Kia ora e te whanau
This is definitely the business end of the year, and our focus is now on all our senior students taking the initiative to work hard over the following weeks and make their hard work count for their external examinations. Eisteddfod is over for another year and while we were thankful to be able to run this event and show case the many amazing talented students we have, cramming it into term four has meant our senior students have to buckle down even more to prepare themselves for the NZQA examinations. NCEA external examinations begin early November, and we are preparing our students to face these with confidence.
Unfortunately, Covid cases have begun to creep back up in the school with a small number of staff who haven’t had Covid before, now catching it. A small number of student cases are also on the rise. Please, if you have sick children with any flu or cold symptoms, please keep them home so we can keep school open.
We have some exciting new developments in the pipeline here at St Peter’s College in preparation for next year. Most of our landline phones have been removed from the school and all staff now have the capability to make calls through the Microsoft Teams app on their laptops and cellphones. We apologise for some hiccups in installation which have meant not all calls into the main office and through to Rosmini House have been able to get through, but we should have all of this ironed out by next week. We are also in the design stages of a new school website that will have updated photos, resources, policies, and links to online portals, and we hope to launch this early next year. For the beginning of next year, we will be moving to a new student management system called Kamar. This will give us the capability to more easily input all student assessment data in the one place so that academic reports can easily be downloaded and sent to parents and caregivers alongside our fortnightly ATL reports. This has been an area in the school that has been inadequate, and we are pleased to be able to streamline this process for 2023 onwards.
I would like to congratulate Abby Gutschlag and MacLean Sharp who were the St Peter’s College Youth Mark recipients for 2022. Both students clearly epitomise what it means to be a well-rounded student in all areas of school, sporting and cultural life. You can read their citations further down in this newsletter and if you are passing through Invercargill, you can stop off at the Ascot Park Hotel to see the framed photographs of all the students in the main foyer up until the 4th of November. Well done Abby and MacLean.
A big thank you goes out to all the volunteers on the PTFA (Parents Teachers and Friends Association) for giving up so much of their time and energies over the past few weeks to number thousands of golf balls. We hope to see you all at St Peter’s College from 6pm on Friday the 4th of November to come see the “Hole in one, Helicopter drop!” You can still buy tickets by contacting Justine Abernethy on 027 459 5977.
Right through life we are often reminded to prioritise what we set out to do and there is a time for everything we undertake. These are definitely times for us to encourage our young people to prioritise what is really important to them, as this is the main reason as to why they attend school. Their priorities now are aimed at academic achievement, and this is the time for them to cut away from distractions and focus on the goal at hand. Their academic achievement will be the corner stone of where their future careers are going to take them, and it is our duty this term to remind them of their priorities. They have participated in a range of sport, cultural and musical activities during the year, but the time has arrived where their priority is now on study and academic success.
Let us all take time to prioritise what is important in our lives and how we can make a difference by prioritising what we are doing. Proverbs 24:27 says “Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house.” Prioritising and preparing everyday ensures we are building a strong foundation upon which everything will rest. The time we take now when our young men and women are getting themselves ready for their future will be rewarded with the fruits that they will produce in their future life. Let’s prioritise and be present for them in every way we can so that they are assured of the belief we have in their ability to succeed and build their future. Parents and caregivers, I applaud the encouragement you provide our students to prioritise and for your presence in their lives.
Charity Fulfils the Law
Kia ora e te whanau
Term 4 has started off with a bang with our annual Eisteddfod competition. Three days of showcasing the amazing cultural talent St Peter’s College students have to offer. Just like Athletics day, it is an opportunity for students to compete, do their best, try new things and support others. If drama, singing, dancing, speech making, scripture reading, and other performances are not your forte it is still a fantastic opportunity to encourage and support your peers or go out of your comfort zone and give something new a go. Our mission is to lay the foundation for educating the whole person in creating lives that have meaning and develop creative lifelong learners who are challenged to reach their personal and academic potential in a supportive and warm environment in accordance with the values of Jesus Christ and Catholic tradition. If you let your children choose to stay home this week without a medical reason then we failed in our mission this week and you failed in your commitment to it when you enrolled your child at St Peter’s College.
We do hope that as a community we can come together to support the amazing students who have been chosen to perform at the Eisteddfod concert at the St James Theatre on Tuesday the 25th of October at 7pm. Tickets are on sale until 12pm on Tuesday through iTicket and the link is in this newsletter below.
Another exciting event we have coming up is the PTFA fundraiser, the Hole in Won helicopter golf ball drop coming up on Friday the 4th of November starting at 6pm out on the school field. We will have some food stalls and entertainment along with the big golf ball drop. We hope you have been able to sell as many tickets as possible and that you will also come along! Proceeds from this fundraiser are going toward the refurbishment of the Susan Horrell Memorial tennis courts. Susan was a student here and the daughter of Claire and Bill Horrell who were a foundation family. Susan was tragically killed in 1975 in a motor accident. The Horrell family were a very sporty family and involved in many areas of school life and all of their children were Southland Doubles champions in Tennis. Claire was also a longstanding member of the St Peter’s College PTFA. We would now like to bring these courts back up to 21st century standard so they are fit for purpose for our students today and for the whole community to share.
Sadly, we recognise and keep in our prayers a past pupil, Tristan McQueen who tragically died in a motor accident recently. Tristan attended St Peter’s College in his Intermediate years and then went on to finish his schooling at Gore High School. Private McQueen joined the army and had a young family when he passed. We pray for the entire McQueen and Wilson families and the army community as they celebrate his life today at the Gore RSA.
Term 4 is going to continue to be super busy as we try to cram many activities and events in, alongside the senior NZQA examinations, in 8 weeks! We constantly encourage our students to be engaged and involved in the many opportunities available at the College. However, it is also important that we support our young people in finding a balance between their academic, co-curricular, family, community and social commitments. One way we can support our young people is by encouraging them to reflect on what has worked well so far this year and what hasn’t, and look at reasons why. By reflecting and discussing the highs and lows over the last year, there are opportunities to learn and develop strategies, which, can then be put into practice as our students prepare for Term 4.
I challenge our students over the next eight weeks to find a balance between rest and recuperation, and preparation and self-improvement. Yes, our students need to have a break, but they also need to ensure that each day they are doing at least 30 minutes of physical activity, at least 30 minutes of reading, and unplugging from devices at least 30 minutes before bed to ensure they come to school each day reinvigorated, refreshed and ready to make the most of the continuing opportunities the College has to offer.
Charity Fulfils the Law