Kia ora koutou katoa
(Greetings to you all)
Monday was Catholic Schools’ Day – a day when we celebrate the special place of Catholic schooling in the education system. Catholic schools continue to punch above their weight regarding achievement, and their pastoral care is often held up as an example of best practice. The number of students in Catholic schools continues to rise with an increase of over 4% in the last decade compared to an increase of only 0.3% for the total increase in number of students in all NZ schools. I have no doubts about why that is. We hold the gospel teachings close and do our best to reflect these in everything we do in our schools. Some might call it an emphasis on old-fashioned values but we don’t think there is anything old-fashioned about it! Jesus’ teachings are as relevant today as they were over 2000 years ago. In Gore we are fortunate to be able to offer excellent Catholic education through St Mary’s School and St Peter’s College. Thank you to all of you who help and support us to do this.
It was therefore timely that the Bishop’s Forum was held in Mosgiel yesterday. Brendan Terry (Director of Religious Studies) and I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with leaders of Catholic primary and secondary schools from throughout Otago and Southland. Paul Ferris, the new CEO of the NZ Catholic Education Office, also attended and we are pleased that he is continuing the excellent work previously done by Sir Br Pat Lynch to ensure Catholic Education strengthens its valued place in New Zealand.
It is Pink Shirt today and students are wearing pink items within their uniform to show their support for ‘saying no to bullying’. At St Peter’s, our students do a pretty good job of treating each other respectfully and compassionately but, as in any school, there are always improvements that can be made and we are pleased that the Gore Youth Council promotes this annual event as a reminder to all of Eastern Southland.
At the same time the staff have decided to have our own dress-up day today in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. No doubt there will be a few laughs generated among the students and you may get to see a few photos in next week’s newsletter of who we all wish we could be!
The weather at lunchtimes has been fairly dismal this week. It was good to be able to come together in the Hall on Wednesday at lunch time to watch a staff versus students basketball game. It is good to see teachers Brendan Terry, Brad Lamb and Head Boy Caleb Henry putting in some effort and getting ‘aerial’ during the game as pictured.
Thank you also to the Year 10 Commerce class who worked hard in the free market economy of the Hall at lunchtime on Thursday to provide food stalls for those willing to part with their cash.
Congratulations to our cross country competitors who took part in the Southland Cross Country on Wednesday. Our five representatives all had top ten placings with Josh Potter breaking the Southland record. Well done to all of you! Congratulations also to Millie MacGibbon who has been named in the Southern Premiere U18 Hockey team. This is a great achievement. Good luck to all our sports teams this weekend as they compete across Southland.