by Murray McKenzie

Waikato Regional Boarding Schools’ Professional Development Day

Was hosted by Argyle House on Tuesday the 21st of November, in the Hostel Prep Room.
Image by: Murray McKenzie

The New Zealand Boarding Schools’ Association is providing opportunities for boarding staff around NZ to attend workshops within their region, as a new initiative in 2023. 

14 staff from boarding schools in Auckland, Bay of Plenty and the Waikato attended the inaugural Regional Boarding Day.

Miss Jess Weller, a HBHS Guidance Counsellor, was the guest speaker, with a theme of 'Grief & Loss'.

Jess's presentation covered:

  • Grief and Loss / Change we can’t control
  • Traumatic Incident Processes
  • Managing hysteria and mis-information when social media is involved
  • Collective Grief - Friends getting tattoos / triggered by social media posts / missing their ‘bro’
  • Supporting students and staff impacted
  • Attending a tangi
  • Supporting the whānau - their inclusion in school events and the normalisation of death in our school community - Athletics Day, House Haka Competition, Memorial Rugby Match
  • Supporting the sibling of the student who passed and any other immediate whānau
  • Impact on staff and how you supported each other
  • The implementation of Orah and regular check in’s for students
  • Staff mentoring students - creating that community of support where boys feel comfortable to talk to someone if they need to
  • Grief and loss is not all about death - it can be about change that is out of your control
  • Parents separating
  • Friendship and relationship breakdowns / Conflict with peers
  • Homesickness
Image by: Murray McKenzie

Argyle House staff set the agenda, speaking to various topics under the theme of the “Wellbeing of our Boarders.”

Four well-being strategies our boys experience at Argyle were shared with the group, generating discussion.  

  • Luke Katene: The effective use of Orah for monitoring the boys' wellbeing e.g. mood checks 
  • Rahiti Teokotai-White: Senior Leaders' role in mentoring our young men.
  • Andy Thomson: Providing the necessary academic support e.g. prep structure
  • Murray McKenzie: The New Boarders' Induction Programme during Weeks 1-3 of Term 1

The day concluded at 2.00pm.