Nau mai, haere mai — Welcome back

by James Morris

Every new year is a time of new beginnings, new classes, and a chance for a fresh start.

I hope over the break you have had a chance to reflect on what went well (and to keep doing) and what you need to do differently.

On the first day back, we welcomed 128 new year seven students, 15 students from other year levels and 10 new staff. Our responsibility is to do what we can to help those new to the school settle in and feel welcome.

It has been busy with building work over the summer break with work on the second new four-classroom block ongoing. This is due to be completed on schedule at the end of term one.

All lighting in the school has been changed to LED fittings. As well as providing better light, the fittings are significantly more energy efficient.

Some final additions have been made to the new perimeter fence.

This fence was funded by the MoE, to provide better security for students with special learning needs, who would be at risk on the roads if they left the school grounds. To help support the safety of these students, gates will normally be shut during the school day.

We are trialling some new room signage to help with navigation around the school for visitors and people new to the school. Currently these signs are only laminated paper, but will be made from more permanent materials following the trial. The signs include a separate icon and associated value for each classroom block. It is hoped that having these values visible in our school environment will help to familiarise them.

Last Tuesday we held our annual ‘Colours’ assembly in the hall to celebrate the NCEA success of our students in 2017.

Some students will be having exams remarked and others are doing some catch-up assessments, so overall final achievement will be higher, however, preliminary results are pleasing: NCEA Level 1: 95%; Level 2: 92%; Level 3: 75%.