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Principal's Message, 28 February 2020

Daniel Wilson —

Dear parents/caregivers,

At this time each year I remind students in assemblies about some basic expectations we have as a school. It has been disappointing to have had to issue some very serious consequences to some new students over the past week.  It is a pity that these students have not assimilated into our culture of high expectations quickly and have now placed their future educational opportunities in jeopardy. 

We know from experience that if we get the small things right, everything else falls into place. I would appreciate it if you could ensure that we have your support from home with upholding our high standards.  The message I gave students included the following points:

  • Basic manners start in the school grounds and follow through to the classroom. Swearing and littering are not acceptable.
  • Wearing the correct uniform helps set the tone of the school and is a sign of respect for the organisation:
    • Hoodies and sweatshirts are not acceptable. Students may wear a plain black jacket or the school jacket.
    • Hats and caps are unacceptable apart from the school bucket hat or cap or a plain black cap with no logos.
    • Jewellery and makeup – this should be subtle (which means understated or not that noticeable)
    • Shoes should be plain black (a small logo is acceptable)
  • School starts promptly at 8:50am (9:00am Thursday). Ensure that students are on time and have the right equipment for learning.
  • Mobile phones should only be used for learning purposes with the explicit permission of the teacher. Playing on social media or listening to music are not suitable learning activities.
  • We have zero tolerance for bullying, violence, smoking/vaping and alcohol/drugs.  This includes students who encourage or film these activities.

On a more positive note, thank you to all our students who are already adhering to our high expectations and congratulations to those who won Hua rewards in assembly this week. It was fantastic to see a record number of Hua tickets being handed in for displaying our SOAR values of Success, Opportunity, Ako and Respect. 

I would also like to acknowledge and congratulate our NCEA Level 1 & Level 2 students that were awarded Excellence and Merit endorsements at our EME Awards evening last night. The event was really well attended and an enjoyable evening for all so thank you to parents and caregivers who came and well done to those students. 

NCEA Changes

In case you missed it, the Government has recently confirmed its final NCEA change package. Schools have been advised that the changes are intended to: strengthen our national qualification; address over-assessment and fragmented learning; promote culturally responsive teaching and learning; and improve accessibility, the support available to teachers, and the information available to students and whānau.

A copy of the Ministry of Education’s announcement is available here: Ministry website.

There are changes to the subjects that the Ministry proposes to support at NCEA Level 1. This is consistent with the policy objective - for NCEA Level 1 to become a broader, foundational qualification that allows students to keep their pathway options open, while Levels 2 and 3 promote greater specialisation.

The Ministry has asked me to encourage you all to give feedback. Public engagement on the subject list for NCEA Level 1 has commenced for a period of two months (closing on 20 April 2020).

More information is available on the Ministry’s website along with the provisional subject list for NCEA Level 1: https://consultation.education.govt.nz/ncea/ras-provisional-subject-list. The Cabinet paper and Ministry advice have also been made public (see under the February tab). You can find the list in the engagement questionnaire, or for your ease of reference it is also accessible from this link to the Cabinet paper (go to pages 19 and 20).

Ngā mihi nui

Daniel Wilson