Kia ora e te whanau
As we begin Term 3, we continue to face many challenges. Challenges from Covid and winter colds and flus, challenges from the weather and challenges in our daily and personal lives for a whole range of reasons. However, our core business of being a school with a vision that focuses on empowering our students to develop into a person of spirit and character who will pursue actions of community, compassion, and commitment and be prepared to challenge and shape the future, remains at the heart of what we do.
St Peter’s College is a place where not only textbook knowledge is received to gain the qualifications that determine whether or not students are academic and therefore successful. I believe we are so much more, we play a much larger part in providing the basis for a student’s future. Our school is a stepping stone to our students future. Our role is to ensure that the stone our students step from out of secondary education is as high, balanced and as wide as it can be so that when a young person leaves St Peter’s College they are empowered through their Catholic education in the Mercy and Rosminian traditions to act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God while pursuing their personal excellence, with the confidence to challenge and shape their future. We are not the end point for the student, for their education, for their development, but we are responsible for assisting, developing, educating and ensuring that our part in their journey allows them to sit up above the water, giving them the best platform from which to step into their future.
At St Peter’s College we want education to open opportunities and pathways for our students. We want to see students leave our school empowered to challenge and shape their future whilst being a person who lives by our values whereby they are compassionate and respectful, where they seek justice for others and themselves, and where they have the courage to pursue their ambitions.
For term 3, I encourage all of our students to make the most of their time and opportunities at school, both inside and outside of the classroom. In every lesson, to engage with their teacher and their learning, ask questions, challenge their thinking and understanding, and outside the classroom have a go and participate in at least one of the wide range of activities and opportunities available from the sports field to the arts and cultural stages. I also encourage our students to contribute outside the classroom and to support one another by taking time to watch one another on the sports fields or arts and cultural stages. We are one community in Christ where we must also strive to give back and serve.
Charity Fulfils the Law.
Kia ora e te whanau
Following in the footsteps of St Peter after whom our college is named, we are encouraged to be humble. The Feast of St Peter was celebrated on Wednesday 29 June, and it is essential that we take time to reflect on his life and honour his martyrdom. St Peter was leader of the Apostles and first Bishop of Rome (Pope). According to the Gospel, a fisherman known as Simon was called to follow Jesus, who gave him the name Peter and declared him "The rock upon which I will found my Church." Though Peter was his closest disciple, Christ prophesized his betrayal. Following the Resurrection, Peter preached extensively and became the first leader of the Church in Rome. He was martyred by Emperor Nero, reportedly asking to be crucified upside-down, for he was not worthy to die in the manner of his Saviour. We are called to follow in St Peter’s footsteps by never giving up on our faith despite all the many mistakes we may make along our journey. Coming together as a whole school for Mass this week to celebrate this feast day after many months of restrictions was a very special way to move forward.
On this last day of term two, we need to take the time to think about all that we have achieved despite the waves of COVID and winter illnesses. Our school, though it needed to roster at times, stayed open through many staffing challenges. I have witnessed many parents and teachers focus on reengaging students and supporting wellbeing. Teachers have been assessing where learning is at and just picking up from whatever place students are up to despite their absences. We have endeavoured to maintain school trips, assemblies, sports events and community events. The way so many of our schools recently celebrated the Matariki festival with students and families was truly inspirational. As we wind down for the holidays it is a timely reminder for all of our students to relax and rejuvenate themselves as we take on the second half of the academic year. There are innumerable events and occasions ahead of us and we look forward to our young people continuing to engage and enjoy what the school year has to offer.
We take this opportunity to thank all our parents and the wider community for their continued support and involvement in the life of our students at the college. Your support on the side-lines of sporting codes has not gone unnoticed, and on behalf of our young people, we sincerely thank each of you for all you do. We also thank all academic and sporting volunteers who give so much of their time and energy and make a huge difference in the lives of all of us.
Kia ora e te whanau,
If we were to ask our students, what is it you want to be? What would they say?
Ask your child if they have heard of a ‘CV’, or ‘curriculum vitae’. Explain that, when someone applies for a job, he or she usually needs to send in a CV to the prospective employer. A CV is a document that lists a person’s qualifications and any other achievements or interests that might increase his or her chances of getting the job. Tell them that it is important for everyone to have ‘CV virtues’. Virtues are things that we regard as good or positive, so CV virtues are the positive skills and achievements that we would want to write on a CV or job application. If we have no CV virtues, getting a job is far more challenging.
Another way of thinking about this is to ask, ‘What do we want other people to remember us for?’
Perhaps it is our kindness. Or our generosity. Perhaps it is our ability to make friends and include others. Or perhaps we would like to be known for being honest. When we think about the question, ‘Who do you want to be?’, we should think about the qualities and virtues that we want to demonstrate through our lives that will make a difference to the lives of others.
Three possible virtues could be:
Humility. This means being honest about our own weaknesses. Being aware of these means that we can identify the things that we find difficult and discover what we need to work on. In a world that sometimes expects us to be perfect, it can be difficult to develop the virtue of humility.
Selfless love. This means loving others in a way that keeps us from selfishness and instead shows care and kindness towards others, with no reward expected in return. In a world that sometimes encourages us to put ourselves first, it can be difficult to develop the virtue of selfless love.
Gratitude. This means being thankful for what we have and who we have in our lives. Saying ‘thank you’ and expressing our appreciation is one way in which we show this virtue in practice. In a world full of advertising that encourages us to focus on all the things we do not have, it can be difficult to develop the virtue of gratitude.
These virtues will help us to become the sort of people whom others remember with affection and fondness, not because of our careers or our success in business, but because of WHO we are.
We acknowledge that you have created us with many gifts and talents.
We come to school to develop and learn.
Help us every day to make positive steps towards achieving academic success.
We also acknowledge that you have shown us that honesty, self-giving love, humility, gratitude and justice are important.
Help us today to think about who we really want to be.
When we find it tough to develop these virtues, please guide us and help us.
I would like to congratulate the following students for putting their names forward for the St Peter’s College Servant Leadership Council. These students were recognised at this week’s assembly, and we look forward to leading and serving the school using our virtues and qualities for the betterment of all:
Ben de Jong