Following our annual cultural dress day when students and staff wear traditional costumes of their country of origin, Pacific Language Week when we celebrate the language and culture of Oceania it is appropriate that this week we join the nation while celebrating Māori language week. Staff and students will place a special emphasis on using the language as often as appropriate. Every Whānau has a plan for students to show their proficiency in the language and earn a cultural e-badge in the process supported by the Māori Student Council.
We are all on a learning journey. Many teachers have joined an inquiry group which helps us to understand the Māori world view and how it can be integrated into our curriculum and what we do. Recent advertisements and interviews of new teachers have focused on this important aspect of our strategic plan.
We will also participate in the Māori Language Moment at 12 p.m. on Monday which remembers the date and time that a petition was presented to parliament in 1972 for Te Reo Māori to be taught in schools. Our year 10s will be our first graduates who have had this opportunity, starting four years ago.
As mentioned before we await the PM’s announcement on Monday on whether we stay at lockdown alert level 3 or move up or down. The school is planning on a return on Thursday 27th as initially indicated however we will let you now ASAP the official guidelines.
If we do move to level 2 we will minimise contact as much as possible by students being taught in their home room classes and restricting movement around the school, staying in whānau as much as possible and not sharing equipment or surfaces.
In order to promote wellbeing of staff and students we are also reviewing our assessment programme to take into account the time lost owing to the two lockdown periods as well as our calendar where some events will have to be cancelled as we will not have time to reschedule.
Thank you, as always for your wonderful support of the school and our wonderful students.
Stay safe, stay well and be kind to yourselves and others.
Following the PM announcement of the extension of Level 3 in Auckland an email will be sent to you tomorrow detailing what learning will look like. If your child/ren cannot be supervised at home, please contact your child’s Whānau Leader as soon as possible so suitable arrangements can be made. Otherwise the school will be closed except for the students who require supervision who must report directly to the venue specified, be prepared to work independently, have water and food for the day, a device and charger and be picked up at 3 p.m. More information will follow.
Later today we await the Prime Minister’s announcement on whether the lockdown will continue, be lifted or even move to Level 4. The school is preparing for each scenario, hoping for the best and planning for the worst. We will notify you in all likelihood on Saturday as the announcement is expected late today. Similarly it would be wise for you to also plan for the different scenarios.
During lockdown level 3 for the remainder of the week we are asking students to:
Complete their Reading Plus and Maths Buddy expectations for the week
Complete any assessments
Work on their Student Led Conference presentation
Practice the school haka
At this stage there are no students at the school and no requests. If you are an essential worker and your child requires supervision please contact your child/ren’s Whānau Leader. If they are to attend school please ensure they have face masks, their devices and chargers as well as food and water for the day. Water fountains, microwaves and the toasters are not available for use.
I will send further updates as and when we are informed of the situation moving forward. Hopefully we will be back at school on Monday.
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.
I am sure we are all very excited about the Prime Minister’s announcement of New Zealand moving to Alert Level 1. There will be no major changes at MHJC which continues to be safe for all staff and students including those most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus. It is important that we retain the good hygiene practices followed during other levels as these not only reduce the risk of spreading COVID but also any other winter illnesses. Staying at home if showing symptoms and washing hands are still valuable precautions.
The move to Level 1 also means we can proceed with assemblies, field trips and community events. Our sports teams are already practicing and our cast from the musical “All shook up” is in full swing. We look forward to seeing our students showing and growing their talents and our parents, caregivers giving their support in all areas of school life.
Thank you again for all the support you have given the school, our teachers and support staff during this time. The way everyone has responded so positively makes me proud to be a member of this wonderful school community and nation.
The home of Mission Heights Junior College, Auckland, New Zealand