September 27th 2019
Whiria te tangata
(weave the people together)
Kia Ora Tatou
Term 3 has now finished, and for our seniors, this will only leave just over two weeks next term before they go off on study leave and sit their NCEA external examinations. For some of our students, particularly those with high internal assessment components in their course of study, they have already completed their qualifications. For others they are extremely close, so a carefully planned end of the year study programme is essential if they are going to enjoy a successful end of the year.
We have achieved a tremendous amount this term, derived grade examinations have given the students a good idea of where they are up to with their learning, the NOSCARS, an annual event supported by over 600 attendees, the ski trip, the end of the winter sports season, tournament week, Year 11 semi-formal, the list goes on. I would encourage you to look carefully at the events calendar for the start of next term when we will be celebrating our students’ successes in a variety of forums and prize-givings. These are well worth attending.
I was interested to read about the debate regarding the teaching (or lack of) New Zealand history, and that by 2022 that the teaching of New Zealand history will “no longer be left to chance”. My teaching area is the Social Sciences and throughout my career, New Zealand history has always had a strong presence. Topics include: Tangatawhenua (people of the land), Tauiwi (people who came later), Te Triti o Waitangi, Challenge and Crises (e.g Bastion Point, Springbok Tour of 1981and the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior), more contemporary issues such as the protests at Ihumatao and the New Zealand system of government. I cannot of course generalise that this happens in all schools throughout New Zealand but I would be surprised if it didn’t. I suspect though, that it is not so much topics that are taught, but more about the interpretation of the history, whose interpretation it is and how well balanced is it. It will be interesting to see what the new curriculum looks like.
Next term we go into summer uniform, this means that the seniors will no longer need to wear their blazer and ties. Beanies are no longer to be worn as the weather is warmer. A reminder though that for our formal occasions such as prize-givings, students are expected to be in the dress uniform which does include the blazer and tie, as well as tights for girls.
I would like to pass a comment about vaping. On the Ministry of Education website, Dr. Murray Winiata states that,
“Breathing any product into your lungs unnecessarily is not ideal, and that’s why non-smokers should not vape.”
This is the position that our school takes. Vaping is not accepted at school, (smoking has been long banned) nor is it acceptable for students who are wearing our school uniform when they are out in the community. I would strongly encourage you to have this discussion with your son or daughter, particularly when the long-term consequences of vaping are not yet known.
I hope that the students all have a restful and successful holiday break.
Nga mihi nui