Tēnā koutou katoa
I hope you all enjoyed the sunshine and relative freedom, from Covid-19 restrictions, during the weekend. Coming out of our recent ‘lockdown’ makes us all appreciate freedom a little more. We continue to think of our whanau members, friends and colleagues in the Auckland region who continue to do the hard mahi to protect themselves and the rest of the country.
We have had just under 90% of our students return to school, since the lockdown, and look forward to welcoming back the other 10% during the week. We appreciate the anxiety continues for some but please be assured, we have systems in place to keep everyone safe at school.
I acknowledge students, with the support of their whanau, who engaged with their teacher/s during the lockdown on a regular basis. Should we find we are teaching from an online platform again, we will offer daily numeracy and literacy supporting lessons along with engaging activities from the STEAM teachers.
Below are some of the products students made during lockdown, guided by the activities set by the STEAM teachers (Jewellery, saltwater flies, gardening, design, baking, visual art, wearable art).
I have been really impressed with the resilience of our young people in returning to school. We all feel for those who have been affected by postponing or cancelling of various events. Those who have made the Northland Science Fair finals are having to present their inquiry via a digital platform as opposed to presenting in person. Our Lit Quiz team, representing Northland, had their national competition postponed until November, and then there was the disappointment that the annual AIMS Games was cancelled, which affected 150 students. We really feel for our Y8 students who have been affected by this cancellation for the second year in a row.
In the 17 August Update, we presented data from The Resilience Project, a Well Being programme for students. I voiced concern at some of this data then, and again do so. While the past number of weeks have been out of normal routines, I encourage you to take a very active interest in what your children are engaging with online. A number of students indicated they were online late into the evening/very early morning. We see this every day when some students present with swollen eyes and struggle to stay awake and alert. They admit to being online late into the evening. Areas we need to support our students on (compared to national averages) include:
- Getting more than eight hours sleep each night
- Retaining friendships
- Drinking less alcohol (of interest, 26% of our boys indicated they drink alcohol) compared to the national average of 11%
- Recreational reading
- Problem Solving
One of the areas where our students ranked above the national average included having positive relationships with family, teachers and friends. Our students, on the whole, felt safe in their environment and genuinely ‘cared about their school’.
Teacher Only Day: We have postponed our TOD, scheduled for September 24. We do not believe this is a suitable time for a TOD. We still have a day planned for November 26.
ICAS Examinations: We have received the results of the English ICAS examination. Congratulations to the following students for their outstanding results:
High Distinction: (Top 1% internationally)
Dayna De Bruin-Adcock
Thanks also to Rebecca Keatley and Lisa Ferris for their organisation of these examinations.
Take care everyone.