Kia ora e te whanau,
As a little child, it may not have made sense to you that you couldn’t have cake for every meal. By the time you reached a certain age, though, you understood the wisdom of this rule. Speed limits can feel like a nuisance, especially to a young driver, but as we gain experience, we appreciate the safety of slower moving cars in suburbs and around blind corners. So it is with God’s law. The more he illuminates our understanding, the more we understand that every command is handed down in love. Every rule is designed with our best life in mind.
Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law – Psalm 119:18
This week has been a busy one with senior derived grade examinations beginning and with a short week we are all trying to fit five days into four. Thankfully in these four days we have been able to celebrate our Cultural and Sporting Blue’s awards in a small ceremony just for immediate parents, staff and students at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament. The recipients showcased what amazing talent we have in our small school. It shows us that we punch well above our weight in these areas.
Sporting and Cultural Blues
Last night it was my pleasure to attend the Southland Youthmark awards where the top achieving students in their fields were awarded with their photo’s and citations that will soon adorn our school walls. These will be up in the Ascot Hotel foyer for another week if you are heading towards Invercargill and would like to see them:
Kiera Davis has a quick pair of heels. Kiera is an outstanding athlete renowned for her sheer pace, particularly on the netball court. Here, her speed, footwork and deft passing make Kiera a threat to any team. Kiera has been a member of the St Peter’s College Senior A team for the past three seasons playing as either centre or wing attack. This year she was honoured by being named Vice-Captain. Kiera regularly makes representative teams and this year she was selected for the Eastern Southland U18 team. Kiera also gives back to the game, passing on her skills by coaching junior teams. Kiera also knows how to chase down track and field titles. Kiera is the current Senior Girls Athletics Champion at St Peter’s College. From 2016 to 2020, Kiera powered her way to consecutive Southland 100m sprint age-group titles and this year she added ‘Southland Senior Girls Javelin Champion’ to her already impressive resume. As St Peter’s Deputy Head Girl, Kiera applies the same commitment not only to leadership of the student body, but also to her studies, gaining NCEA Level 1 and 2 with Excellence including subject endorsements in Physical Education and Religious Studies. Kiera plans on developing her love of sport by studying for a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Human Nutrition, at Otago University where she will pursue a career as a nutritionist or sports analyst.
Lucy Wilson prefers to let her achievements do the talking. Lucy is a genuine allrounder who is making a name for herself in Netball. A tireless and versatile player, Lucy is a natural leader on court who plays as either centre or goal defence. Lucy is the captain of the St Peter’s College Senior A Netball Team after making her debut in Year 10. Lucy has played representative netball for Eastern Southland since 2013. Among her many highlights are being named in the Otago Southland Secondary Schools Netball Talented Player squad in 2020 alongside being selected for this year’s Steel Steps Accelerator Camp. Lucy also stands out on the Basketball court. In 2020, she was awarded Eastern Southland’s Most Improved Secondary A Grade player. Lucy generously contributes to the development of junior players by coaching both codes. Given her ongoing dedication, Lucy was chosen as St Peter’s College Commitment Leader for Sport for 2021. Lucy’s drive is evident in all aspects of her life. Academically, Lucy is a high achiever passing both NCEA Level 1 & 2 with Excellence endorsements. She is a talented communicator having worked her way up to Grade 6 of the New Zealand Speech Board, including being awarded Honours-Plus for Communication and Leadership. Lucy has also obtained the Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and is currently working towards Gold. Lucy’s actions have set her up for a bright future. Next year, she intends to study human nutrition at Otago University where she plans on becoming a dietician.
Laura Perkins takes competition in her stride. A dedicated sportsperson, Laura's natural ability and commitment span a range of disciplines. Laura is an accomplished rider with a string of placings in equestrian events across the South Island. Laura excels in the Show and Hunter jumping disciplines. Achievements that stand out for her include 2nd place in the Open Lightweight Worker Hunter section of the Upper Clutha A & P Show, 1st in the Otago Show Jumping 1 metre Horse, and 4th placing in the 95cm division of the South Island Pony Club Jumping Championship. Laura’s achievements extend beyond the showjumping arena. Equally sure-footed on a hockey turf, Laura is a tenacious defensive mid-fielder. Laura plays for the Riversdale Women’s Division 1 Team where she was acknowledged as the Club’s Most Valuable U18 Player in 2020. This year, Laura represented Southland in the Vantage National U18 Women’s Tournament in Wellington. At St Peter’s College, Laura’s drive and talent are evident. Laura is a four-time athletics champion and she was awarded Academic Blues for gaining Excellence endorsements in NCEA Level 1 and 2. A role model for other students, it was fitting that Laura was chosen as the Leader of Pompallier House. Next year, Laura’s plans on beginning a Bachelor of Commerce in Agriculture at Lincoln University, after which, she dreams of working with horses and owning a farm.
Kia ora e te whanau
In my last newsletter I discussed the many challenges our young men face in our schools and in society and received some really encouraging feedback from parents and teachers in recognising these challenges and wanting to know more about what can be done to limit some of these terrible statistics. This week I want to turn my attention towards the females in our school as I reflect on some of the trials they face on a daily basis at school and in the community.
The general statistics show a strong correlation between behavioural consequences and self esteem:
It is not always easy as parents and educators to communicate easily with teenage girls around their inner thoughts but what young women most want is...
Low self esteem is a thinking disorder in which an individual views him/herself as inadequate, unlovable, and/or incompetent. Once formed, this negative view permeates every thought, producing faulty assumptions and ongoing self-defeating behaviour. Body image is a component of self-esteem and is about how you think and feel about your body and looks.
Other ways to support your daughters, nieces, sisters and granddaughters are to be involved in their social media and internet usage, turn TV off at dinner time, teach them to be critical of images e.g. photo shop and air brushing, show them how “ideal” body shapes have changed over time, avoid weight related comments about yourself and others, watch for any strange, excessive or limited eating patterns, have regular family meals and Dads, you need to get involved too.
We look toward a short and busy term - many calendared events are currently being looked at carefully to see what can and cannot go ahead in Level 2 - which is not looking likely to change before the end of the school year. We will keep you posted on any upcoming changes, particularly around Prizegiving and other end of year celebrations as soon as we can.
Have a lovely Labour weekend.
Charity fulfils the Law
Kia ora e te whanau
The view from my office each morning is absolutely spectacular……..
I am so grateful every single day to be the Principal of such an outstanding school, to work alongside fantastic teachers and to see our students growing and excelling every day. There have been many achievements this term but what I am most proud of is the way our students have come back from lockdown without a fuss and have quickly got back into the routines of school life. There have been many disappointments in the cancellations and postponements of school, cultural and sporting events but our young people have shown resilience and fortitude since returning. I think we are all grateful to be back at school.
Recently a teacher lamented to me about the behaviour of our young boys at St Peter’s College and this surprised me greatly. It did get me reflecting however on if we offer the best service and education to our boys as we do to our girls. As a female I know there is a certain bias in my thinking, but I have also had experience in teaching in a boy’s school and know that they do indeed have different needs.
The general statistics show, unfortunately, that there is this deep and growing inequality between the genders in almost all areas of life. So, what are some of the general and anecdotally disturbing statistics:
And many more trends as parents, especially mothers fear for the future of their sons. If our Covid parent has taught us anything, it is that the future of secondary boys learning will be found...
Our job is to educate boys to become relational men. If we educate boys to be strong, well-qualified, relational men then they will empower their future daughters to be leaders in boardrooms!
If we are to articulate what St Peter's College is about..it would have to be that genderised idea that our NZ boys, our St Peter’s men deserve an equal deal as their sisters.
It has been a hard term of disruption for the school. Parents you have to be proud of your children in what they do with everything cancelled. Character in the making. Thank you to all our teachers who have worked so hard with routines disrupted and personal connection cancelled. Thank you to our families who speak so positively about St Peter's College and Rosmini House out in the community. Enjoy the holidays!
See you Monday 18th October at 8.45 am.
Charity fulfils the Law