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Nau mai, haere mai, talofa lava, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, kia orana, warm greetings

I trust you had a restful Labour Weekend, it has been a busy week trying to fit 5 days into 4! This week we farewell a valuable staff member Mrs Elmarie Els, as she relocates to Wellington. Elmarie has been such an asset to our community over a long period. She will be sorely missed. We wish Elmarie all the best in this next venture, and in her new employment at Mana College in Wellington.

Last night I attended the annual Zonta awards. It is my pleasure to congratulate our sports captain, Brad Clive, who received a highly commended in his category. These awards are very prestigious and are very competitive, well done.

On Monday night we celebrate our whole school prizegiving and graduation. I look forward to joining our community to acknowledge our Year 13 graduating class. It is always a fantastic event and a great opportunity for us to come together as a faith community and celebrate the great work of our students.

On Tuesday, at 9.30am, we celebrate our end of year Mass. We are very blessed to have Bishop Paul Martin celebrate our mass with us. Boys are to be at school for Mentoring at 9.00am, and will be seated ready for Mass at 9.15am. All parents are very welcome to attend as we celebrate our Year 13 leavers.

Below I will re-publish an excerpt from a previous newsletter around the habits of our students when involved in cyber-activity. It is well worth a reminder and a great discussion for us, as parents, to be having with our young men;

We have been very fortunate to host JOHN PARSONS this week. He spoke to every student and all staff, as well as those parents who attended his seminar in the evening. His messages were fantastic and his own life story inspirational, I sat in on several of the student talks, and our boys were engaged and interested in the key messages that came through.

The key messages that John expressed started with our role as parents in “Anchoring our children to what’s important” his three steps in keeping young people safe online included

1. Educating them to understand the value of self

2. Educating them to respect and protect family and friends

3. Educating them to broadcast decency and positive values across the internet.

John used past experiences and stories to expand on these three key messages including the hidden messages our young people pick up through their first and most important role models us as parents. This included parents having an active connection with their sons social media profiles as well as an interest in the games our boys play online in the same way we would do for a sport or cultural pursuit.

For me personally his message around our young people being in bedrooms with doors shut on social media and online gaming with access to the world and all the hidden dangers that are associated with this resonated. His solutions around safe use of devices and the cyber world being based on open discussion and honesty based on family rules and values was something that I see could make the world our young people are growing up in a safer place.

John has written a book “Keeping your children safe online a guide for New Zealand parents” I thoroughly encourage you to read it, it can be purchased via his website he also has a Facebook account with lots of valuable tips and advice. Search him at John Parsons s2e.