12 Apr Nau mai, haere mai, talofa lava, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, kia orana, warm greetings
As we come to the end of Term 1, it is a time to reflect on all the good work that has occurred over the last 11 weeks.
I spoke to our staff this morning, thanking them for the hard work they have put into developing our young men, especially their ability to continue to give when they have already given so much.
As a staff we have worked extremely hard on lifting the academic aspirations of our students by focusing on the individual student at both senior and junior levels. At the senior level this is via individual tracking by predicting performance, based on current work habits and offering this back to the student as feedback. We are using a similar system with our junior students by using more individual testing and setting goals, based on their base level and setting realistic goals so that they are experiencing progress. All of our students learn in different ways at different levels, and are at different starting points. What I do know is that they are all capable of finishing their education with meaningful qualifications – they will all just take their unique journey, and we need to be mindful of this and support them all the way.
I feel so blessed to work alongside such a hardworking group of staff as they understand that along with the work we do in the classroom, the activities we provide outside the classroom are often the where the key relationships are made between student and staff, and when we have strong relationships in place the learning and holistic development happens so much more organically. I spoke at the board meeting on Wednesday night of the work our staff does outside of their teaching load. This includes evening, overnight and weekend commitments that our staff follow through due to their understanding of teaching as a vocation.
I would also like to acknowledge how incredibly blessed we are to have such an amazing support staff. Our students and staff are so well supported by such a hardworking and extremely capable group of people. Our support staff always go above and beyond in ensuring that our community and organisation are well served.
Alongside developing our students academic performance, we see our role as a faith community to develop our young men in their faith journey. A lot like I have written above, it is very much a personal journey that will take on many unique pathways. It is my hope that we are able to offer many experiences whereby our students encounter Christ in their daily experiences and interactions with each other and the wider community. With this in mind, I have been overwhelmed by the stories and actions I have seen our young men involved in this term. From acts of charity, to acts of social justice, to acts of prayer and devotion. The most powerful and loving moment of faith for me this term is the way our students led the way in the wake of the March 15th act of terrorism. To see the boys gather as a group at the Deans Ave Mosque to sing a hymn and perform the haka was their way to show support and love to those who were so tragically affected. It demonstrated our Catholic belief that Christ is present in all people – the outpouring of love and compassion was overwhelming.
Last week I had the pleasure to attend the Bishop Lyons competition, which was hosted at Catholic Cathedral College. I was very impressed with the performance of our students and the support I observed from both staff and students. A huge thank you to the large contingent of staff who prepared our students for this fantastic Catholic tradition.
I would like to wish safe travels to our group of students and staff, led by Mrs Elizabeth Kennedy, heading to China over the holidays. I trust our students will embrace the opportunity they have with both hands.
At the start of next term we have our Open Day on Tuesday 7th May. We are anticipating that we will invoke our enrolment scheme this year in which one of the criteria, alongside preference criteria and geographical parish boundaries, is the date of application. We would strongly recommend any friends or family of our current students who are wanting to enrol for 2020, to get their enrolments forms to us as soon as possible.
I hope and trust that you will have an opportunity over the Easter Break to spend some quality time as a family. The events over the last four weeks have been testing for our community. However, out of despair we have seen an overwhelming show of love, compassion and care towards each other. Stay safe over the holidays and I look forward to another full and successful Term 2.
By Steve Hart