This week we had 13 students from a school in China visiting us for the very first NZ 2018 “Around the World” Bilingual Talents Forum. They are working collaboratively with 13 St Peter’s students to research and present information about Sport. It was a great chance to learn about another culture!
Time again for the school to present out termly Arohanui award which, as you may recall, celebrates the fact that many of our students do quite remarkable things in our community and beyond, simply because they see a need and they know they can make a difference in someone else’s world. Often they do these things quietly behind the scenes, for no reward or recognition, but in doing so, they demonstrate the meaning of Arohanui and show ‘much love, with deep affection’ for their fellow human beings.
We presented two students our special ‘Arohanui Cross’ and gift: Ryan Watkins and Tatyanah Andrews–de Thierry. As a year 12 student, Ryan often does things to include and encourage the younger students at St Peter’s in games or conversations around the school. During the Eisteddfod he supported a group of younger boys who needed help and encouragement with their Eisteddfod performance, and many people, peers staff and parents included, thought this was admirable. This is the Spirit of St Peter’s in action in our school. Tatyanah received the award for the constant caring she has shown towards our Chinese visitors this week. Whenever someone has been needed to guide a new student, have lunch with them or show them where things are around the school, staff have noticed that it has been Tatyanah's hand that has immediately gone up along with her warm friendly smile. This compassion means the world to people visiting our school who are far away from their own friends and family. We also see that Tatyanah is often the first person to notice when other students around the school need a smile or a friend for extra support. Well done Tatyanah!
If you know of any students who quietly have done things behind the scenes to help others in need, for no reward to themselves, please contact the school with details. Anyone can nominate someone, students, parents, or members of the community. We’d love to hear about it.
Kia ora te whanau
There has been plenty of media conversation during the past week about the NCEA review. This, along with the other ten or so education reviews is making many educators somewhat anxious. For many throughout the country, the ongoing teacher shortage is still front and centre as we move into the next few months when staffing our schools for 2019 takes priority.
However, the NCEA review brings with it an opportunity for us at St Peter’s College to reflect on what is really important in education and in society. There has been much research done recently in countries like Finland and Canada about moving away from isolated subject areas and looking at education from a more holistic viewpoint. With rapidly changing information technology accessibility, 21st century education trends are moving away from content and knowledge ‘gathering’ and moving towards developing capabilities for collaboration and knowledge construction. It is an exciting time to be in education.
Recently, education summits were held in Auckland and Christchurch. The 850 participants were asked to rank the ten most important values for education in the future out of a possible 49.
The top 10 values identified overwhelmingly at the two summit events were:
Hauora / Wellbeing
Whānaungatanga / Family Community
Manaakitanga / Care for others’ wellbeing
Awhi / Caring for others
(Retrieved from https://conversation.education.govt.nz/conversations/education-conversation/values-principles-and-possibilities/)
Catholic education in New Zealand can take heart in the fact that these values are what we already put at the centre of our schools. They are well aligned with the Gospel values we all promote. Educating the whole person and valuing every person because they are made in the image and likeness of God, is at the core of our Catholic schooling.
Early next term, our Board of Trustees is looking to begin the review of our strategic plan. It is an ideal time to review how we ‘do education’ at St Peter’s College. Please give this some thought as we would like plenty of school community input into our vision for the next few years.
Congratulations to all the performers who took to the stage last night for the Eisteddfod final concert. The quality seems to improve year on year and, although I was unable to attend this year, I hear that last night’s concert was as stunning as ever. Thank you to Cultural Leader, Louise Dennison, who along with Mrs Nikki Cunningham (Arts Coordinator) and the Eisteddfod team worked hard to make this year’s Eisteddfod very successful. Huge congratulations to Pompallier who were very excited to win both the house singing and the waiata competition!
Have a good holiday break and we look forward to seeing everyone back safe and sound in a couple of weeks.
May God bless you and keep you safe,