All posts by Ian Morrison

New long term strategy for COVID-19 announced today (12/9/22)

The following message is edited from the Ministry of Education communication received today.

Changes have been announced by the government based on public health advice and reflect high levels of immunity and declining case numbers across Aotearoa/New Zealand. 

This new approach will result in minor changes to the way we operate:

  • Household contacts of a person who has tested positive with COVID-19 do not need to self-isolate, but instead are asked to complete a RAT test each day, for five days. Therefore ākonga and kaiako who test negative may continue to attend school. 
  • Anyone with symptoms should stay home, get tested and advise the school for attendance purposes.
  • Mask wearing becomes a matter of personal choice and is no longer required after midnight 12 September 2022.
  • Indoor spaces will continue to be well ventilated and 
  • Good hand hygiene and sneeze etiquette is encouraged.

Your cooperation during the very complex and sensitive period has been most appreciated and we hope the relaxation of the guidelines we have followed will not be needed in the future.

The MHJC Graduate Profile or Great Learner

With Student Led Conferences coming soon it is a good opportunity to explain a significant change in how we have been reporting to parents. 

Three years ago we felt it important to report on the whole child which is why we refer to the new report as a Holistic Report. We want students to be able to articulate their learning journey by referring to their Graduate Profile recorded within the following broad domains:

  • academic progress and achievement in all learning areas, as well as literacy and numeracy;
  • engagement at school which includes participation in our “Four Cornerstones” or co-curricular activities, attendance, punctuality and homework completion and
  • evidence of living our school values of pono/integrity, awhinatanga/compassion and whakamana/empowering through learning.

The thinking behind this change is that it reinforces our school vision and purpose expressed by our motto of “growing greatness/kia mana ake”. We believe that every student has a grain of greatness and it is our mission to help students to find and grow this grain of greatness. This should be represented by our report which is multidimensional and gives students opportunities to show their greatness in many ways rather than a one-dimensional report on achievement. We believe that all our students should feel or experience success in some way through their MHJC journey and the report acknowledges this.

Teachers have been working with students on what we consider to be an innovative approach to reporting. Rather than teachers passing a judgment on students, it is they who “write their own report” and progress through the stages of our Graduate Profile by understanding and showing evidence of our school values. This acknowledges the need for schools to provide learning opportunities for students to learn how to manage themselves effectively, reach out to others and learn how to learn. These are the messages we receive continuously as the critical ingredients for future success and so it makes sense that everything we do at school aligns with the report.

This is an exciting and at times challenging journey but one which we believe will be of immeasurable benefit to our students. Thank you for supporting us and I trust you enjoy hearing how your child/ren give expression to their journey.

Growing greatness/kia mana ake!

Ian Morrison

Principal/Tumuaki

Face masks for the first four weeks of term 3

Today, the Ministry of Education sent information for schools to share with their communities regarding the wearing of face masks and other public health measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. The Ministry strongly recommends that face masks be worn in all indoor settings at schools where practicable for the first four weeks of term 3. A limited supply of face masks is available for students who forget or lose their face masks during the day.

Students who already have an exemption need not reapply however others may request one by following the link below.

https://covid19.govt.nz/prepare-and-stay-safe/keep-up-healthy-habits/face-masks/who-does-not-need-to-wear-a-face-mask/#if-you-cannot-wear-a-face-mask

Queen’s birthday weekend 2022

Even more significant this year is the acknowledgment  of Queen Elizabeth’s 70 years on the throne. Images sent from the UK as the country celebrates this historic achievement bring many thoughts to mind.

 

No matter where we sit in the monarchy debate, we must appreciate the incredible dedication and loyal service the Queen has shown. It is amazing to think of the momentous events she has seen as head of state during this time.

 

It is fantastic to see the celebrations but sad that she could not participate in so many of the special events owing to her health which seems to be deteriorating.

 

New Zealand’s connection to the empire and commonwealth has helped define who we are as a nation. I hope that some of the values and achievements of Great Britain remain in some way or adapted to our context. When Aotearoa New Zealand histories becomes part of our new curriculum, the challenge for teachers will be to ensure the right balance is found between an appreciation of the positive impact being a member of the commonwealth had on New Zealand as well developing a deeper understanding of the contribution of Māori and other nationalities who have made Aotearoa their home. 

 

This will be a challenging time for many but one that if discussed respectfully will be healthy and strengthen us on our journey towards becoming one nation.

Rostering of classes – Memo 24/5/22

Dear parents/caregivers

We were very fortunate in the first wave of Covid-19 cases earlier in the year that our school could continue as per normal.  However, a combination of winter colds and flu with Covid-19 cases and associated household contacts starting to increase within our community, we are beginning to see the impact of this at MHJC. 

While our preference is to have all students onsite for face to face learning, it has become increasingly difficult to provide staff to cover classes owing to the shortage of relief teachers.  Therefore, to relieve some pressure on our staff we have decided to roster home the following year levels:

Thursday 26th May –  Y9 distance learning

Friday 27 May – normal school for all students

Monday 30 May – Y7 distance learning

Tuesday 31 May – Y8 distance learning

Wednesday 1 June – Y9 distance learning

Thursday 2 June – Y10 distance learning

Friday 3 June – normal school for all students

A decision will be made on Thursday 2 June as to whether we will continue to roster year levels the following week.  Parents and students will be notified of the decision on Thursday evening.  This system will continue until we feel that we can operate safely.

As before, during lockdown last year, students will be supported during this, hopefully short disruption.  We already have well established routines including the use of digital platforms and work will be set by subject teachers and/or Whānau leaders.

Our apologies for this urgent notification however it is a decision which balances the learning needs of our students and the need to maintain a safe learning and working environment for everyone.  Different days will be allocated to Year Levels to maximise their learning opportunities.

We appreciate all your support getting through these challenging times.

If your child cannot be supervised at home on the days specified above please complete the form herein. This will be updated every week if required.

Sincerely

Ian Morrison

Principal/Tumuaki

ANZAC Day message, April 2022

I wish everyone a day free of worry, a day free from considering the horrors of war. It is hard to imagine what it must be like to experience a reality which includes the imminent prospect of death and destruction when we have not personally witnessed it. That is why we must, at least for a moment, pause and reflect on what it must have been like for so many of our forefathers who paid the ultimate sacrifice to preserve peace and freedom for future generations. 

 

It is also important to spare some time to consider those still affected by war. Refugees displaced by fighting, innocent civilians caught in the crossfire, and of course those who serve who continue to die or bear horrific wounds, seen and unseen.

 

Finally it falls on our shoulders to ensure that war does not become the only option to settle differences. It is sad to witness the conflict in Ukraine and wonder how the world can still stumble into conflict with the horrifying consequences and geopolitical scars that might take generations to heal. An absence of genuine dialogue, understanding and respect leads to misinformation, mistrust and misunderstanding. These are the conditions for conflict and those we strive to avoid.

 

We often recite the poem titled “Lest we forget”. These words could not be more appropriate today.