Hero photograph
2021 Head Girl and Boy
Photo by Shannen Bell

Acting Principal's Comment

Louise Buckley —

Welcome back to what is always an action packed term. I hope that you and your whānau had the chance to have a restful holiday and spend some time together as a family.

During the holidays I continued to reflect on our College and what our staff and students are achieving. We as a community should be proud of the success that is occuring. I also reflected on the positive support we have from the community and in particular I would like to take the opportunity to thank Maree Morton for organising the Quiz Night. This was a huge success, with tickets sold out almost instantly. The night raised over $7,000, which is going towards our Year 7 and 8 camp. A huge thank you to our sponsors on the night; these are listed later in this newsletter. Contributions like this reiterate what a great community we have and the old saying - "it takes a village to raise a child"!

I would like to recognise a number of staff who left the College at the end of Term 2. Mr Angus Donaldson has moved on to Aquinas College as Assistant Head of Faculty PE & Health and Mrs Marionne Silvester has retired after 26 years service to the school. Mrs Maxine Miller has also resigned after 11 years at the College. We thank them for their service to the school and wish them all the best for their future.

We have also welcomed a number of new staff to our kura: Shana Carlan-Riddell, Kylee Greer, Patrick McMahon and Amy Vossen. Please see the article below in which these staff are introduced, along with some other staffing updates.

On Wednesday, August 4 we have our College Open Day when prospective students for 2022 can come and have a look around the school. In the past we have run an open evening, however last year as a result of Covid-19 this had to change and we ran an open day for groups of around 20. This was very positively received as it allowed the school to be seen “in progress”. As a result we are continuing with this format. If you would like to book a tour please contact our school office.

Last term as a staff we reviewed the structure of our senior school. As a result the following changes will be in place for the start of 2022:

  • Semesters will be removed from Years 11 - 13;

  • Year 11 and 12 students will select 6 subjects as full year courses;

  • Year 13 will select 5 subjects and a study; students will be able to take 6 subjects on an individual basis.

We believe that these changes will be in the best interest of our students in terms of their learning and their wellbeing.

In Term 3 our Year 10 - 12 students will be selecting their subjects for next year. To help with this there are a number of events that will help with this selection:

  • Year 9 - 13 Parent Teacher Interviews - Thursday, August 19 (starting 2 p.m.)

  • Future Pathway Interviews - Tuesday, August 24

  • Senior Options Evening - Thursday, August 26

I strongly encourage you to attend these events as they are extremely beneficial in helping you and your child to make informed decisions for the future.

There has been discussion around next year’s Year 13 students' wearing full school uniform instead of casual dress in 2022. I have decided to postpone this decision until the next permanent principal is appointed. However, Year 13 students next year will be expected to have a school uniform that they can wear when representing the school and if they are a student leader. This will include a senior school blouse or shirt and black trousers, skirt or lavalava, a school tie and black shoes. School blazers will be loaned to students for formal occasions. Senior students can purchase their own school blazer if they wish.

In Terms 3 and 4 of this year, Year 10 students are able to purchase the senior school blouse or shirt if required.

Finally, we have become very concerned about the number of students who are vaping at school. This is across a wide range of year groups. Whilst the health impacts of vaping are unclear, the College is a smokefree area and this has been extended by the government to include vaping. It is also illegal for young people under the age of 18 to purchase nicotine vaping products. From the start of this term, students caught vaping at school will be removed from class for a day (an internal stand down). If a student is caught vaping a second time, I will consider standing them down from school. I believe that we need to take this tough stance so that we can make it clear to our students and the community that vaping is not to happen at our school.

Louise Buckley
Acting Principal