From the Acting Rector
Kia ora koutou katoa,
The 'winter term' is well underway and it is fantastic to note the incredibly high levels of involvement in school life. The numbers playing winter sport are at or near record levels in many codes and cultural, music and performing arts programmes are also seeing significant numbers of young men engaged and involved. We are incredibly thankful to our staff who give up countless hours of their own time each week to provide these opportunities. As the term has progressed we have been able to celebrate successes, talk about the lessons we learn from failure and defeat and share some of the feedback we have received about the character displayed by our young men in their co-curricular activities. It is indeed a privilege to be able to share this information with our young men and wider school community.
Co-curricular involvement provides a range of benefits - opportunities to develop relationships with peers and staff, time management, organisational skills and physical fitness (all of which contribute to positive wellbeing) among others. In most activities there are still opportunities for young men to get involved so if your son is not currently registered in our co-curricular programme we encourage you to have a conversation with him about how he could become engaged in this important aspect of school life.
It is important to note that the priority for young men must remain their academic studies. Those in the senior school will have their organisational and time management skills tested as they work through a busy period of NCEA assessment over the coming weeks. Young men in the junior school are rapidly approaching their mid-year examinations which will provide them with a concrete benchmark in terms of their progress and achievement to date in 2021. It is essential that students at every level are working to give themselves the best chance of success: Nihil Boni Sine Labore - Nothing Achieved Without Hard Work.
Tū Whakaaute | Respect
Over the last few weeks, we have emphasised the school value of Tū Whakaaute | Respect and have been able to share many pertinent examples, such as the respect shown by the entire school in a very sombre Anzac service or the respect shown to the opposition and officials on the sports field.
He taonga rongonui te aroha ki te tangata
Goodwill towards others is a precious treasure
How do you expect your son to show Tū Whakaaute | Respect to others? How do you role model Tū Whakaaute | Respect for others? These are good questions for us all to reflect on and consider in our daily actions.
It is the manner in which we interact with other people on a daily basis where we really show the Tū Whakaaute | Respect we have for others. Using our manners, having empathy for the circumstances of others, considering the impact that our actions and comments have on others and taking the needs and feelings of others into account - exercising goodwill towards others - are ways we can show Tū Whakaaute | Respect.
As a country we remain incredibly fortunate to be able to go about much of our daily lives as 'normal'. However, we must remain vigilant with our hygiene practices and ensure we are using the Covid tracer app.
Please remind your son that it is important to regularly wash and dry his hands, cough and sneeze into his elbow or a tissue and to try and avoid touching his face. Tissues should be disposed of immediately after use.
A reminder that face coverings are mandatory on public transport (please note that dedicated school bus services are not considered public transport).
In our last newsletter we shared an article title 'Vaping: Has your son been sucked in?' We are sharing this article again as we believe it is essential that all parents talk with their sons about vaping. Cigarette smoking has largely ceased among young people in New Zealand and smoking is largely seen as an anti-social habit. Vaping needs to be seen in a similar light. Unfortunately, this is not the case and the message that vaping is safer than cigarette smoking seems to have been misconstrued as meaning that vaping is safe. This is not the case and it is important that young men are aware of this.
Most vapes contain nicotine, the addictive substance in cigarettes.
Vapes contain a range of chemicals, many of which are also found in cigarettes and are known to be harmful.
Vaping is a 'safer' option than cigarette smoking, but it is NOT safer than not vaping.
It is concerning that a new generation of young New Zealanders - most of whom would find the prospect of cigarette smoking abhorrent - are willingly consuming products that include carcinogens and addictive substances that are known to have a negative impact on brain development.
There are very strong links between student attendance at school and academic progress and achievement. Simply put, students who attend school regularly are far more likely to achieve NCEA qualifications than those whose attendance levels are lower (click here for further information).
Students who attend school 100% of the time achieve, on average, 13 to 15 more credits in NCEA than do students who attend 90% of the time. To put it into another context, 90% attendance means that a student is absent from school for one day per fortnight. In 2019, the then Associate Minister of Education Tracey Martin, identified that “students attending 95 percent of days in Year 10 later get an average of 75 credits at Level 3”, easily enough to gain the qualification. Conversely, of “Year 10s who attend 85 percent of the time, only about half go on to achieve NCEA Level 3.”
We appreciate that in the midst of the cold and flu season with the spectre of Covid in the background that young men's health must be the priority. If your son is sick, in particular if he has a runny nose, is coughing or sneezing, please keep him home and notify us of his absence as per normal processes (354 5176 ext. 761). However, it is essential that school attendance is the priority when he is in good health.
Ngā mihi nui,