Kia ora tatou
Writing this at the end of a very long and unusual twelve week term, I am thankful that we have not had to face the worst impact of Covid-19 in our country and that for the final seven weeks of school we have been able to get back on site with students, focusing on teaching and learning and, now that we are at Alert Level 1, able to return to almost normal operations.
With the move to Alert Level 1, we have felt confident in being able to plan for those extra-curricular activities that students engage in with such enthusiasm. Our Year 13 Formal, scheduled originally for early May, has been rebooked for 1 August and our Year 13 Social Council is working busily with Ms Armstrong to make arrangements. It is great to see the start of winter sport, with hockey, basketball, netball, football, badminton interschool events all starting up. Wednesday 24 June saw the first day of school sports matches eagerly contested by our students.
Our girls have also been involved in other events and activities. The volunteers who have given up their weekend time on two occasions to plant trees on a far corner of QEII Park are to be congratulated on their community service. Ms Schefer, who coordinates the school’s Environment Council works with her band of volunteers to prepare other plants for future planting on the site. The Z Club continues with their fundraising for their chosen charity. The Teaching and Learning Council planned a great week of activities for student involvement, culminating in the staff/student debate. Our gloomy winter term was brightened by our Samoan Language Week celebrations, with Samoan culture, language and music on display. The non-uniform day for the proposed Christchurch Youth Hub was well supported and raised almost $1000 for the cause.
We value the support of whānau as we work to get the very best outcomes for our students. We have missed the chance this year for parent teacher interviews but you will note the new reporting information that you are able to access via the parent portal. Both attitude reports and this term’s live reports for each subject are available. We trust that this provides helpful feedback on how your daughter is engaging with learning and on the progress that she is making. Should you have any queries or concerns, the form teacher (pouako) is your first point of contact.
The Ministry of Education has an expectation of ‘regular attendance’ for each student and defines regular attendance as attending at least 90% of the time. While two thirds of our students have regular attendance, there are others whose attendance fits into the ‘chronic absence’ category of less than 70% attendance. The link between attendance and achievement is clearly supported by data. We aspire for all of our students to be successful learners; to be successful they need to be at school all day every day (unless unwell). Thank you for supporting us with this message and making sure that your daughter is at school on time for learning every day.
It is true that all, staff and students alike, are feeling ready for the term break. Staff found that the previous term break offered little in the way of time out, as they were busily preparing for teaching and learning in a digital space. I hope that, while schoolwork will still require some attention over the holidays, there is time for everyone to refresh and relax, to set up for a full and busy term 3.
I acknowledge the great work that everyone has done over this first part of the year, with staff and students dealing so well with the challenges that came our way. Let’s hope for a wonderfully smooth second half of the year!