Term 3 has now come to and end. I would like to acknowledge and thank our school community for their ongoing support and understanding during another difficult period of time for us as a country.
The term began with our normal ‘busyness’ and expectations. The overnight return to Alert Level 4 in August, reminded us of how vulnerable we are to Covid-19, and the challenges it brings. Following four weeks of essentially lock down conditions we were very grateful to be able to return to learning on-site under Alert Level 2. In saying that, we still faced a number of challenges which meant that many events were either cancelled, postponed, or were only able to run under very strict conditions. I am very proud of the way the students, staff, and wider whānau have faced these challenges, and I am sure everyone will be waiting in anticipation for next Monday’s official announcement, and what that may mean for us as a school next term. Alongside this, our thoughts are with staff and students in Auckland schools as they continue to support their teaching and learning beyond the school gate.
To close out the term, the School Council held a modified Extravaganza Week with interval and lunchtime activities culminating with a non uniform day and Carnival lunchtime on Friday. Activities throughout the week included ‘Open Mic’, staff vs students Futsal game, lip-synch, Papanui’s Hottest Home Baker, Mega Print Art, and student bands. Many of these activities were used to raise money for a variety of charities such as, Starship Children’s Hospital, Aviva (the Christchurch women's refuge), and Blind Low Vision Foundation (for Guide dogs).
This week we held our final school wide assemblies via Zoom, which gave us the opportunity to wrap up the term. A number of curriculum day trips took place. A highlight for many students, is the Year 12 Physical Education and Kimi Ora Students’ combined camp at Waipara, which ran from Wednesday to Friday. On Thursday I was able to visit the camp and see a wonderful example of supportive and inclusive education taking place.
As we move into Term 4, I would like to take the opportunity to remind you that our senior students will be in school for ten school days longer than originally planned, due to the ‘pushing out’ of the start date for the NCEA exams. This also means that the examination period finishes ten days later as well, with the last exam timetabled for Wednesday 14th December. With this in mind, students may need to review any other external commitment they may have made, and be thinking about reducing their part time work hours where appropriate, engaging their study plan, and talking to their teachers to support their ongoing learning.
I am looking forward to Term 4, where we will hopefully move down to Alert Level 1, and also be able to enjoy the many occasions that allow us to celebrate students' success as a community.
Ngā mihi nui