By Kate Nicholson | Posted: Monday September 13, 2021
Kia ora e te whanau
It is Te Wiki o te reo Māori (Māori Language Week), and I am grateful to Whaia Maya Tate-Manning and Mātua Tim Lucas who have kept staff on their toes this week with challenges to run activities and continue upskilling in our reo. I was interested to hear the media reports of the last couple of days regarding the difficulty in keep curriculum te reo Māori alive in schools for fluent speakers. In contrast to these concerns, I am very proud of our resourcing at Kavanagh College to allow this beautiful and important language to flourish. Of course, there is always more to be done in this area, but compared to so many schools we are fortunate to currently have three fluent Māori speakers on staff and at least another two staff who have been upskilling through extra-mural study in the last couple of years. Our foundation Year 7-9 learning structure has also increased the amount of tikanga Māori and te reo learned, and two whānau classes have been able to practice this daily with their fluent te reo whānau teachers. We are indeed fortunate! Although we farewell Mātua Lucas at the end of this term, we have depth and sustainability within our college to ensure that te reo Māori knowledge does not leave us at the same time. There will be a farewell for Tim next Wednesday in the Library, however due to level 2 restrictions this will be limited to 50. An invitation is being sent to our college Māori community today and we do require a reply email of confirmation if you are intending to join us.
School feels like it is back to normal – it doesn’t take long! It is a busy time for seniors as they juggle exam study, the beginning of summer sports and the end of some winter sports, planning for 2022 and part time work among other things. The suspended timetable for assessment exams begins next Thursday. Please encourage strong work habits at home. These exams are called derived grade exams in some schools, because should anything prevent a student from sitting the external exam, then the results from these exams carry a lot of weight towards a derived grade. The uncertainty of what term 4 may look like while covid is in our country, means next week’s exams have more significance than they may have in previous years.
We remember in our prayers, those families who are struggling with illness and grief, and who are unable to be with loved ones at this time, and we ask our gracious God to comfort those families at this time.
With exams looming, it is timely to remind all our students of our theme for the year -
“Striving to be the best versions of ourselves – Kia kaha” (Theme for 2021)