From the Principal

Dear Parents and Caregivers, I thought I would give a quick update and attach it to the newsletter for the school production.

We had a great pōwhiri on Wednesday morning and welcomed in over 300 year 9 and new students to Kaiapoi High School. This is a great cultural event for the school and we really appreciate the support from Ngāi Tūāhuriri. Not many schools have the capacity or permission to have a full pōwhiri, and I am really pleased that this year we will be providing our community with the translated speeches for those who would like to understand what was being said.

Today was a big day for the school with all year levels arriving. We had an assembly where the school reminded our students that we are constantly in the communities’ eyes and that we are judged, rightly or wrongly, by our dress and behaviour. Being a community school has its real benefits, but they also come with obligation and responsibilities.

I cannot stress enough to our parents how important it is to be involved in our school in some other way than simply turning up to class. This year we have a vast range of sports and cultural events that our students can engage in and enjoy, including Volleyball (our fastest growing sport), the school production of The Addams Family, and our very popular Philosophy club.

For those parents who have children entering NCEA this year, I would like to highlight a couple of key ideas/dates. We will have an evening for parents new to NCEA soon. This evening will explain the nature of NCEA and how you can support your journey in their first year of a formal qualification. Keep an eye out for the invitation. The other key point is that we had a 92% pass rate in Level One last year, the important piece of information is that the single most defining element of passing or failing came down to the attendance percentage. Once the student’s attendance drops below 85%, they are substantially more likely to not achieve. This covers any non-attendance including medical, sports and holidays. The simple fact is that you need to be in class to understand and learn.

I would also like to just take the moment to reassure you that we have a strong pandemic plan in place. We learned a great deal from our lockdown last year and have created a new plan that we believe will maximise the learning and communication, but not overwhelm our students and families. I will send more about this plan in later newsletters. We are, of course, hoping for the best yet planning just in case!

Finally, I would like to inform our community that our Deputy Principal, Elizabeth McMeeken, felt unwell last weekend and was subsequently taken into hospital for surgery. She has recovered well and is now on the road to improvement, however we are not expecting to see Elizabeth return until the middle of the year. I must apologise if you have not received emails from Elizabeth, especially around buses. We now have this element covered and Assistant Principal Scott Liddell has thankfully stepped in to help. We are going through the process of appointing an acting Assistant Principal during this time.

Kind regards

Bruce Kearney, Principal