by Steve McCracken
Success and Belonging are the two strategic goals of Kaipara College. We believe that Success and Belonging are not independent of each other. In a teenager’s life, when these two things are strong, they will be able to go off, explore the world (COVID permitting) and return to their communities as highly skilled and effective contributors and leaders within society.As a school, we have a long and proud history of people who are successful and people who have a true sense of belonging to the Kaipara College community. This year, we have been fortunate to welcome a tremendous group of new students as they enter Year 9. The instant sense of belonging to our community, with links from their respective primary schools, is one that our whole community can take pride in. Ably led and guided through their orientation programme by our Year 13 Peer Support leaders, the new students quickly found their feet and have already begun to establish their place in our school.Of special mention are the number of students who experienced success in their external examinations recently. With our highest ever number of students gaining Excellence Endorsements at NCEA Level 3, we have also had two student, Odette Sullivan-Yates and Ella Cunningham, receive Scholarship awards. Scholarships are awarded to only the top 3% of entrants in the external examinations and are the highest recognised school qualification achievable.
To ensure we are continually developing our staff to have a connection and a sense of belonging to our community, we started the year with our staff being hosted by local Iwi leaders and staff from Nga Maunga Whakahii. The purpose was to engage with manawhenua and establish links with our local area that can be used in teaching and learning. We have the absolute desire to connect with our whole community, more than what we currently do, to ensure we can pass on local knowledge and ensure our students develop a sense of belonging to our area. We would love to connect with more local organisations and businesses to help foster this in our students. Please do contact our school, for more details.
As the world continues to battle with COVID-19, the strength of our school continues to shine through. With the most recent Alert Level 3 announcements, our staff and students quickly found their way back into online learning. What was clear this time, was that our students were genuinely excited to be back at school as fast, and as safely as possible. As we continue to develop students’ sense of belonging and connections to our school, the focus on personal excellence for all, comes through strongly. Whilst we can’t predict what is going to happen in the next month, we can guarantee that Kaipara College will continue to develop Success and Belonging for all.