Hero photograph
Linda Miller

Principal's Report

Ms L. Miller, Principal —

Spine tingling, passionate, fierce, lilting, cheeky, stunning, skillful and beautiful are all terms to describe the amazing performance by Wairua Pūhou in the school hall last night. The combined OBs and OGs kapa haka group performed for whānau, friends and supporters. Dressed in full costume they held the audience in awe as they went through their paces with a polished and professional performance. The group was set to travel to Palmerston North in May for the national kapa haka competition after qualifying for finals in 2019. Despite Covid-19 causing the cancellation of this event the group have continued to practice and prepare and last night’s performance showed the class and resilience of the group. It was truly an honour to be part of that experience. A sizable number of the group are in Year 13 this year and will be moving onto further learning, leaving the younger members of the group with the challenge of building the group again. It has been wonderful to witness the growing skill level and maturity of these Year 13 students over the five years they have been in the school. Kapa haka, for some, has been the thing that has kept them at school and the excellence they have achieved in performance has been mirrored in their academic work. Key to the success of the group is Matua Mac Te Ngahue whose expertise, patience and commitment has been extraordinary. We are so fortunate to have him on our staff. It was also an honour last night to have, as guests of honour, our kaumatua Matua Karaka Roberts, Nanny Bella and Whaea Maureen Cribb. The wider school community will have the opportunity to see and hear this amazing group at our upcoming Celebration and Prize Giving events.

Fortress, the combined OBs and OGs choir, also performed this week. Our choirs were denied the opportunity to participate in the usual Big Sing Choral Competition this year due to Covid. This has not stopped the choirs - the OGHS choir and Fortress - from continuing to practice. Fortress, featuring three newly selected members of the National Secondary Schools’ Youth Choir, performed a bracket of beautiful pieces on Tuesday night in the OBs auditorium. Directed by Ben Madden, the choir showed that they had made the most of the opportunities they had to work together this year. Again, we will have the opportunity to hear the girls’ choir at Celebration and Prize Giving.

Back in the classroom seniors are completing the last assessments and preparing for NCEA. Meanwhile junior students are preparing for their exams. Last week’s Nautilus News contained an exam booklet for junior students which contains an outline of the content students need to study for the exams. Ms Nielson is meeting with Year 9 students today to go over what to expect and answer any questions they may have. In the junior school our aim is for students to see examinations as simply another opportunity to show their learning and to provide the experience of a formal assessment environment in preparation for the senior school and beyond. They are not something students should be getting overly anxious about.

With the interruptions of Covid we do have a number of students in the senior school who required additional support and programmes to support them to achieve what they need for the next step of their journey. We are in the process of putting together a programme for them over the NCEA period and will be sending a letter home for all students we identify.

Year 10 camp preparation is well underway. This year, more than ever, it is important that students are able to take part in these camps. We are very aware of the financial pressures for many families and have access to funds to support the payment of the requested contribution to these camps. Please let us know if you need support. Any request will be treated with sensitivity and confidentiality.