I accompanied some of the junior classes to their Opening Mass in the Cathedral on Monday. Thank you to Fr Hook who has been in and out of school very regularly so we can do this for all students. One thing that has sat with me all week, was his comment after the gospel reading that to be a true friend means supporting our friends to be the best version of themselves that they can be. We are continuing the theme “Striving to be the best versions of ourselves” and it has been heart-warming to hear this spoken about by students and staff - often on a daily basis. But our next step is to be the friend who supports others to be their best too.
At the start of every school year, there is settling time, and friendships are re-established or begun, and therefore this reflection is very important as students remember where the line is for expectations and values. We are a community, and a community works together to be the best version of itself that it can be. I encourage you to have a conversation at home about how the ‘resetting’ phase is going.
It was a privilege yesterday to be filmed as part of an information video for the NZ Drug Foundation about Tūturu, a programme that our pastoral team began looking into last year. Tūturu focusses on drug and alcohol education from the perspective of decision making and critical thinking when making choices as a young person growing up. We have begun looking at cross-curricular opportunities to discuss decision making and the effects of drugs, alcohol, vaping, online gaming and other addictive experiences, rather than leaving it solely in the hands of health and RE teachers, and we have been working with Mirror Services to facilitate our growth as a school when dealing with this important area of pastoral care. During the filming, one of the questions asked was ‘why are we part of this?’ That answer was easy.
· We are a restorative school – people make mistakes and it is our job to support them to get back on their feet and retore relationships
· We believe in doing as Jesus did – caring for those on the margins where life is tough and where addictions and poor choices have caused them to sit on the outer
· The gospel values of respect, service, justice and truth upderpin our actions – supporting people to be the best versions of themselves is an action based on our values
We have been very pleased with our provisional NCEA and UE results, especially in another trying year of disruption for our learners. We will share our results with you in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime five scholarships and a couple still pending is worth smiling about. Please read about last year’s Deputy Head Boy, Tobias Devereux’s stunning scholarship performance further in this newsletter. Congratulations to all involved!