by Andy England

Heaps of great student stuff as we get close to the end of term

Also some unsafe behaviours from a few that we need to acknowledge plus - aaaargh - Covid on the rise again

Kia ora tātou | hello to us all

There’s been so much good stuff happening, with students:

  • supporting transition from Year 6 by visiting their old schools to talk with next year’s students

  • Setting records at our Year 7&8 athletics

  • Doing St John’s First Aid training

  • WINNING the junior summer sports quad at Mt Hutt

  • All Year 9s doing service to our community, from reading in schools to gardening to cleaning rubbish

  • Year 8s spending the day together at Jellie Park

And just normal good school stuff of course.

Many parents will also have heard of two fights that happened this week which threatened to overshadow the great stuff. We’ve had a good year with very few fights until now. Unfortunately fighting can happen but I stand strongly against it because I believe students need a safe space to learn (which is what school is about). I am just as strongly against those people who encourage fighting and will always take action with them. Filming fights and sharing the images can be ILLEGAL: check the Harmful Digital Communications Act. Any student caught filming or sending images will be banned from bringing a phone to school.

As we work through timetabling, parents and senior students are finding some option clashes. This is unavoidable as we have a small senior school for the next few years (expecting about 60 year 13s next year). Schools are funded at 1 teacher per 18 year 12 students so any classes smaller than this cause either larger classes elsewhere or overstaffing. As we’re still struggling financially from years of overstaffing, we have to manage with split level classes and some distance learning support. This is very normal in smaller schools and can work fine for students so long as they learn good self management skills (which will actually serve them better in life than any subject). As our school grows in the next few years we expect these clashes to decrease.

Covid-19 is on the rise again and we ask parents to be careful. If you’re seeing symptoms, please stay home and test. The revised rules are on the website

  • You must self-isolate for 7 days while you recover.

  • Day 0 is the day your symptoms started or when you tested positive, whichever came first.

  • Your Household Contacts do not need to isolate. They should test daily for 5 days. If they test positive, they need to begin 7 days of isolation as someone with COVID-19.

Two more weeks of school…please remember we have a teachers’ union meeting on the morning of Tuesday 29 November and arrangements have been emailed out. This is awful timing by the PPTA union, especially for rural schools, but it is a legal right we have to work with. Thanks for your patience and support.

Kia kaha | stay strong,

Andy England

Dates this term

  • Paid Union Meeting: 29 November classes start 11.30 (buses normal times)

  • Senior prizegiving: 1 December

  • Junior prizegivings and last day of term: 9 December