Last week, Year 3, 4 and 6 enjoyed their residential trips.Year 3 had an overnight stay in school, camping out on the basketball court, Year 4  were entertained at the Radiant Activities camp in Janda Baik and Year 6 went on a trip to Penang where, amongst other things, they visited the war museum. The feedback that we have received on all of these trips, has been very positive indeed. This pleases us greatly as we feel that these experiences are vital for our children. The skills they develop further and the mindset they grow further as a result of these trips are very different to the learning that we can create in our everyday school environment. The children are positively challenged in different ways, they get ‘invited’ to leave their comfort zones and achieve something they have not achieved before. Children and teachers also get to know each other better and learn more about the person behind the learner which is always very helpful in developing those learning focused relationships. In short, we are very happy that so many children join us for these residential trips as we feel these experiences to be of importance to our children. Thank you very much to all the teachers who spend their time preparing for- and supervising – these trips. Without their dedication, this would not be possible!

Our Year 4 classes today were visited by a guest artist called Ms Ratna Rashidi. She is a Watercolourist and she also does botanical illustration like Margaret Mee. Year 4 is looking at Margaret Mee as their artist of reference. Today, Ms Ratna Rashidi shared her artwork and experiences as an artist in Malaysia. She also conducted a demonstration on how to use watercolour to paint. The session ended with a Q&A session in which children had the opportunity to ask further questions. 
In our weekly Primary assembly, we continued to explore the RECIPE element of ‘excellence’. We asked ourselves would ‘striving for success’ mean that we always need to get it right, that we cannot make any mistakes, be faultless at all times? We used the example of World Cup penalty taking which was enthusiastically received by the pupils.
What we played out on stage, with the help of our goalkeeper Mr. David and a volunteer from the ‘audience’, was that when you are in training you are effectively in ‘learning mode’. This is the time to practice and try out new approaches and tactics. It is the time to succeed by not giving up. During the time in the ‘learning mode’ mistakes will not have negative consequences. We then played out the final penalty in the World Cup penalty shoot-out. Clearly this time we were in the ‘performance mode’. Whether the penalty taker would be learning from a missed penalty was unimportant and the consequences for missing a penalty would be huge. Luckily the penalty taker left Mr. David with no chance of saving the ball!

I was first introduced to this concept of ‘learning mode’ and ‘performing mode’ whilst attending a keynote speech by Professor Guy Claxton. His point was that it is good to know in which mode you are in so you have an understanding of what is expected of you in any given situation. He also argued that children are still spending too much time in school in the ‘performance mode’ whilst in a school, children should actually be spending time the vast majority of their time in the ‘learning zone’. So, welcome back next week to the ‘learning zone’ that is TIS Puchong  Primary! 
Mr. Marco Damhuis (Head of Primary) 
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