This week we will be celebrating the Māori New Year. This is a significant time to be reflecting on the year so far, assessing whether we are on track to reach our goals and what actions we need to take. Students will lead conversations about their learning journey at Student Led Conferences later this term and we are proud of how articulate they are and how our new reporting system provides them the opportunity to discuss achievement and progress across all areas of school life including how they are demonstrating our school values.

The principles of whānaungatanga, manaakitanga and kaitiakitanga are embedded in our values. Pono/integrity reminds us to do the right thing, show respect to ourselves, the environment and other people. Awhinatanga/compassion reminds us to be generous, support and be kind to each other. And whakamana/empowering through learning reminds us of our purpose as a school to provide students opportunities to learn how to learn and understand the purpose of learning so they become lifelong learners.

The world has been on a steep learning curve these past few months as we grappled with understanding the science behind the COVID-19 pandemic and the socio-economic consequences of measures taken to combat its effects. Our government chose to prioritise the hauora/wellbeing of our community and I can only endorse such an approach as an educational leader as it is people that matter.

We have also been challenged to examine ourselves within the context of the “Black lives matter” social action that has swept across the world. I challenge teachers, parents and students to reflect at this time about whether we are guilty of unconscious bias and how this may affect our relationships at school and in the workplace.

Later this term we will celebrate our cultural diversity with our annual Cultural Dress Day and which will include performances by dance and music groups as well as the performance of our school haka – Kia Mana Ake.

In term 4 we celebrate Kindness Week to coincide with Pink Shirt Day and will hold a colour run at the school for staff and students to show that we as a community accept, respect and celebrate people of all cultures, religions, languages and sexual identity. I am proud of our richly diverse community and trust many will join us in this initiative led by our Student Executive Council.

These and many other events illustrate our commitment to building a community where we all feel safe, included and valued.

Kia mana ake – Growing greatness!