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Acting Principal's Report

Mrs B Davidson, Acting Principal —

Kia ora koutou

At assembly this week I challenged students to think about the long view. We are at high school for five short years. We come into high school as children and we leave as adults. Other than 0 to 5 this is probably the period of the most rapid change that we experience in our lives.

We use the symbol of the Nautilus shell to represent the journey through each stage of school to independence. At the end of building each chamber of the shell, year after year, the nautilus moves completely out of its shell to independence.

Five years at school - 40 working! Career education and having good qualifications is extremely important. Students need at least Level Two NCEA to get a good job. University Entrance gives them good choices in life about what they want to do - whether or not they are going straight to tertiary study. Attending school every day is an indicator of future success.

It is worth students putting in effort at school. It is worth them showing respect to their teachers and working with them to get to where they want to go. It is worth taking opportunities and support to get what they need out of school.

The Dunedin Lifecourse Study is a university study led by Professor Richie Poulton and is following approximately 1037 babies born in 1972 and 1973 over the course of their lifetime. Findings from the study show that if we drink alcohol or take drugs regularly under the age of 15, our life outcomes are worse in terms of early death, economic disadvantage, poor mental health, poor physical health and compromised wellbeing. Addictions start with energy drinks, vaping and other poor choices early in early teenage years. Early intervention in these things is vital in putting people onto positive life trajectories.

If students work hard at school they can gain a lifetime of benefits. If students work hard at sport and cultural endeavours and stay on the path, they will reap wellbeing and satisfaction in their life. Encourage students to reach out if they are experiencing difficulties of any kind. There are teachers, mentors, whānau teachers, deans, counsellors, careers staff and other agencies who can help.

I would like to close with a whakatauke: Whāia te mātauranga hei oranga mō koutou

Always remember the importance of education because it is key to your wellbeing and the road to your future. If you follow the path of learning, the world will be your oyster.