On Friday of this week, we are hosting the visit of a French group from Chateaux de la Loire, who are visiting a series of New Zealand schools to see how we celebrate diversity, and to discuss the kinds of classes, programmes and structures that reinforce this aspect of New Zealand society. While it is pure chance, they have certainly chosen a week that sits in that space. During the week we have a series of events scheduled as part of Cultural Week, with the centrepiece being Tuesday evening’s Multicultural Evening. During this student-organised week there are also lunchtime activities including a concert, a Jump Jam event, a Teacher versus Student debate, a poster design competition and on Friday a “Wear your Culture to School” day. It will be a lot of fun.
Other events in this very busy week include Year 11 curriculum dramas each evening (and into next week), with classes performing the public dimension of their work this term.
On Friday at lunchtime we also have a student-organised visit by local MPs to discuss climate change. We will host MPs Chris Bishop (National) MP for Hutt South, Ginny Anderson (Labour) List MP for the local area, and Gareth Hughes (Green), who will debate ideas, and field questions from students. The event is an initiative of Ella Magnusson 10PHNS and Rhiannon Mackie 10TACI, who are also the drivers behind the “Fridays for the Future” series where each week they organise an event to promote climate change awareness within the school. These two students are doing an amazing job of offering other students a series of events to help them reflect on issues affecting their future, and encouraging them to be active in creating change in attitudes and practice.
A further event on Friday is Pride Day, where students can wear colour additions to their uniform to signal their support of people’s right to be who they are. For some this will be rainbow colours, and for others that will vary. With it also being “Wear your Culture to School” day, Friday will end up with an overlay of the full celebration of diversity that has been at the centre of a lot of events during the week. As I said at the outset, the timing for our French visitors is perfect if they want to see what makes us who we are.
Then on Saturday we have a group of staff and students heading off to Spain to put their Spanish language learning to the test. We wish them safe travel in what will be one of their key school-linked experiences.