One of the common misconceptions in New Zealand secondary schools is that after the senior students take exam leave, that there is a period of ‘winding down’ before the Christmas break. At Papanui High School the last weeks of term are full of learning opportunities and it has been fantastic to see many students take these up.
Over the next four weeks, many students will be participating in camps, speech competitions, production auditions, form class challenges and activities days. These are an excellent chance for Year 9 and 10s to practise collaborative work, leadership, future focused learning, and gain some new skills before their end of year reports come home.
Examples of our students’ focus and determination recently have been our Ethics Olympiad team (mentioned later in this newsletter). Our ‘Ethletes’ showed their online skills in critical thinking, collaboration and communication working together on complicated moral issues. They came 1st in the South Island after competing against 17 other schools. We are very proud of them.
A unique learning opportunity for all students and staff this term is to practise and embed our knowledge of Huakina Papanui (our school haka). As a new school leader who is just beginning the journey of learning and connecting to the community through participating in the haka, I am excited to watch it grow over the next few years. Thank you to the staff and students who have patiently worked alongside me to ensure that I am beginning to look like I know what I am doing.