Kia ora e te whanau
I write before the beginning of Holy Week when we remember and celebrate Jesus’ passion, and the mystery that is, his death and resurrection. It is a time for prayer and reflection of who we are as a Catholic school. “Charity Fulfils the Law” our school motto, comes from the Rosminian tradition and also reflects the charism of the Sisters of Mercy. Charity Fulfils the Law can also be translated as Love Fulfils the Law. The “Law” of Jesus Christ is the commandment to love God and love thy neighbour. Love is about acting in a way that is consistent with the Ten Commandments. Our challenge is to reflect on this as we enter this holy period.
It is my very great privilege to share with you all the schools new strategic plan for the next three years. Our plan is a result of a joint effort of students, parents and teachers. Thank you to our staff for the dedication and professionalism they bring to St Peter’s College, and for the encouragement and care of the students they connect with daily. Thank you also to whānau for supporting the college, and the investment in your children’s learning. We hope you see the hopes and dreams you have for your children reflected in this plan. The strategic plan can be viewed via the school website: https://www.stpetersgore.school.nz/governance.html
Supporting busy young men and women who balance schoolwork, after school activities, part time jobs and a growing interest in having ‘a social life’ has its challenges. However, I am sure you will agree it brings a huge amount of satisfaction. Each one of our students possess God-given gifts and talents and it is our job, and our privilege, to help them become the very best version of themselves aiming high in their aspirations. Early next term we will have our Academic Blues Assembly where we will recognise last year’s senior student success for those who achieved Merit and Excellence endorsements. This will be an opportunity to recognise those students who achieved in the academic sense, on a par with the best in the country. The young people who will be acknowledged are examples of students who live our school motto through taking every opportunity to learn. This is a habit that has been nurtured, nourished, and formed over time. It has involved learning how to prioritise, be organised, make best use of class time and teacher availability and how to balance a busy life.
We certainly hope that here at St Peter’s, the education of the students is a partnership and that our desires as parents and teachers complement our Catholic tradition which aims to form young adults who will make a difference. One of the ways we develop these relationships is through our Parents, Teachers and Friends association (PTFA). This group helps support us to complete and fund key work in the College community. Today a special fundraising request will be going out to each and every family in our school community to further help support this key work. Recently the PTFA purchased more outdoor seats for staff and students which has been greatly appreciated, especially while we are still in the red traffic light setting and are encouraged to eat outside.
Winter is fast upon us and please note: winter uniform is compulsory from the start of Term Two this year. Winter uniform means no hoodies or puffer jackets (school related or not) as they are NOT part of the school uniform. Thank you for your continued support ensuring that our students present themselves with pride in the Blue Blazer. This will be our last newsletter for the term due to the short week next week. To our students, I always say at this time of the school term, travel safe and don’t take risks over the holidays. Think before you act. I look forward to seeing you all next term, winter uniform, hair neat and a desire to learn. These are all key aspects to our way of following our school motto, “Charity Fulfils the Law.”
Kia ora e te whanau
The Education Review Office, more commonly known as ERO is due for its third visit to St Peter’s College next week as part of the new ongoing partnership model- Te Ara Huarau. Under this model ERO is moving from one off event based external review visits to supporting each school in a process of continuous improvement.
Te Ara Huarau will use a developmental approach to evaluation that will reflect our school’s individual context, culture and needs. Their aim is to strengthen the capability of all schools through embedding a continuous improvement approach, strengthening our engagement with and accountability to whanau. We have an ERO evaluation partner who is working alongside us, Ms Christine Gold, to support us to be an even greater school and every child a success.
We are excited to share with you next week the schools new strategic plan for the next three years. This work is a culmination of board planning and leadership, community and student consultation involving 75 parents, 58 students and all teaching staff over the last 8 months. We hope this plan mirrors the dreams and wishes you have for your children, and you can see your feedback reflected back at you.
Covid continues to wreak havoc across the community, and we are continuing to roster senior students’ home to ease the pressure on staffing. This will be reviewed next week, and we will share the plan for the last week of term with you then. Some students have returned from isolation under the impression that they have had Covid now so they no longer need to wear a mask as they can’t catch it again. This is untrue and all students must please continue to always wear a mask when inside. Every day when I collate the statistics, I can assure you that those students who are wearing masks correctly and consistently are on the whole avoiding Covid. It is also ensuring the safety of our staff and keeping them at work every day.
We remember the special soul of Whaea Vanessa’s mother, Anne Whangapirita who went with God this week.
Oh God, Who has commanded us to honour our father and mother, have compassion in Thy mercy, on the souls of our fathers and mothers; forgive them their sins, and grant that we may see them in the joy of eternal brightness. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Charity Fulfils the Law