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Principal’s Notes – September 2023

With term break upon us, signs of Spring weather beginning to emerge and daylight savings due, I want to wish all students and staff a refreshing break as it will be ‘all on’ next term!  Our senior students will have less than three weeks of term time before prize-givings and study leave.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Week 4 of term 4 (October 30th to November 4th) study week will provide time for students to attend workshop intensives (they must book-in) to be the best prepared that they can be for the external exams.

Our junior school will continue working through to the end of week 9 with Year 9 camps and our annual Beach Day in week 9 providing some out of school experiences.  There will also be a nationally mandated teacher only day focused on the curriculum refresh.  More details to follow as they come to hand.

With the election campaign well underway, we have been fortunate to have representatives from all major parties (National, Labour, Greens, Act) and some of the minor ones attend events organised by both students and teachers.  Universally, the response from the party reps was the quality of questions asked by our students.  I’m sure our students will be urging parents to get out and vote, and our Year 9 students as part of their Social Studies programme will be involved in an Electoral Commission (‘Orange Guy’) mock election here at school.

On the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack on the World Trade Center in New York (NY), we were honoured to host two NY Firefighters here in New Zealand (NZ) for the annual remembrance day that our NZ Firefighters organise at the Sky Tower in Auckland.  Again our students, crammed into the Hall to meet the Times Square-based firefighters, had wonderful questions for them and left them deeply impressed that an event that happened 22 years ago still held our students in thrall.  We learned that 453 firefighters lost their lives trying to save the 30,000 people successfully evacuated from the World Trade Center. 3,000 more occupants of the towers lost their lives.

Finally, the Learning Support Department is immensely grateful to a group of volunteers who gave up their time over the 7 days of the Derived Grade Exams to support the reader/writer duties. Currently there are 173 students with Special Assessment Conditions and the volunteer Reader/Writers are integral to this vital job.  Some volunteers came every day and volunteered for all of the sessions; some even took time off work!  We are always so grateful that we have such committed community volunteers.
Looking to next year, if anyone would like to volunteer for the Derived Grade Exams in 2024, please let Pella Perston know in the Learning Support Department. again, thank you to our volunteer community.  


All the best for a relaxing break,

Ivan Davis

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