On behalf of Mr Boyle, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2022 school year.
It has been great to see students back on site
this week enjoying reconnecting with old friends and in the case of our new
entrants making new ones.
A special and warm welcome to the students and whānau who are new to our community. We look forward to working closely with you for many years to come as we support and guide our young men in to Catholic leaders of the future.
We also welcome the following new staff to the College this year:
· Mr Ben Rawson – Geography, PE and Head of Redwood House
· Mr Rueben Spicer – PE and Head of Mannix House
· Mr Brian Frost – TIC Physics
· Mr Will Struthers – Religious Education
· Mr Andrew Young – Science and Math
· Ms Emily Carter-Scofield – English and RE
· Ms Stephanie Gray – Science Technician
· Mr Peter Jupiter – Accountant
I do want to acknowledge that we are recommencing school in somewhat uncertain times. It is normal to feel anxious about this. The good news is we have thrived in this environment before, and together will do so again. Where possible, we will press on and try to keep school as normal as can be within the public health guidelines for schools.
Our first priority is the health and safety of our students, staff and wider community. Because of this, and the changing nature of COVID, we will all have to make some adjustments.
The most obvious change is the wearing of masks indoors for the majority. I, like many of our students would prefer to be able to come to school each day and not have to wear a mask. However, it is not about us as individuals – we are a community.
Rather than taking the view that we are being disadvantaged by wearing a mask, we have asked our students and staff to consider mask wearing as a gift and small sacrifice for someone else. A gift to those who live with someone who might be immuno-compromised, a gift to a peer, teacher or significant other who is undergoing health treatment of some kind, or a gift to those whose loved ones cannot be vaccinated due to age or health reasons.
Whanau o te whakapono, translates to a community of shared faith. That is exactly what we are and what better way for us to show our faith by putting the needs of others before ourselves.
We anticipate in the coming months that many of our students, staff and whānau will be impacted in some way by Omicron.
I will leave you with our Head Boy's address that he delivered at the opening assembly on Monday.
Ngā mihi nui
Mr Jon McDowall
Kia Ora Tatau, Nau mai, Haere mai,
Morning Mr McDowall, Mr Davidson, Mrs Pitcaithly, staff and lads - welcome to our school year for 2022. I know getting up before midday may be a struggle for some, but trust me it will get easier. Welcome to our Year 9 boys, I know it feels a little overwhelming right now, but remember all of us have been in your shoes and we are here to welcome you and help you settle into College life. To all the older lads, make sure you are being the Bedean brothers you would have wanted when you were in Year 9, show our Year 9 boys the way of St Bedes, Fide et Opere, by faith and works.
This year we continue to live with the restrictions and rules of COVID. The great thing is, we know more about COVID now, than we did two years ago. Here at St Bede’s the message is simple, wear your mask indoors, sanitize your hands when entering and exiting the classrooms, make sure you socially distance yourselves while outdoors, remain seated while eating and most of all if you are unwell, stay at home and get a COVID test.
There are going to be times when the rules will change quickly and we will need to adapt to doing things differently. We have all experienced learning from home, if you need to isolate as a family then know your teachers are only a click away. We will get through this, but only by working together as a brotherhood. Here is a quote from our patron saint, St Bede the venerable. In this quote he tells us the importance of doing our part, no matter how small it seems, because each small piece connects to a bigger piece.
"While the Coliseum stands, Rome shall stand, when the Coliseum falls, Rome shall fall, When Rome falls the world shall fall"
So lads let’s all stand together, hold tight to our faith in God, treat each other as brothers and most of all as my mum always says "have Jesus in your hearts". I encourage every boy here today to have a go at things you have never done before and work harder at the things you are already good at. Take every bit of knowledge from your teachers, dig deep and push yourself harder in every training session, take every opportunity that comes your way and never take a minute here at St Bede’s for granted.
Carpe Diem lads, seize the day, seize the moment.