4 December 2020
Kua hua te marama
Something has completed a full cycle
(This whakatauki could be used to celebrate success/a project coming to term. It can also be used to reflect on the cyclical nature of things.)
Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katou
This is my last message for the year, and what a strange year it has been. I have not experienced anything like this before, I suspect none of us have in recent times. I can only imagine that the events could be similar to what our parents/grandparents endured during World War 2, with rationing, blackouts, closed borders and knowing that family members and friends serving overseas were at great risk.
COVID-19 taught us a lot about ourselves, our families and how well we could unite together. It is not over yet, but reports in the media of vaccines being developed with up to 95% effectiveness are encouraging. What this means for next year, and when we can start travelling again and accepting International Students is yet to be seen.
One of the things that we did learn from the lockdown is that students often benefited from working off line at their own pace. For example, students working on an art portfolio could paint for longer lengths of time. For a variety of reasons, next year we have timetabled Wednesday Period 5 as a study line for our Year 12 and 13 students. This means that they can leave the school site at the end of Period 4 (1pm) and go home where they will have a significant block of time to work on their studies without interruptions from things like, lunch break, form time and bells. They will not lose class time from their other subjects as we have decided not to run Wā Ako at these levels.
Our Year 9 and 10 students will now have their Wā Ako classes during this time. Year 11 students will be part of a new programme, Hauora, which will focus on their health, well-being and making good life decisions.