News From The Principal's Desk

14 June 2021

I orea te tuatara ka patu ki waho

(A problem is solved by continuing to find solutions.)

Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa

 

This whakatauki refers to the need for creative thinking, adaptability and perseverance. In order to solve a problem, you need to have all of these. In the world of education, it seems that we are currently facing many issues, problems and challenges. Working our way through is both time-consuming and could easily distract us from teaching and learning which is at the heart of what we do.

 

You would be aware that currently under discussion is the NCEA review, the changes to the literacy and numeracy requirements, Mana ōrite mō te mātauranga Māori, changes to the Ministry of Education strategic planning requirements, the upcoming introduction of the National Education Learning Priorities (NELPS) and the list goes on.  Compounding this work is our own curriculum review, and as already mentioned, significant property developments that are happening in the school.  As the whakatauki says, we need to have perseverance, creative thinking, and adaptability to negotiate these significant challenges.

 

In the last few weeks, a lot has occurred in the school.  Our Kapa haka group who are preparing for the Regionals went on a haerenga up to Hawera where they met some of Matua Kealyn’s whānau and stayed on the marae, Ngakaunui.  This environment was conducive to the hard work that was needed to perfect their performance programme and a lot of progress was made.  The regionals will be held at the end of the term.


Our school production Shrek has now been performed in front of sell-out crowds.  Given its cancellation last year due to COVID-19 it was good to able to finally bring all the hard work to the stage.  We have received a lot of positive feedback from our audiences and the cast, which numbered 80; students can be well pleased with their performances.  As always, there was some sadness that it is finally all over, and it was particularly poignant for those who have been involved with the school production for the last five years. I hope that these students will continue with their love of theatre after them leave school. 

Virtually straight after the production had finished, the Big Sing at the Michael Fowler Centre was held.  Choirs from schools all over the Wellington region perform a three-song bracket.  We had two choirs, Northern Notes, and Notified participate this year.  For Notified, it was their first time.  The students did extremely well and Northern Notes obtained two awards, Best Performance for a New Zealand Song - I te Pō and the Adjudicator's Choice Certificate for their overall programme.

Last Saturday we had the highlight of the social calendar, the Ball that was held at Te Papa.  Te Papa is a wonderful place to hold such a function and it generates a special feel.  The students all had a memorable time and there are plenty of photos to evidence this.

The end of the term is now less than 4 weeks away.  There is still plenty for us to do.  We will be celebrating Matariki on July 1st, and the Kapa haka regionals will be on Monday July 5th.  Our open night is this Wednesday, June 16th and enrolments for next year have begun.  More information about 2022 enrolments can be found here.

While this is going on we will be relocating our staffroom down to the Pavillion as our current one is going to be demolished and rebuilt.  Plenty going on for everyone.

Finally, I would like to pass a comment about vaping.  There seems to be a lot of misinformation around about vaping and it has recently been reported in Stuff  that it has reached epidemic proportions in schools. Some of the literature available in New Zealand in my opinion is quite tepid about the potential dangers of vaping.  Interestingly, I discussed this issue with a friend of mine who is an Associate Principal in a school in Brisbane, Australia.  The information available there is much more detailed and I think informative.  I have included links to this information for your consideration and a link to the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s position.

https://positivechoices.org.au/teachers/electronic-cigarettes-and-vaping-factsheet

https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Cancer-Council-NSW-Factsheet-e-cigarettes-Sep2020.pdf

https://e-cigarettes.surgeongeneral.gov/documents/SGR_ECig_ParentTipSheet_508.pdf

https://vapingfacts.health.nz/the-facts-of-vaping/

 

Newlands College is both a smoke and vape free school and the law requires this.

Ngā mihi nui

Grant Jones


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