Ficino School Letter, Week 5 Term 1 2018

A word from the Principal

Many of the students have been sitting PAT tests this week with the older students taking five or six different tests.  After such levels of concentration, there was a palpable rise in energy in the lunch room today.

This release can sometimes be seen as the lid coming off a pressurised situation.  However there is another way of looking at it.  Sitting tests requires an increased use of attention and whenever we give our attention whole heartedly to something, not in an intense way but in a restful manner, the result is more energy for the next activity.  The exhaustion that we sometimes feel from intense concentration is more a result of our distracted ideas about the task in hand than from the simple process of giving attention to it.

Twentieth century author Simone Wiel said the following about our faculty of attention:
“Although people seem to be unaware of it today, the development of the faculty of attention forms the real object and almost the sole interest of studies.  Most school tasks have certain intrinsic interest as well, but such an interest is secondary.  All tasks that really call upon the power of attention are interesting…

School children…should never say: ‘For my part I like mathematics’; ‘I like French; ‘I like Greek.’ They should learn to like all these subjects, because all of them develop that faculty of attention…

Never in any case whatever is genuine effort of the attention wasted.  It always has its effect on the spiritual plane and in consequence on the lower one of the intelligence, for all spiritual light lightens the mind.

If we concentrate our attention on trying to solve a problem of geometry, and if at the end of an hour we are no nearer to doing so than at the beginning, we have nevertheless been making progress each minute of that hour in another more mysterious dimension.”

Peter Crompton




Events for prospective parents

A reminder that Ficino School will be hosting a couple of events for prospective parents towards the end of March.  A Parent Information Evening will be held from 6 – 7pm on Wednesday 21 March and a Ficino School tour will be held from 9.15 – 10.15am on Friday 23 March.

It would be appreciated if you could advise these events to friends and family who may be interested in attending.  More information is available at




St James Church Hall – Esplanade Road

You may have heard on the news this morning reference to St James Church Hall which is behind the church opposite the Preschool.  This building has been classed as dangerous by the Council and a fence restricting access erected on the road frontage.  Following lobbying by the Presbyterian Church and the local residents, the council, I believe are undertaking an independent assessment of the safety of the building to see if it poses any risk to pedestrians.  Giving the conflicting views over the safety of this area of pavement, Ficino students will not be using it during the School day, and we recommend that students arriving or leaving school by this route find an alternative.

Pop Up Globe outing

Parents of Class 6 – 8 students have been sent a letter this week regarding attendance at Shakespeare play “A Comedy of Errors” on Tuesday 20 March.  If you consent to your child attending, please complete and return the attached form to your Class Teacher by Wednesday 14 March.

Year 3 Kumeu Camp

Parents of Class 3 students have recently been sent a notice about this upcoming camp our at the Auld’s farm.  If you consent to your child attending, please complete and return the attached form to your Class Teacher by Friday 16 March.

Parent Teacher Interviews

A reminder that Parent Teacher Interviews are being held on Monday 9 April – School will be closed for the afternoon.  All children will have lunch first, with Years 1, 2 and 3 to be picked up at 12.35 and Years 4 upward to be picked up at 12.45.

There will be no FASC on Monday 9 April.

Assemblies on Friday

Parents are welcome to attend our School assembly on Friday morning.  These run throughout the term from 8.30 – 9am.  Parking is available behind the Villa.

Ficino After School Care (FASC)

There is no FASC on Monday 9 April.  Please remember that all bookings for FASC need to be made through the school office either by email or by phone 6233385. If your child is booked in and no longer coming to after school care, please ring the office and cancel the booking.

Website Calendar

Please note the School Calendar  of Events can be found on the website. There is also a permanent link to the calendar in this newsletter.