School Newsletter Week 7, Term 2, 2015

Many of you will have seen the article on the front page of the NZ Herald yesterday on the call for ‘back to basics’ teaching in Mathematics.  This is not the only article challenging ‘modern’ educational practices that has appeared in the press recently.  There was a well-argued editorial by John Morris, ex-headmaster of Auckland Grammar, just a week or two ago.  Education easily becomes a political football, where ideas are implemented too quickly without proper testing of their validity.

Both these pieces have caused a stir in the teaching profession around the country.  Ideas are being challenged which is never comfortable for the people on whom those ideas have been foisted.  This is a time when the Independent Sector in education in New Zealand is needed.  Independent Schools have the freedom to set their own curriculum, which means we not only have the choice to retain the timeless practices that are the core of the educational process, but also supplement and enrich those with well-researched up to date thinking.  As John Morris states in his article, which you can read via the link below, “Great teaching relies on things that have been around for ages; good subject knowledge, good classroom control, good communication skills, passion for your subject and for kids.”

For your information, we have never adopted the Numeracy Strategy at Ficino, and have kept the rigour of learning our times tables and number facts before trying to use them to solve problems.  Really this is just common sense.


Friends of Ficino Meeting – Sunday 7 June – 4.30pm – 5.30pm

The Friends of Ficino are having a meeting this Sunday, 7th June from 4.30pm – 5.30pm in the school villa.  Everyone is welcome to come along.

Mecanno Exhibition – Wednesday 10 June

The Meccano Guild has generously offered to bring their Meccano exhibition to school again.  All the classes will have the opportunity during the school day to see these amazing working models.  The exhibition will be in the hall until 3.30pm if parents would like to see it after school.

Commendations Assembly – Friday 12 June

Parents are invited to our Commendations Assembly next Friday 12th June at 8.30am in the school hall.

Friends of Ficino Children’s Movie Night – Saturday 13 June

The Friends of Ficino Team are hosting a Children’s Movie Night in the school hall on Saturday 13th June from 4.30pm to 7pm.  ‘The Lego Movie’ will be shown and there will also be a lego creation competition for the children – see the posters around the school for further details.
$5 entry, refreshments available for children and adults and a raffle as well.  Come along and enjoy the fun!

Meet the Board Evening – Monday 15 June – 6.30pm – 8pm

The Board of Trustees invite you to a Meet the Board Evening on Monday 15th June.  This will be an opportunity for them to share the future direction of the school with you.  The Principal will speak about the Intermediate years and show some statistics on current student achievement.  Drinks and nibbles will be served.  An invitation has been emailed to parents today, and a hard copy sent home with the children.