Fine."
You then ask, “What’d you learn today?”
And the kid grows more voluble, doubling the length of the answer: “Not much.”

Here are some tips for extending that conversation:

Don't ask: “What did you learn today?”
Ask: “What questions did you ask today?” 
Don't ask: “What did you accomplish this week?”
Ask: “What did you fail at this week?”
Say: “How would you solve this problem?”

 Say: “Great question. Why don’t you figure out the answer?”

Ask: “How did you help someone today?”

 Ozan Varol (amended)

Anne Winnall
Check important notices and dates in our Weekly Update The School Office is open between 8am to 4:30pm daily. For any inquiries please email
2018 Uniform Shop holiday hours
Normal Uniform Shop hours (during term) are:
Monday 8 – 9am and 12 noon – 5pm
Wednesday 12noon – 5pm
Phone 04 476 8479 or email the Manager, Mrs Vijay Raj
 2018 Term Dates (click here)

2 Starboard Lane (off Discovery Drive), Whitby, Porirua City Telephone (04) 234 1070
 Email: enrol@marsdenwhitby.school.nz