by Judy Maw


The school celebrated Tilly’s first birthday at the beginning of June and it was fantastic to see students connecting and having fun together to mark this day. The Prefects organised Sunshine Day for Friday 19 June as a mid winter celebration with a focus on happiness, joy and light. A large number of students and staff joined in on the celebration in their yellow attire. This theme of celebration and connection continued with the recent Fringe Festival activities enjoyed by all, with an upbeat feeling of vibrancy and community around the school during this event.

The Wellbeing and Liaison Prefects have been working on a project to revitalise the student toilets off the Archway. They are delighted to have the support of the PFA to enable us to hire artist Frank Gordon to create a mural in this space once an upgrade of the facilities has been completed in the very near future.

The effects of the Covid Pandemic have resulted in an overwhelming number of students seeking counselling since school returned at Level 2.  This same pattern has been repeated at other Dunedin schools that we have liaised with, with high rates of anxiety and depression, and an increase in anxiety and obsessive compulsive related disorders.

Issues seem to have been shaken up for many students during lockdown, as well as traumatic events occurring during this time. Many of the issues are family related in some way - a lack of emotional connection or emotional literacy within family dynamics resulting in young people feeling like they can't talk to their parents about things that are most important to them, or that they are not heard when they do. This results in serious feelings of lack of worth and an emotional emptiness that creates a high risk for depression.

In addition to this some students are finding it difficult to settle back into school and are wanting systems to change to reflect a different way to work and learn - this is causing some girls significant unrest. This is something we are investigating in depth as we reflect on this term, the online learning experience, and future learning possibilities, with feedback being collected from both students and staff.

We encourage all students to rest, relax, and recoup after this very busy, and somewhat strange, term and hope you all get the opportunity to enjoy some family time and a slower pace of life over the next two weeks.