Students have forged their way through a term infused with illnesses. Absences have accumulated for some students (understandably due to isolating and being symptomatic or sick). Unjustified absences are starting to cause concern, especially when ‘face to face’ learning (and socialising) is a privilege that we cannot take for granted. Please let me know if there is anything more the school can be doing to support student attendance (we will be targeting support for those attending 70-85%) and aiming to boost this attendance rate in Terms 3 and 4.
Students need to be encouraged to use support networks around them (such as their classroom teachers, deans, guidance, Chaplain and whanau) to adopt helpful strategies and make plans to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Keep communicating directly with your teachers (and deans) to ensure you are staying focused on the important mahi and please stay in touch if you have any concerns.
Seasons of Growth:
I completed the training for Seasons of Growth (an educational program that assists akonga to cope with change, loss or grief). Our Central Otago families might be familiar with this helpful ‘Good Grief’ tool (endorsed by the Ministry of Education). If you are interested in having your child benefit from Seasons Of Growth (or you want to find out more) please get in touch with me - firstname.lastname@example.org
Tātāriki (Peer support/mentoring) Program:
Our Year 13 students have been enjoying getting to know our Year 7,8 and 9 students through our Tātāriki (Peer support/mentoring) program. This program allows each student to demonstrate their unique leadership style and invest initiative with our ‘better together’ school value. Tātāriki, vertical whanaungatanga groups, house groups and the myriad of opportunities offered at St Hilda’s allow for students to mentor and uphold others - we are heartened by how often we see these qualities being modeled by senior students.
Restorative Practice is another skill set we are seeing students adopt in conflict situations. A restorative framework allows for conflict to be healthier, because we learn a lot from listening to another point of view. We really appreciate the expertise we see from our Tolcarne community who embed Restorative Practices in everyday life.
The vast accomplishments of our school community have been incredible to witness this term. Remember to look after yourselves and each other as we navigate ‘onwards and upwards’. Pai tū. Pai hinga. Ngāwai rā. Ka Oti. Good to stand. Good to fall. Continue on and the work will be completed.