E ngā raukura o te kōrowai o te kuratuarua o Horokiwi āku mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa. Ko tēnei wiki he wiki kia whakamana tātou katoa o tō tatou nei reo. Kia kaha, kia maia, kia manawanui!!
For most of the year our students and teachers work hard to learn and reach their potential together. In contrast, examinations are the first time for many students that they have to demonstrate their learning on their own - silently - in a large hall with hundreds of other students.
Recently our seniors took part in their ‘derived grade examinations’. These are designed to mimic the final external assessments in November. They provide valuable feedback ensuring students have every opportunity to reach the standard required. Over the next few weeks many students will be studying hard to ensure they take on board all of the feedback and reach a high level of attainment in their final examinations.
Last term our students made an impact across the community and notably, we have received a number of emails about students who have been very active helping others - either as volunteers in retirement villages (thanks Keira, Georgia and others) or as students out in primary schools across the Wellington. I would also like to acknowledge the impact that our Peer Mentors, Peer Tutors and Peer Support Leaders have had this year. Our Year 13 students have been very involved in promoting learning across our school and this has become an important part of our school culture.
The learning displayed at the Level 1 and Level 2 Art Exhibition was outstanding. This event allows our school community to gather and celebrate the creations of our young people and it seemed this year that every board of images had a message and demonstrated the techniques taught during the year. In a similar way, we gathered again as a school community to enjoy music from a variety of different groups at the Spring Serenade - individual singing, choir, piano, jazz to name but a few. A real highlight was the Pasifika drumming demonstrated for the first time at this event.
The students in Drama have been performing in a variety of venues and they have shown that acting is an art form for all students. The performance at the Museum of City and Sea was compelling from the Level 2 class and we followed many different journeys alongside the actors. Congratulations to all of those involved in these performances as the quality of entertainment was extremely high.
We enjoyed a night out celebrating film at the Embassy with our Noscars awards at the end of last term. This evening enables us all (over 700 people) to share the learning of the Media studies students as they work hard to create films that entertain, shock, provoke fear or anger, sadness or happiness and we had it all this year. My congratulations to the winning film Waste by Sarah Meyer and Chelsea Laing. There were a number of tears shed watching their film.
Senior students are encouraged to attend tutorials over the next week once formal classroom lessons have ceased. This week of tutorials is designed for those who have questions or queries to come in and learn alongside the teacher. My advice is to attend these if you have specific questions and/or the topic covered by the teacher is of interest to you. In many classes bringing in an essay or topic you have studied and prepared for in advance may help you gain the most from this week.
For those in Years 9 and 10, classes will begin to focus on the end of year examinations. These are designed so that you can take the opportunity to show what you know and to prepare you for your NCEA Level 1 year. Where possible, we sit these examinations in the school hall to mimic that experience.
Our awards evenings this term have shown that many of our young people have taken the responsibility of their own learning very seriously. What has been particularly pleasing from my perspective is the way in which the students support each other. Our sports awards were held with a new format to allow more students and parents to attend the evening. It was enlightening to hear from Ged Robinson who spoke passionately about the importance of having a growth mindset and seeing yourself as a person who can grow, adapt and change. This reinforced many of the messages we give our students in the classroom and beyond. In particular, he recommended the ‘big life journal’ which has a facebook group and in that group, there are many tools and strategies designed to promote learning. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has used this tool successfully.
The Arts awards night allowed us to celebrate the learning and incredible creativity that has occurred across the school in this area. Many of our young people have contributed to the Arts for 5 years and we thank them for their involvement - whether we enjoyed them on stage, debating, acting, playing or singing - this night reminded us how much has happened in 2018. It also allows those who are not involved on the stage (like our stage crew/technical crew/artists) to be recognised for their efforts.
I was privileged to attend the Johnsonville Youth Grants Award evening where a number of our students attained grants to help them achieve their goals. Judge Andrew Becroft, the Commissioner for Children presented the awards and it was humbling to hear him encourage our young people to think about not who they are now but who they want to be in the future.
To those of you in Years 11, 12 and 13, we wish you well for your external examinations.
Nga Mihi Nui
Deb King (Acting Principal)