Kia ora e te whanau
Term one done and dusted! What an amazing number of events we have been able to fit into term one- from sports trials, tournaments, production try outs and practices to NCEA internal assessments, PAT testing, athletics competitions, retreats, the senior ball and Masses to name just a few. Term one is often our busiest time of the year and it sets the scene for how we go forward. A huge thank you goes out to all our staff, parents and volunteers who make these events so successful and smooth running.
With great beginnings there also comes sad endings and farewells. Today we farewell two very special teachers, Mrs Janine Heads who has been here for eight and a half years, and Mrs Jan Bridgman who has served for an outstanding 44 years. Last night staff had the opportunity to attend a dinner in honour of them both and hearing their journeys one last time was a privilege for us all. Janine will be sadly missed by us all but in particular by her Science teachers and students. Her leadership, knowledge and qualities have enabled eight years of strong senior Physics, Science and Chemistry results and a long list of students who have continued on in life with a passion for Science and learning. Jan’s commitment to Catholic education for 44 years is almost unheard of in educational institutions and is a testament to her dedication, wisdom, abilities and kindness to the teaching profession. This lengthy service has meant that Jan has taught three generations of some of our families. We also farewell our school chaplain today, Fr Damian Wynn-Williams, who is retiring from the Gore Parish. Fr Damian has been a leader, model and servant to us all. We give thanks to God for you and wish you well in your retirement.
Recently we had our senior ball, and it was a magical evening for our students and families who attended but it is time to re-evaluate how this is run, in particular who attends. Please click on the link below if you would like to have a say in how our ball is run in future years:
Term one has had many highlights but most of all I would like to recognise the individuals who received Excellence endorsements at our Blue’s Assembly this term (see below). These students worked hard and set goals to achieve their very best. Academic excellence is our core business, and these students epitomise all our efforts:
With $70,000 in scholarships being given out to our year 13’s of 2020 just from Otago University, it is well worth the effort!
Kia ora e te whanau
It is with sadness that we as a community share in the grief and sorrow of the Hargest family whose beloved husband, father, uncle, and friend passed away last week. Father of two boys, one of them being our student Ben. With a community like ours we are comforted in knowing you are not alone, and we pray to God to be with you and the wider Hargest family at this time.
Easter is the most important season in our Church’s calendar and has a long Judaic/Christian tradition. It is an important time for us as Catholic’s to attend the Masses of the weekend, take time to reflect on Christ’s sacrifice for all of humanity, and spend time with our families. I hope I am not the only one saddened by the growing pressure from community groups, politicians and business owners looking to “rub out” our heritage. Whether it be through language, institutions, or cultural practices, there is a growing change in how we treat these seasons. Changing “Merry Christmas” into “Happy Holidays” is just one of many examples we see on cards and in shops.
I feel uneasy when I hear and read in the news the push to have alcohol sold and businesses open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Can we not have just two days to stay home with our families? Must we always be indulged and entertained? It is becoming harder to argue against and I find myself almost apologising for my faith. If we look at this globally, it is even more depressing, the destruction of our Christian churches around the world and the growing consumerism of developed countries. Back here in our educational system it is also obvious in our government withholding funds for maintenance and resources in state-integrated schools that our state schools receive. The political agenda of removing life constraints for the unborn and elderly is only the beginning to a downward trend in society as to what we are no longer supposed to value.
Easter is about our Christian tradition. Jesus, who died on Good Friday, proved he was God on Easter Sunday. We remove that tradition at our own peril and at huge cost. Let us remember that the common good of society, the dignity of the individual, the quest for truth, the notion that law is always about context, the consistent ethic of life, our intellectual tradition....these are the fruits of our Christian/Judaic tradition.
I think there is a reason why Catholic schools have the full up signs. There is a reason why parish churches are making a comeback in faith numbers. There is a reason why parents of school-aged children want an education which is as much about heritage and character as it is about achievement and accolades.
I wish our many players luck this weekend as we go into the Catholic school’s quad tournament hosted here in Gore. A wonderful opportunity to have the young people of four Catholic secondary schools come together as one family in Christ. We begin this celebration at the community Mass at the Blessed Sacrament Church at 9am on Sunday, all welcome. Please see Facebook and the school app for the draws if you would like to come along and support any of the games.
Career Pathways Department
This week we feature Emma Greenfield, who is working at S’cape Hair and Beauty, as part of the Gateway programme. Emma is helping out the hairdressing team. We also have Blake Nicholson working with Ben at GWD Gore.
On Wednesday, the Defence Forces came to speak to 33 students about careers in the Defence Forces. From the Navy, PO Katrina Mohi, and from the Airforce, Sgt Josey Drum, entertained the students with snippets of life in the Defence Forces and shared with them career paths within the forces.
Camps and Subject Trips
St Peter's College really values the many opportunities we are able to offer our students in attending camps and subject trips. Ministry of Education guidelines clearly indicate that we can only request donations to cover these costs. For us to continue to offer these awesome opportunities, we are reliant on parents and caregivers paying the camp and subject trip donations. Camps and subject trips often include accommodation, food, and travel costs and if these cannot be covered through the donations, we may no longer be able to offer these opportunities in the future. St Peter's College would never prevent a student attending a camp or subject trip due to financial need and we have mechanisms in place to help these families with the donations. We recognise that donations are not compulsory payments but are necessary for us to offer these experiences. If our parent community decide that these donations will not be paid, we would need to reconsider the offering of camps and subject trips in the future. We have committed to all of the camps and subject trips we have on offer for 2021.
SCHOOL BALL FORMS AND PAYMENTS
IF YOU HAVE NOT HANDED IN YOUR BALL FORM PLEASE DO SO ASAP TO MRS ROBERTSON OR MRS HORNE IN THE EXEC OFFICE.
All tickets will be charged to school accounts – these must be paid prior to the ball by Wednesday, 24th March. Non-payment of tickets means non-attendance.
Please ensure you use the following details when making payments:
St Peter’s College BOT
Reference: Student Name - Ball
Please direct any queries to:
Kia ora e te whanau,
This week at assembly we had a focus on one of our school values- Community!
Our community includes the students, our staff, not just the teachers, but everyone who works here, to help the school run smoothly, our parents, aunties, uncles and cousins and anyone who came to this school before us make up our St Peter’s College community.
We are a diverse group, but we all want the same thing- a top education, whether that be in the sports, academic or cultural fields for all of our students. We are extremely lucky and privileged to have families and parents in our community who support us. When schools, family and communities work together to support the students learning, young people tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more.
Families have a major influence on their children’s achievement in school and through life. If it were not for our family’s support, we would not be able to run our school production, our ball, our athletics days or go on camps.
St Peter’s College is one big family, and families as we know have their ups and downs, you may have a grumpy uncle you don’t particularly like or an annoying younger cousin who seems to get better birthday presents, but we still all love our family members, and know that we can go to any of them when we need. School is just like that, students may not always like every teacher they have but they know they are always there to help them, our teachers want our students to achieve and want the best for them always.
Parents and caregivers often ask what they can do to support their child’s education and we know from research that this is a crucial area we as a school need to focus on in supporting families to engage with their child’s learning at home. The following actions that make the biggest difference are straight forward and can be applied by all parents regardless of education or income levels, and do not take much time:
- Hold high but reasonable expectations for your children
- Provide a home that encourages and supports education and a healthy lifestyle
- Role model an interest in books and reading
- Encourage healthy eating and sleeping patterns
Young people discover by example how to learn and succeed. The attitudes and behaviours of parents demonstrate to children how to organise themselves, solve problems, persist to achieve outcomes, remain motivated and have confidence in their abilities. A core focus for us here at St Peter’s College is the wellbeing of all of our staff and students, and we will be sharing with you over future newsletters ways in which you can support your children in regard to bullying and harassment, particularly through digital media.
St Patrick’s day was celebrated in style this week with a get together of staff from St Peter’s and St Mary’s, with their children playing “Leprechaun games” in the school hall, led by some of our student leaders. Thank you to all who helped to make this an awesome Catholic community event.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me……
From a prayer of St Patrick