Hero photograph
Photo by Richard Hall

Social distancing - the old fashioned way!

Richard Hall —

Year 9 Drama students; Luke Woo, Ashton Carraher, and Josh Dickinson show how social distancing is done at OBHS!

I have been very pleased with how the boys have responded to our new 'normal'. Staying out of the 'breath zone'; (terrible term, but what can you do?) using good hygiene and contact tracing practices are all part of who we are for the foreseeable future.

Our school has once again shown that when the occasion calls; and I am a big believer that boys do have a real sense of occasion, we will respond positively. 

Our theme this term is to bounce forward, not to stay static bouncing up and down, paralysed by the idea that we cannot do anything. Rather we learn resilience through continuing to meet the expectations of the school community, we are young men who can still achieve. 

Academically this means every senior student will now have at least one NCEA internal assessment that they should be almost completing, or just about to begin. Teaching staff do not want to use the extra week in November, gained when NCEA was pushed back a week, to make up. By then it will be too late. Rather we push on now, and use the extra time to prepare well for the externals, having got our internals out of the way. 

Our boys expect to be able to play, to hang out and to socialise with their friends, it is after all a large part of how we learn to socially interact that keeps communities thriving. So we have not been heavy handed with groups of students, and they have responded with self-responsibility. They have made the right calls at the right times. I believe all week their actions have been entirely appropriate. 

In recognition of the positive way in which we have started, we will revert back to our traditional 2, 2, 1 timetable format. This will allow those of our boys who do classes at OGHS to begin again as our timetables will once more align. 

We still cannot run assembly for seniors or juniors. For seniors, this does mean that they will finish at 1.25pm on a Tuesday. This is not desirable, but a necessary casualty of Level 2. School will remain open for those students, and I would encourage them all to take the opportunity for extra time with staff, or if they are part of the technology classes, the opportunity for time in those spaces, if there is room. 

Senior students now need to respond further to the trust we place in them.

For us it is not going to be about apps and masks, rather pen, paper and common sense.

Enjoy your weekend! This will actually feel like a weekend because we have all been here all week.