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Principal’s News – May 2016

Top private girls' school in Havelock North, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand

Our winter sport has started with great success as our hockey and football girls won their first games and our netball team qualified as one of the top 12 schools in Hawke’s Bay.


It was exciting to stand on the sideline of the netball courts recently and support our girls who proudly demonstrated grit, leadership, passion and the Woodford House spirit.

We often tell the girls sport is a vehicle to develop as a person as well as an athlete. It is an engaging and interesting way to nurture the body, stimulate the mind, focus on what is happening in the present moment and take time out from the challenges and pressures that come with being a busy teenage girl.

Data from the Lifestyle of Our Kids (LOOK) longitudinal study, conducted by researchers from the University of Canberra and Australian National University, shows that 8-year-old girls are 19 per cent less active than boys, taking 2000 fewer steps per day and participating in less extracurricular sport. Girls also have a higher percentage of body fat and poorer cardio-respiratory fitness and hand-eye coordination than boys.

However, the research also shows that girls are more likely to participate in sports and physical activity in single-sex environments and that physical fitness is linked to better academic outcomes. This is certainly evident at Woodford House with many of our athletes also excelling in the classroom.

In Sweden, brain researchers at the University of Gothenburg found that when a child’s physical activity was increased by two hours a week, they were twice as likely to achieve their learning goals.

Sport at Woodford House is not compulsory. However, we encourage our girls to be physically active through other health and wellness activities such as yoga, boxing or crossfit.

An internal analysis shows 98 per cent of our girls are active and participating in 2.8 sessions of activity each week. These sessions include any sports and wellbeing activities that are 45 minutes or more.

This week, the Woodford House Sports Academy hosted the inaugural Growing Athletes event. More than 100 secondary school students attended the day, which focused on mental skills, strength and conditioning, nutrition, talent spotting, sports scholarships in the United States of America and leadership. This was also an opportunity for the girls to interact with athletes outside of school.

We are also looking forward to cross country this week, where all girls are encouraged to get involved and do their best.

I look forward to seeing many of you at cross country and on the sport sidelines this winter.

Mrs Julie Peterson, Principal


Coming Up

Please view the online calendar for full details of up coming events.