Dear parents and caregivers

With the end of term 1, I thought I would provide parents and caregivers with a summary of some of the key areas of focus for the term. These priorities will continue next term, and beyond, and together with our Annual Plan provide our strategic direction for the school over the coming year. These are aside from the normal day to day function and business of the school.

We have been putting considerable effort into maintaining the standards and expectations we expect from our students. Unfortunately there are some students who have received strong consequences such as stand downs and suspensions for their behaviour. We are not going to tolerate inappropriate behaviour and have “lines in the sand” that, once crossed, may receive serious consequences. The Board of Trustees is totally supportive of our stand.

Attendance is a huge issue for schools throughout the country. We are working hard to ensure students are at school and attending their classes. We have employed Ms Miria Radovanovich as our Student Engagement Officer, as well as communicating our attendance systems to our parents and community. We are also entering into an agreement through the Hillcrest Kaahui Ako and Blue Light, to support attendance across all Hillcrest schools. We need parent and whannau support to ensure your children attend. If students don’t attend they are severely limiting their chance of success.

Student achievement and teaching and learning is our core business, with a focus on equity and excellence and reducing disparity. Thank you to all those parents who attended the recent parent interviews. Prior to the interviews we identified those senior students who are struggling with their NCEA, this may be through their attendance, engagement or failure to complete work. Parents should have a good idea on their child’s progress, and in many cases parents should have already been notified of our concerns. If you are in doubt about your child’s progress, please check their progress through Schoology, or email their teacher or Dean. We are also checking through our junior school to make sure those students who are struggling (for the above reasons) are also identified and contact is being made with their parents and caregivers.

One of the effects of Covid was the disconnect with school that some of our students experienced. It is great to see our usual co and extra curricular activities returning back to normal. Our Sports Strategy “Raising Our Game” and associated programmes are in full swing, Pippin the musical was highly successful and just finished at the end of the term, our students competed in various events and tournaments during summer tournament week, swimming sports for Year 9 took place, Autumn Gala was held once again, Year 9 Hauora class visits to Tauwhare marae resumed, and the Year 10 Great Barrier experience resumes in term 2. All these add to school pride and a positive school culture.

This year, with changes to how students are assessed to gain their Level 1 literacy and numeracy credits next year, we are putting considerable emphasis on across school literacy and numeracy programmes. All students are assessed to determine their literacy and numeracy curriculum levels when they enter the school in Year 9. These are followed up with end of year testing in Year 9 and 10. Students needing extra support are identified. We have gained Ministry funding to provide specific targeted support on Thursdays through Studylink, which is proving to be very successful.

Thank you for your ongoing support. Please ensure that you keep in contact with what’s happening in our school. Enjoy your Easter break.

Ngaa mihi
Kelvin Whiting