16 April 2021
He toka tū moana
(As durable as a rock pounded by the surf)
Ngā mihi mahana ki a koutou katoa
Term 1 has now ended and winter is approaching. It feels like only a few weeks ago that I was writing my first newsletter for the year and my focus was on optimism. We achieved a lot and I would like to invite you to review some of these highlights at our Term-in-Review page which can be found at,
Term One in Review
Despite my optimism, we did have a lot of sadness as well. Kevin Hatley our former Head of Learning Support for many years passed away. More recently, we lost Year 9 student Madoc Benfell to a sudden death incident. Madoc’s life was celebrated at a service in Old St Paul’s and I would like to thank our Kapa haka group who supported the family/whānau and kura with beautiful waiata and an extremely stirring performance of E Tū Kia Mārō, the school’s haka. Our thoughts and condolences go to Madoc’s family.
Next term we have a lot of events and activities happening in the College. Winter sport is about to begin, the Premier netballers start in the last week of the holidays. The production Shrek is scheduled to start on May 31, the Big Sing is the week later and the Kapa haka regionals are also scheduled. We also have exciting activities like the School Ball, which will again be held at Te Papa on June 12, and a wide range of other student led opportunities. Of course, there will still be plenty of teaching and learning going on, and our students will be starting to get a real sense of how their progress towards NCEA is going.
Over the years, we have had students attend the Cullen breakfasts where they can hear from all sorts of interesting guest speakers. Yesterday our Head Students, Samantha Smith and George Shamon, along with Deputy Principal, Deb Mills were invited to hear Chris Hipkins, the Minister for Education, Public Service and COVID-19 Response. Minister Hipkins spoke at length about the science of COVID-19, how we as a country have managed it so far, and how the rollout of vaccinations is progressing. I sense that the students learned much more than they already knew.
ANZAC Day, April 25 falls in the holidays this year. As usual we will be involved in the Johnsonville ceremony. Our senior students will be laying a wreath and presenting a reading of Flanders Field. The ceremony starts outside the Johnsonville Salvation Army at 10am. You may wish to join us.
Next term we will also be starting our building programme. Please be aware that the first project involves replacing the roof on the hall. We have organised it in such a way that it will not affect the school production but we will be losing 35 carparks. This will put extreme pressure on parking the school. Please do not come down the drive unless it is an emergency, and I know that Bracken Road is going to be much more congested than usual.
I wish you all a good break.
Ngā mihi nui