Looking back to last February’s column I reflect on how much things have changed in a year. This time last year we were working our way through the onslaught of Omicron in New Zealand, back to isolating, physical distancing and the wearing of masks. Thankfully not so this year. Although these physical restrictions are no longer constraints, across the globe the impact on students and their learning is still with us and will be for some time to come.
Daily through the media we will hear about “lost learning”, “decreased attendance at school”, “lack of engagement in learning”, “declining mental health” and “declining achievement in numeracy and literacy”. The good news is at Kaipara College we have a team of expert teachers, teacher aides, and student support willing and able to address these issues and support our students to reach their potential. Our goal is to reach and teach all our students to raise achievement and improve outcomes for success. At Kaipara College we pride ourselves in knowing our learners, valuing them for who they are and what they bring and offering authentic and engaging learning experiences.
We define the purpose of Kaipara College as:
“Our core purpose is to teach our rangatahi so they all reach their potential and are able to take their place as connected and contributing citizens to their community, Aotearoa New Zealand, and the world. We know our students, value them as part of our diverse whânau for who they are and the individual gifts they bring. We engage in authentic local and global learning, enabling students to learn, care about and take action on things that matter. We have high expectations of our students to be well-rounded, active, culturally aware, inclusive, critical and creative thinkers, empathetic, resilient and considerate people who uphold the kaupapa and values of our school. We nurture and teach our young people so they flourish, have mana, purpose and opportunities and are empowered to be ambitious in their chosen pathway”.
Making positive connections with others, both staff and students makes a difference to a student’s sense of belonging and therefore mental wellbeing. Positive connections made inside the classroom are a given in our well ordered and stimulating classroom environments. However, I would encourage all our students to take up or continue with an outside the classroom activity such as sport or interest group at Kaipara College. This is where positive connections with others also thrive. We have an increasing range of such opportunities.
I look forward to a positive and learning-full year in 2023!
Kaipara College: better learning, better lives, better world.