Kia ora tatou
I had the pleasure of attending the Otago Southland Ngā Manu Kōrero Secondary School Speech Contest in Dunedin last weekend where Oliver Gordon-Glassford represented St Peter’s College. Ollie spoke on the topic “Education opens many doors” and did this so eloquently and with such depth and passion that he was awarded 2nd place with only two marks separating him and the winner! Ollie presented his speech at our staff meeting and then to the students at their assembly on Wednesday morning. I can assure you there was a tear or two in the audiences as Ollie spoke about rising above some of the national statistics for Maori and aiming beyond the stars for his education. He encouraged all Maori to do the same and for those in power to allow this to happen. Well done Ollie!
“Te manu ka kai i te miro, nōna te ngahere. Te manu ka kai i te mātauranga, nōna te ao.”The bird that partakes of the berry, his is the forest. The bird that partakes of knowledge, his is the world.
It is timely to let you know of our Whanau Hui that we will be holding on the evening of Thursday 15th June at the James Cumming Wing for parents of Maori students and any other interested members of our school community. The Kapahaka group, which is working hard and having some great outcomes, will be performing. Please put this on your calendars as we would like the chance to talk with you about what we can do for your rangatahi while they are at school with us.
As part of our regular staff professional development, our Guidance Counsellor, Carla Wilson, spoke to the whole staff this week about bullying – what an agreed definition is, how to recognize it and then first steps to take action on it. We recognize that bullying is not an isolated behaviour – that is bad behaviour and this will be dealt with at school accordingly. Instead, bullying is deliberate, repetitive, is harmful or potentially harmful to the target and involves a power imbalance. Some bullying is visible but much of it isn’t and it includes verbal, social, cyber or physical methods. While it is very important to support targets of bullying and change the behaviour of the offender, one of the bigger groups who can minimize bullying, when working together, are the bystanders and those young people not directly involved but who have the power to speak up about what is happening. Bullying can be found in all facets of life. Hopefully the work we do with our students as they are learning to navigate social interactions and teenage relationships will empower them to do the right thing once they move into life beyond school. Please support us by modelling appropriate responses at home and encourage your children to speak to someone who can help, if they have concerns. Our ‘Bullying Prevention and Response Policy’ can be found on the school website if you want to know more about how we manage this issue at St Peter’s College.
Next Friday, 26 May, is ‘Pink Shirt Day’ which has a slogan “Speak up, Stand together, Stop bullying”. We encourage all students to get behind this day by adding pink into their school uniform and, as parents, please use this opportunity to talk about bullying at home so bystanders can be empowered to do the right thing and put our values – commitment, community and compassion – into action. If we are truly ‘learning to see Jesus in the face of others’, then compassion and justice will shine through. Let us work hard together to make a change in our wider community in this regard.
Have a restful weekend,