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2021 New Zealand Scholarship Top Scholar Awards

Acting Principal's Report

Mrs B Davidson, Acting Principal —

Kia ora koutou

This week at assembly I told the story of two incidents that happened involving the Bus Hub. The first was a phonecall we received recounting the experiences of a vision-impaired lady who had asked for help reading the bus timetable at the Bus Hub. One of our students had assisted her with this and then offered to sit with her while she waited for her bus. The student’s own bus pulled up and she stepped onto it. As she stepped on, she then stepped off again, missing her own bus to return to Mrs Kennedy and wait with her until her bus came. She then made sure that Mrs Kennedy caught her bus safely before catching her own later bus.

The second incident was recounted in an email we received on 6 May. This email read:

“I am writing to say a huge ‘Thank you’ to one of your students who did a random act of KINDNESS (She was wearing pants uniform). I truly appreciate her for giving up her seat for me. Not a lot of young people do this nowadays. Credit to her parents for teaching her good old-fashioned manners. We are the last pick-up bus from Mosgiel to Dunedin at 7:40am. It's full today and no seats available. I have back pain issues and it's painful for me to stand for so long. Her action has honestly made my day. It's great to foster good behaviour amongst our young people.”

Both incidents serve to remind us that we have wonderful students and opportunities for kindness every day. Every encounter with another person is a chance to reach out and show respect, positivity and integrity. It is in being kind that we find true happiness and in serving others that we find satisfaction and emotional connection. Encourage your child to develop care, understanding and empathy for those around them. Too often we are quick to post critical, unkind or unsubstantiated comments on Facebook and Instagram, rather than inspiring and kind stories that lift up others.

On Wednesday I was fortunate to be at the Top Scholars’ Award Ceremony at Parliament, celebrating the academic success of three of our students in gaining the very top marks in the country for Scholarship in 2020 in their respective subjects. To have three students in this position is an amazing achievement and is testament to the learning opportunities and real-world applications and extension programmes that all of our students can access at Otago Girls’ High School. Scholarship is not about being swotty; rather it is about thinking abstractly, understanding perspectives, stretching thinking and drawing connections between knowledge. The success of these girls is shared by all who travelled with them on their Scholarship journey as it is the discussion generated by the girls and their teachers in a group that develops this level of thinking and expression. Congratulations to all students who push the envelope of their learning and think beyond the box. All Scholarship subjects will be underway shortly for 2021 and students and parents should approach the subject teacher in the first instance.

Yesterday and today we celebrate Pink Shirt Day and kick-start our anti-bullying and inclusive initiatives in school. Please speak with your child about kindness and encourage them to join our anti-bullying campaign team. More information about this will be given at assembly.