Principal's Comment - 23 September

Dear Parents and Caregivers

As we approach the holiday break, we’re grateful to see a return to Level 1 Covid status, as it means we will be able to continue with events that we look forward to as a school.  One of those is the Year 13 Leavers’ Ball, which has now been set for Sunday 8 November.  That date still has clashes for a few of our students, as it is the evening of the College Sport Wellington Sportsperson of the Year Awards.  That clash is really unfortunate, but it is the best we could do within the dates that Te Papa could offer us, and it is the least disruptive to the academic programme for term four, as it is a full week prior to the start of NCEA and Scholarship examinations’ amended dates.  The Leavers’ Ball is a key event for Year 13 and we are very pleased to have arrived at a date that works.

As we wind up the term we remain acutely aware of the pressures that have affected our students across all year groups and especially seniors in respect of their NCEA progress. Guidance report that they are very busy at present, dealing with a range of students feeling anxiety at sometimes debilitating levels. Please do be aware, as friends and family, that some amongst us are feeling very close to their limits.  It’s certainly a time to be kind to each other.  

This week we have been having extended conversations with a number of Year 12 students who are interested in leadership positions for 2021.  They recognise that one of their key jobs will be to rebuild the strength of spirit that comes from a range of events and activities that all can join in.  This year, those have been much curtailed.  It was great to see our current Year 13s also working in that space last week with the meeting to set up an Anti-Racism group as part of a Year 13 legacy contribution and to organise a lunchtime netball event which was a lot to do with just having fun. We’ve missed some of that.

I do want to thank those who have supported winter sports during what has been a very unusual season.  Playing without supporters at matches is a challenge but it’s been great to see a substantial part of the sporting season still occur even if in modified form.  Thank you to parents, caregivers and staff who have supported sport and to the students who have been flexible enough to cope with the changing parameters of a season that just kept on offering challenges.  Thank you so much for adding a dollop of fierce competition and a good deal of fun to the term.

You are all contributing to what continues to be a school in much demand for student places. Our Year 9 2021 enrolments are setting new records for the time of year.  That’s a challenge but a good one, and it offers us the possibility of adding even more offerings to the mix of clubs, societies, activities and sports across the school.  Each of those offers a chance for students to test themselves in new skills and to meet other students across the year levels. That’s important, as it all contributes to the personal skills we need to build a New Zealand that is vibrant and outward-looking, and which doesn’t just promote diversity but actively celebrates it. 

Ross Sinclair