Principal's Comment - 5 July

Last week, we had the first meeting of the new Board of Trustees, and that was a heartening occasion as the group has an incredible level of skills and experience that is being volunteered in service of the school. That high level of input will be important as we work through the next phase of the government’s eighteen different reviews of aspects of education, many of which will have impacts to varying degrees on the secondary sector, and the Board will be dealing with a movable feast in their period in office.

As a school, we feel ourselves to be in a good space at present. For those interested in the “who we are” numbers, I looked at ethnic and gender data this week before heading off to Principals’ Day at Victoria University’s Faculty of Education. Where historically the school has been roughly 55% boys and 45% girls, as of two days ago those figures were much closer to a balance at 51.6% and 48.4% respectively. That’s encouraging, as it suggests parents/students opting for their local state school rather than the competing single sex school options in the Valley. 

Our ethnic spread continues to reflect the nation within which we live: 

New Zealand European 56.6%; Asian 19%; Māori 16.2%; Pacific 5.3% and Middle Eastern, Latin American and African 2.9%. That’s a variety that brings to the school a tremendous energy and joy. If you want to see how that translates into discipline of performance and sheer exuberance, tonight in HuttFest (Walter Nash Stadium 6.00 pm, tickets $5.00) the Kapa Haka and Pasifika students will be performing. They’re brilliant, and it comes from many, many hours put into practices both by the students and the teachers who cherish them. 

A side note here. The Ministry of Education tells us there is a “bulge year” coming through in 2020 and we’ve planned for that. Even so, it would be extremely helpful if our families with younger siblings intending to enrol for the 2020 Year 9 did that as soon as possible. Our contributing schools confirm that we are likely to have enrolment pressure and the sooner we can get a line on that, the better. Out of Zone applications close on Monday 29 July.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the school this term. It’s been a tricky time, with industrial action that has disrupted things somewhat and created challenges of continuity. Even while that was happening, the core generosity of our entire community continued - from staff, parents and caregivers, and students alike - and the school’s 134 different sports, clubs and activities roared along as ever. Those activities occur through the voluntary efforts of well over three hundred individuals in total. That’s a massive amount of goodwill. Thank you all for making that happen for the benefit of the students of the school.

Ross Sinclair