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26 November 2021 (Friday)
Kia Ora Tātou
Since the last newsletter, we have had Year 12 and 13 go on their study leave and start NCEA exams, Year 11 exams and Year 9 and 10 students return to school.
Parents of Year 12 and 13 students have probably had conversations with their children about ‘Unexpected Event Grades’ and the implication as to whether they need to sit exams. NZQA’s intention was to give students the opportunity to still gain credits even if they were unable to sit exams. The reality is that the UEGs became a guaranteed minimum grade a student could attain for that standard. As a result, some students are picking which standards and subjects they want to improve their grades in and are attending only those exams. This is an anomoly for this year only and the UEG option reflects the difficulty some students faced trying to learn during lockdown. While UEGs have worked to the advantage of a lot of our students, in many Auckland schools they were necessary to measure the true ability of students affected.
It was great to see the high attendance rates for Year 9 and 10 returning to school. While there was some trepidation about students returning, in hindsight it has been the right call. There is a positive feeling around school. Students seem to want to be here and enjoy talking with their friends and being active at interval and lunchtime. Learning in class is so much easier than by Zoom. Getting the students back into the habit of being at school will make it so much easier for the start of next year.
Relating this to student wellbeing, the R.I.C.H framework comes to mind. C stands for Challenge. Our students have made it through the challenge of lockdown with its impact on their learning and the bulk have overcome that challenge well. H is for Hope. Looking into the future the seniors are on track to pursue their academic and career pathways while those returning know that school will be a safe and positive place to be. We have a lot to look forward to.
Congratulations to the recipients of the major awards in last week’s Prizegiving. Special mention must be made of our Dux, Joshua Lay. Not only was he the top academic student but was also the Head Boy, was awarded leadership and sports trophies and gained a major Scholarship from the University of Auckland. All thoroughly deserved.
Year 13 have had their final day at school as a whole group. I do empathise with them as they did not have the opportunities other years have had to be involved in activities special to them. I do hope they look back on the past five years with affection. They have come a long way from those fresh-faced Year 9s at the start of 2017.
Ko te pae tawhiti whāiaia
kia tata, ko te pae tata,
whakamaua kia tina.
Seek out the distant horizons
and cherish those you attain.
Ngā mihi nui
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