Kaipara Korero from the Principal’s desk

Wow, what a start to the 2022 school year. A few days before we were preparing for and excitedly looking forward to welcoming our new Year 9 students, Omicron was declared present in New Zealand. Determined to start as we mean to go on, to carry on despite the distractions, complications and difficulties caused by Covid, we stuck to our plan (adjusted slightly to meet the health and safety requirements!) and welcomed our wonderful Year 9 students on site at the end of January. The students enjoyed a day of orientation activities and fun to help them to get to know each other and feel comfortable in their new school environment, beginning their journey to develop a sense of belonging and experience success. The Year 9 students then relished their first day of teaching and learning, moving through their first day of timetabled classes. The students reported that they enjoyed having the school to themselves and hoped that the “big kids” would be nice to them! The teachers were delighted to meet their new students and support them in settling into high school. Our outstanding team of Year 13 Peer Support leaders, trained in leadership at an overnight camp in the holidays, were a real highlight for both students and staff during these orientation days. These students really do personify our PRIDE values and we are very proud of their ongoing work supporting our Year 9 students.
We welcomed all our students back a couple of days after the Year 9 orientation. The wearing of masks and the physical distancing did not dampen the students’ delight at seeing each other and their teachers. The feeling was mutual. It really is great to have all our students back at school face to face after a long hard lockdown. Our students are to be commended for how they have taken COVID requirements in their stride and have settled down quickly to purposeful and meaningful learning. The teachers are working hard with our students to identify the inevitable gaps in learning from the last two years of intermittent lockdowns and to accelerate learning in those areas. We encourage our students to get involved in extra curricular activities that will challenge them and help them grow as individuals. Our students have already participated in and experienced success in equestrian, swimming and wrestling, among other things.
Close tracking of learning progress and achievement throughout last year, targeted interventions to support learning from our teachers, hard work from our students and support from their families, resulted in a general
overall improvement in our NCEA results for 2021, despite the lockdowns. We are thrilled for and congratulate our students who have achieved this success in what was a difficult year and we will continue to support all our students to their own level of excellence and success.
This year we remain positive in a difficult climate and focus on our core business of teaching and learning and having some fun along the way, staying safe, helping each other and are looking forward to supporting our students to be the best they can be.
Until next time….
Cindy Sullivan, Principal

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