A damaged vehicle can be repaired. He pakaru a waka e taea te raupine mai
Kaye Banks, Jonty Ward, Donna Sutherland and Rochelle Jackson have served on the Board this past year, and they were joined by Mrs Penny Devine who was seconded to the Board. George Wharerau was elected as the new student representative. Thankyou to you all for for time, work and wisdom, this is important work that you do.
Thanks to our outgoing student representative Rylu Dequita for the term you have served on the Board.
In education, change is our norm, and this past year has been as challenging as any other in this regard. Hornby High School was one of the first Christchurch secondary school rebuilds ‘out of the starting blocks’, with the first sod turned in May and work now proceeding apace. Large holes have been dug, copious quantities of concrete poured, and steel work has risen from well engineered foundations.
Finally we farewelled Mrs Wendy Toohey, a long time servant of the school. Wendy joined the staff of Hornby High School in 1988 and in her 29 & half at the school has taught Commerce subjects in addition to the role she has held over recent years as HOD Careers and Transition. Would you please join me in thanking Wendy for her years of service to the school?
In 2016 the school Board showed its own fortitude and foresight in building our educational foundations by adopting it’s brave new mission for our kura to be a centre of creative excellence, and on review in 2017 affirmed that mission. The mission shows great courage and a deep understanding of where we need to be to meet the needs of students’ futures rather than our pasts. This is also a Board with heart, a Board that places people at the centre of its thinking. I was proud to be a member of a Board that agreed early in the year to ensure that no staff member was paid less than the living wage. Thank you for being so forward thinking in these most critical governance tasks.
I do a lot of thinking about our students and their future. It’s interesting that in some of that thinking I ended up with some old wisdom. I found myself thinking of the serenity prayer which comes from the Christian tradition. It says:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
And then, because I was a sixties child, the words of George Bernard Shaw spoken by Robert F Kennedy in one of his most famous speeches of the 60s came to mind:
“There are those that look at things the way they are, and ask why? I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?”
To the students amongst you, your challenge is to dream. Your future cannot and must not look like our past. Not only is it yours to create, you have no choice but to change it if humanity and the planet are to survive. Change things. Don’t take no for an answer.
That means being confident as a learner and a human being, and that confidence comes when you are well grounded in values. Never forget the values that we try to live day by day in our school, hour by hour, minute by minute, for nothing else will serve you as well in life.
For those of us who work in education there is a parallel message. More testing is not the answer, and I applaud the announcement of the new government on National Standards. Education with passion and purpose, education that validates every student and every teacher, education that allows every student to pursue her or his passion, is the only game in town. Society and governments need to stop seeing students solely as economic units, and instead see them as the passionate human beings that they are. If we can feed their passions, and our own, we will build a more caring more empathetic society, a better place to be.
I am a fan of the writing and thinking or Sir Ken Robinson, globally acknowledged commentator on and agitator for educational reform. In his book ‘Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Schools” he wrote:
“In 1982, Wayne Gretzky was the top scoring ice hockey player in the world. His secret, he said, was simple. Other players tend to race to where the puck is. Gretzky said that he went where the puck was going to be. It’s hard to resist the thought that in the mad rush to standardisation, many countries are now dashing to where they think the puck is rather than to where it’s going to be.”
We have an idea of where the puck is going to be, and we need to get there now.
There are many people and organisations that need to be acknowledged and thanked for their support through the year. First and foremost are my wonderful colleagues. Regardless of whether they are teaching or non teaching staff they all do a wonderful job. Teaching staff deliver the learning, but that is not possible without all of the many support functions that sit alongside them: grounds and maintenance, security, administration and accounts, community and pastoral support, all completed by wonderful people. Thankyou.
I would like to once again make special mention of the extraordinary work that is going on within Hornby High School, and across our local cluster (Uru Mānuka), with the Manaiakalani programme. The word manaiakalani is a Hawaiian word translating as ‘Hook from Heaven’, and the approach to learning has been acknowledged globally as being a leading global force in educational improvement. It received special mention from The Economist magazine’s Intelligence Unit in a paper titled “Driving the skills agenda: Preparing students for the future.” The pedagogy that underlies the programme, Learn Create Share, and the effect of digital technology in magnifying the impact of the pedagogy, have allowed learners in the Manaiakalani clusters across the country to accelerate their learning by between one and a half and two times the national average for all learners. I emphasise that the impact is magnified by the use of digital devices, Chromebooks, and it is now our school wide expectation that all learners arrive in class equipped with a Chromebook. The impact of the pedagogy and the technology are so huge that one would simply ask the question “Why wouldn’t you?”
In this regard there is another set of thanks that must be made, to the Principals and staff of our partnership schools in the Uru Mānuka cluster. The work you do is extraordinary. You pass to us ‘enabled learners’, children well equipped and ready to learn. Before Communities of Learning were fashionable, before collaboration became a buzzword, you were doing it, and you are still doing it. Thank you.
And once again to the originators and principal drivers of Manaiakalani itself: Mr Pat Sneddon, Mrs Dorothy Burt, and Mr Russell Burt. Your work that has gone before us has truly created a hook for heaven, a force for educational change and improvement that addresses the issue of equity in New Zealand in a powerful and compelling way. You are trailblazers in what at times can feel like a bleak landscape. Keep your lanterns lit, keep your voices strong, keep that spring in your step. Tamariki across New Zealand need you.
Manaiakalani is a great example of the drive for change, change that is evidence based, change that works. It is an example of schools and their supporters saying that we are not prepared to wait for government agencies. All too often political and bureaucratic forces ignore the knowledge and skills of teachers and schools, suffering under the belief that they know better, a view interestingly at odds with the incredibly forward thinking national curriculum. We know what to do, and we will do it ourselves. To those government agencies I say, catch up if you can but we won’t wait for you, our tamariki are too precious, time is too short.
The most recent innovation is the foundation of the Uru Mānuka Trust, an organisation designed to make sure that the Manaiakalani programme is sustainable in the long term for all of the wonderful schools in our cluster. I would like to acknowledge and thank the trustees : Mr Garry Moore, Chair, Mrs Janine Morrell-Gunn, Mrs Rose Crossland and Mr Jason Marsden. You have all seen the potential for change that is manaiakalani, and have freely and willingly given of your time to make the world a better place. Mr Gary Roberts, Principal of Hornby Primary School is deserving of special mention for the drive and passion that he has brought to the pursuit of this amazing educational vision. Thank you.
To our many supporting organisations, thank you. As always, a special mention of the Hub and Hornby Working Men’s Club as long term supporters of our wonderful tamariki. Actions speak louder than words. By your actions you demonstrate your understanding of the desirability of investing in your local community and our collective futures by supporting our tamariki. Please be assured that you do make a positive difference.
Thank you also to our many other supporters:
- L CERT Trust
- Mainland Foundation
- CSG Technology Limited
- ISS Facilities Services
- Westpac Trust - Hornby Branch
- Orica Chemicals
- Hornby Rotary Club
I would ask you to take these words, which again come from the Christian tradition, but which reflect so much of our school message to you, regardless of faith and belief. Interestingly you can find the sentiment in almost any faith. This is an adaptation of the words of Sir Francis Drake, written in the fifteenth century:
Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
Nothing could be more true in the twenty first century.
To our 2017 Prefects, thank you for your leadership and your commitment to the school, and to all of our leavers - please know that you take with you our best wishes, and the knowledge that at Hornby High School you have your turangawaewae, your place to stand. You are an outstanding group of young men and women. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.