Manakau School

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Community Blog

Written by Deb Logan

In this 'Blog' Space you will find comments from Deb's Desk, youtube clips, photos and presentations from the students and teachers.
Please comment on the posts, we would love to hear what you think.

End of Term - From Deb's Desk

Posted on 28 September 2018

As the term draws to an end I have reflected on what is important to me.

As Term 3 draws to a close we start thinking about 2019.  Yes, I said it.  My thoughts lately however have focused closer to home… around the diversity of our students, families and wider community, and the part we, as a school, play in supporting with the many ups and downs of being a human, a learner with all foibles that brings.

One of the principles of the New Zealand Curriculum is HIGH EXPECTATIONS.  

"The curriculum supports and empowers all students to learn and achieve personal excellence, regardless of their individual circumstances." The New Zealand Curriculum, p. 9.

 We could say that this expectation is reflected in the Manakau Curriculum Document as our value of Excellence, or our vision statement PERSONAL BEST ALWAYS.

“It should be the aim of all teachers to ensure that every inkling of talent that students possess is nurtured. For me, this begins and ends with having high expectations for all students, decreasing the inequities associated with low expectations, and showing all students that we care. The positive teacher attitudes and equitable teaching strategies of high expectation teachers lead, not only to student academic success, but also to high levels of motivation, engagement, self-efficacy, and incremental notions of intelligence."

Professor Rubie-Davies, Becoming a High Expectation Teacher, 2014, p. 230.

 As we know, academic “excellence” is not the be all and end all…our Manakau Curriculum Document has a central pou of Hauora – Wellbeing and this is an area we are continually mindful of. As we head into this two week break, please take the time to celebrate the diverse little people you share with us.  Take the time to listen to them. Take the time to find out what’s happening for them.   Turn the wifi off for a day. Pack a picnic and sit under a tree. Snuggle and read to them.  Enjoy them!

See you all soon,

Nga mihi, Deb Logan 

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13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't D)

Posted on 10 October 2017

Raising mentally strong kids who are equipped to take on real-world challenges requires parents to give up the unhealthy — yet popular — parenting practices that are robbing kids of mental strength. Of course, helping kids build mental muscle isn’t easy — it requires parents to be mentally strong as well. Watching kids struggle, pushing them to face their fears, and holding them accountable for their mistakes is tough. But those are the types of experiences kids need to reach their greatest potential.

I came across this article and thought it was worth sharing.  I can see myself in some of these.  We are all works in progress.

Amy Morin is a psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do. 

Parents who train their children’s brains for a life of meaning, happiness, and success, avoid these 13 things:

1. They Don’t Condone A Victim Mentality

Getting cut from the soccer team or failing a class doesn’t make your child a victim. Rejection, failure, and unfairness are part of life. Rather than allow kids to host pity parties or exaggerate their misfortune, mentally strong parents encourage their children to turn their struggles into strength. They help them identify ways in which they can take positive action, despite their circumstances.

2. They Don’t Parent Out Of Guilt

Guilty feelings can lead to a long list of unhealthy parenting strategies — like giving in to your child after you’ve said no or overindulging your child on the holidays. Mentally strong parents know that although guilt is uncomfortable, it’s tolerable. They refuse to let their guilty feelings get in the way of making wise choices.


3. They Don’t Make Their Child The Center Of The Universe

It can be tempting to make your life revolve around your child. But kids who think they’re the center of the universe grow up to be self-absorbed and entitled. Mentally strong parents teach their kids to focus on what they have to offer the world — rather than what they’re owed.

4. They Don’t Allow Fear To Dictate Their Choices

Keeping your child inside a protective bubble could spare you a lot of anxiety. But keeping kids too safe stunts their development. Mentally strong parents view themselves as guides, not protectors. They allow their kids to go out into the world and experience life, even when it’s scary to let go.

5. They Don’t Give Their Child Power Over Them

Kids who dictate what the family is going to eat for dinner, or those who orchestrate how to spend their weekends, have too much power.  Becoming more like an equal — or even the boss — isn’t healthy for kids. Mentally strong parents empower kids to make appropriate choices while maintaining a clear hierarchy.

6. They Don’t Expect Perfection

High expectations are healthy, but expecting too much from kids will backfire. Mentally strong parents recognize that their kids are not going to excel at everything they do. Rather than push their kids to be better than everyone else, they focus on helping them become the best versions of themselves.

7. They Don’t Let Their Child Avoid Responsibility

You won’t catch a mentally strong parent saying things like, "I don’t want to burden my kids with chores. Kids should just be kids.” They expect children to pitch in and learn the skills they need to become responsible citizens. They proactively teach their kids to take responsibility for their choices and they assign them age-appropriate duties.

8. They Don’t Shield Their Child From Pain

It’s tough to watch kids struggle with hurt feelings or anxiety. But, kids need practice and first-hand experience tolerating discomfort. Mentally strong parents provide their kids with the support and help they need coping with pain so their kids can gain confidence in their ability to deal with whatever hardships life throws their way.

9. They Don’t Feel Responsible For Their Child’s Emotions

It can be tempting to cheer your kids up when they’re sad or calm them down when they’re angry. But, regulating your kids’ emotions for them prevents them from gaining social and emotional skills. Mentally strong parents teach their children how to be responsible for their own emotions so they don’t depend on others to do it for them.

10. They Don’t Prevent Their Child From Making Mistakes

Whether your child gets a few questions wrong on his math homework or he forgets to pack his cleats for soccer practice, mistakes can be life’s greatest teacher. Mentally strong parents let their kids mess up — and they allow them to face the natural consequences of their actions.

11. They Don’t Confuse Discipline With Punishment

Punishment is about making kids suffer for their wrongdoing. Discipline is about teaching them how to do better in the future. And while mentally strong parents do give out consequences, their ultimate goal is to teach kids to develop the self-discipline they’ll need to make better choices down the road.

12. They Don’t Take Shortcuts To Avoid Discomfort

Giving in when a child whines or doing your kids’ chores for them, is fast and easy. But, those shortcuts teach kids unhealthy habits. It takes mental strength to tolerate discomfort and avoid those tempting shortcuts.

13. They Don’t Lose Sight Of Their Values

In today’s fast-paced world it’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day business of homework, chores, and sports practices. Those hectic schedules — combined with the pressure to look like parent of the year on social media cause many people to lose sight of what’s really important in life. Mentally strong parents know their values and they ensure their family lives according to them.

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Green Hat Thinking

Posted on 14 September 2017

Nga mihi ki a koutou

Putting your green hat on – New Ideas, New Solutions!

Over the weekend our staffroom space has been transformed.  Duane Fox, John McElwee, David and Rachael Newman,  Patti MacIntyre and I have added something very special to our school and we have certainly had our thinking hats on. Due to the increase in our roll numbers we have been able to employ another full time teacher, and Mrs Patti MacIntyre has secured the position until the end of the year. 

Currently many schools throughout NZ are experiencing overcrowding. A recent article stated;

"Hundreds of schools are over capacity or at risk of becoming overcrowded as thousands of extra children turn up to school each year. The Ministry of Education report reveals 214 schools around the country were considered over capacity, while 488 were at risk of becoming overcrowded.  Capacity was defined as 100 per cent use of a school's buildings. Any school operating above 85 per cent capacity was at risk of becoming overcrowded.” Stuff - May 2017.  We are certainly experiencing this at the moment.

Schools all through NZ are trying to think creatively to best provide for their students, teachers, and community.  For us, this problem is not going to go away, particularly with the projected growth of our area due to the expressway and other anticipated roading developments.  Managing the resources we have and thinking creatively will ensure we continue to build a strong learning community that is capable of preparing our students for the future.

 Sharing my thinking,



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From Debs Desk

Posted on 7 September 2017

De Bono's Hats

At our recent Board of Trustees (BOT) Meeting, I shared the Year 4-8 Interim Overall Teacher Judgements (OTJ’s) for this year.   It was very pleasing to acknowledge the improvements in Reading and Writing.   We are continuing to develop different ways of implementing the Maths Curriculum, and are working to identify what resources are needed. We shared some of the changes at our recent Parent Focus Meeting and know that this focus will have an impact on our Maths achievement.

Over the past 18 months the staff and I have been working with Andrea Piters – Team Soluctions and Trudi Francis – C21 Learning Ltd. Our focus with Andrea has been to develop the way we teach, assess, and encourage a passion for writing.  These ideas are certainly coming through in a positive way for our students.  Trudi has been working with us to build our skills when using inquiry to develop and challenge our ideas.  Inquiry learning is child centred, the learning develops with the children’s thinking.  We are working to nuture growth mindset, and provide structure to guide the learning.  One of the tools we are introducing to the children are De Bono’s thinking hats. This thinking tool guides discussions and can help us to see ideas from different perspectives.  Each hat calls for a specific action, e.g. If you use the White Hat (put the white hat on), you are just thinking about the facts of a situation, what do I know, what information do I need? I have included an explanation of all of the hats with this newsletter and would love it if you tried them at home.

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MIndful of my words - Deb's Desk

Posted on 31 July 2017

The proverb I’ve shared to the right has sat in my space for many years, particularly as a parent.  I remember making a comment about my children being great at Reading and Writing and not so good at Maths.  I went on to say they probably got the lack of Maths understanding from me.  It was like a self fulfilling prophecy…it was only in Secondary School when I was less involved in their day to day school life that they really started to enjoy Maths. 

On the recent Teachers Only Day we had a focus on thinking, and the proverb was shared with us again.  The teaching staff and I were learning about thinking…creative and critical…we were thinking about how children learn, and how we ensure we are preparing our students for unknown futures.  It all made me think about the components of our developing Manakau Curriculum Document (see attached), the importance of providing many learning opportunities for all of our children and the power of our words.

 This excerpt from a blog by Robert C. Jameson

” What we think often comes out of our mouth and into someone else’s ears. Our words impact how we feel about ourselves and they can impact how others think and feel. Words are symbols that communicate what’s going on inside our heads to ourselves and others. We share our fears, our sorrow, our joy, our love and our dreams with our words.

Our words create action. Our words can create intimacy or separation. With our words we can motivate ourselves to do things we never thought we could do, and our words can also move others to step forward into their own personal power so they can be of service to their community. Words can calm us or excite us. Words can actually change the direction of a nation. So watch what you think and be aware of the words that come from your thoughts, and the actions that follow your words.”

Sharing my thinking,


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