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Principal's Message

By Kate Nicholson | Posted: Sunday May 24, 2020

Talofa lava

Life at school is beginning to feel closer to normal. While we still have various procedures and systems happening to encourage good hygiene and distancing measures, it is encouraging that public gathering rules are becoming more relaxed and, with it, the assurance that it is safe to begin sports and cultural practices again. I know that many of our students are very keen to involve themselves in long-lost co-curricular activities and they have missed the energy and ‘lift’ that these events give them. 

As well as plenty of learning happening during the lockdown, some groups worked hard to continue co-curricular activities remotely. An example of this are the Shakespeare groups that would usually enter in the local Shakespeare competition. Instead, after continuing to practise over video meets, these groups are going to record their finished performances tomorrow ready for entering remotely into this competition. I would like to congratulate teacher Erica Ward and this group of students on their resilience and adaptability in continuing to do what they love and making it happen in such a different way.

It is Samoan Language Week and staff were treated to some excellent professional learning on Wednesday morning from four of our Samoan students. We are all life-long learners, and I certainly felt this during the session – thank you, girls, for your reflective and intelligent presentation.

At tutor time yesterday, all students were spoken to about the use of mobile phones in classrooms. After so much time spent at home lately on devices for learning and for keeping socially connected, we feel that the balance needs to come back while at school and energy needs to be spent on interpersonal relationships, being able to fully focus on others and their conversations, and we want to quietly wean students off a reliance on their phones. While our preference is to encourage self-management and self-responsibility, we feel the need to tighten up on some rules for the classroom regarding phones brought to school. All staff will be insisting that phones stay in bags, unless there is a genuine need for them to be used as part of the learning (e.g. taking photos for a group presentation exercise). There is no need for them to be out during class time and any digital learning will be done on chromebooks and laptops, not on phones.

This week, from Ascension last Sunday to the celebration of Pentecost this Sunday, is the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Cardinal John Dew stated in his letter regarding this week that “there is much to reflect upon in this theme in the light of our experience of the last few weeks with COVID-19. We have been urged to ‘be kind’ and to ‘stay united’. The pandemic has been the equivalent of a shipwreck for many people, and ‘unusual kindness’ is needed as never before.” There are many resources available on www.catholic.org.nz for this week of prayer should you wish to use them.

All the best for a relaxing and fun-filled Queen’s Birthday weekend.

Theme for 2020 “Do the little things well’

‘Ahakoa he iti he pounamu’ (Although small it is highly treasured)

Manuia le aso

(Have a good day)