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Photo by Office @ Heaton

Andrea Knight, Principal

Office @ Heaton —

Kia ora whānau

I want to thank you, our parents/whānau, for your support and trust as unprecedented events came to light on the afternoon of Friday 15 March. It has been acknowledged by the Police and the Ministry of Education that schools did the very best job they could to ensure students and staff were safe. Every school situation was very different.

We are very grateful that we have used, for the last 5 years, the services of Harrison Tew, an Auckland based business who specialise in emergency management. This means that our procedures for the effective management of a lockdown are robust, best practice and safety focused for everyone. We have debriefed and reviewed our processes as a staff and also with a consultant from Harrison Tew. You will probably be aware that the Ministry of Education is doing a review of lockdown procedures in all schools. I have talked to many of you and received feedback via email but if you have anything you would like to ask, or ensure is included in this review, please contact me via email or in person.

One of the outcomes of the situation on 15 March is our young people’s use of social media. Our students are 11 to 13 year olds and entering adolescence with all the challenges that go with it. Making good decisions about the use of social media, Utube etc can be difficult for adults let along students at this age. It is extremely important that the adults in their lives are very closely monitoring the use of devices in general and putting time restrictions on screen time. The video game Fortnite promotes violence and appears to be very addictive for early adolescents. As a parent and psychologist myself, I recommend that our students do not play this game.

Our Heads of School for 2019, Ruby, Maddie, Avi and Toby, with me, represented our school at the Memorial Day event last Friday. These four students organised our flower memorial held last week which raised almost $1200 ( half went to the Give a Little Page and half to St Johns Ambulance), wrote cards to all of our Muslim families and are preparing a memorial service to be held at Heaton early next term. Our teachers are working with students developing a vast array of positive messages about Christchurch which will also be displayed early next term.

This will be the last newsletter for the term. On behalf of all the staff I wish you all a very relaxing and enjoyable holiday and Easter break.

Ngā mihi

Andrea Knight, Principal