From the Acting Rector
Te mahi tahi | Industry
Throughout this term the Te Mahi Tahi | Industry (or pukumahi | hard work) put in by so many young men has been apparent. Our junior students have recently completed their mid-year examinations, a first for each year level with Covid having changed the nature of our mid-year assessment programme in 2020. Alongside this our senior students have been busy working through a full schedule of assessments for NCEA and university examinations for many of our Year 13 accelerate students. The effort from young men in their co-curricular activities has likewise been impressive and throughout this newsletter you will read of the wide ranging involvement of young men in all aspects of school life.
We saw many pertinent examples of Te Mahi Tahi | Industry this week. On Monday it was a privilege to host more than 100 young musicians from Westlake Boys' High School and Westlake Girls' High School and their staff. They worked with the young men and staff from the PNBHS Music Department, completing a series of workshops during the day culminating with a spectacular gala concert in the evening, the finale of which was a combined performance from approximately 170 student musicians.
This was followed by the two day Music Roadshow, with many of our music groups performing at some of our contributing schools. These performances were well received with lots of positive feedback from the schools that were visited.
The 1st XI Football team played their New Zealand Super Eight Schools tournament this week. To date this season more than 30 young men have played for the first team, testament to the depth that has been built in the squad by the coaching staff. However, building this depth is only possible because of the Te Mahi Tahi | Industry of the young men involved. Whether they are regular starters or more regularly on the bench, the endeavour of every young man is integral to the progress of the team.
Throughout the week the sound of the school haka has reverberated through our classroom blocks as young men in Year 9 practice for the haka challenge on Friday afternoon. Again, it is fantastic to see the Te Mahi Tahi | Industry from all of these young men, determined to do the best they can for themselves and their peers. We also need to acknowledge the effort and commitment of the haka mentors, who have taught these young men the school haka.
At a recent assembly we shared and discussed the whakatauki 'Whakanuia te tangata ringa raupā | Respect a man with calloused hands'. While our understanding of what constitutes Te Mahi Tahi | Industry and Pukumahi | Hard Work has expanded well beyond just physical labour, the message from this whakatauki remains pertinent. While fame is so often sought in today's society from those who promote themselves on social media platforms, we should rightly reserve our respect for those who are working hard in the important aspects of their lives.
'Whakanuia te tangata ringa raupā | Respect a man with calloused hands'
Of course, no discussion of our school value of Te Mahi Tahi | Industry would be complete without reference to our school motto, Nihil Boni Sine Labore. While Latin has all but faded into the past as a language, the message distilled through this phrase remains pertinent.
Throughout the term we have celebrated many young men who have secured some fantastic apprenticeship and employment opportunities that will lead on to amazing career pathways. Without exception, it is the work ethic that these young men have demonstrated that has been instrumental in them being offered these opportunities. Being a hard worker, using initiative, being reliable, punctual and showing respect to others are often considered 'old fashioned' attributes, but our experiences with employers would indicate that they are character traits very much in demand in the 21st century.
Nihil Boni Sine Labore | Nothing Achieved Without Hard Work - PNBHS motto
We hope that the upcoming school holiday break will provide your son with an opportunity to relax after a busy term so that he can return to school refreshed for term three.
Unfortunately, vaping continues to be an issue that we are having to deal with. Of particular concern are the number of parents we contact who are well aware of their son's vaping and appear to have little concern about it. In some situations, young men have been caught using vapes that have been supplied to them by their parents.
Vaping is not safe. All vapes contain a number of chemicals - solvents, sweeteners and flavours - most contain nicotine (which makes them addictive, especially for young people) and a number of e-liquids have been found to contain heavy metals such as cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese and nickel.
Since December 2020 vaping has been illegal on any school property in New Zealand. Additionally, vaping is in breach of our fundamental school rules. Students caught vaping or in possession of vapes will be followed up accordingly.