Principals Comments 10.2.23Read Now
Kia ora e te whanau
As we embark on a new school year, we extend a warm welcome back to all of our families. We hope that this past summer holiday was filled with love, laughter, and meaningful moments spent with loved ones. As a Catholic school, our mission is to provide a holistic education that is rooted in faith and centred on the teachings of Jesus Christ. We are dedicated to nurturing the spiritual, academic, and personal growth of each and every student, and we are honoured to partner with you in this important journey. As we begin this new school year, let us remember that we are all called to be witnesses of God's love and compassion in the world. May we work together in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration, building a community that is characterized by kindness, respect, and compassion.
It is important that I let you know that the PPTA teachers’ union has sanctioned a strike on teachers taking on relief teaching periods for term one in all state and state integrated secondary schools across the country. For the last three years of the pandemic, it has been the extra unpaid labour of our teachers giving up their important non-contact time to teach their colleagues classes when they have been away, that has kept our school up and running most days.
We have endeavoured to hire more external relief teachers but they are in short supply and often work across many schools. We will also be limiting activities, events and professional learning and development that would cause more staff to be out and needing their classes covered. Worst case scenario is that when we have more than a couple of teachers away each day, we will have to roster year levels home in term one. This will be a last resort when all other avenues have been exhausted. Sometimes we do not know which staff are going to be absent until the morning as people call in sick. We will be taking the situation day by day but this will mean that if we do need to roster a year level or year levels home this will be notified to you that morning at approximately 7.15am via Facebook and the school App.
Please ensure you have your notifications on. We will always provide supervision for students who must come to school, but it will be supervision, not teaching that takes place that day.
We do not want to strike but the government has given us no choice. We are striking for education, and we hope you will support us, despite the inconveniences it will cause. We are striking because we are concerned that the pay for teachers and the funding for schools is not enough to provide quality education. The value of teachers pay has fallen significantly and this has caused a crisis in recruitment and retention. More teachers and school leaders than ever are leaving their jobs and the government cannot recruit enough teachers to replace them. Funding for schools has not kept in line with rising costs and this means:
- Many schools face difficulties in finding the teachers they need.
- Students with special needs are not getting the support they need.
- Schools are spending less on important equipment and resources.
- Schools are cutting back on extra curricula opportunities.
We are asking you to please:
- Support our strike action and our campaign to boost funding for our schools.
- Talk to our teachers positively and tell them they are doing a great job.
- Contact your local MP’s office and tell them that you support PPTA members taking strike action.
Welcome back 2023Read Now
Principals Comments 2.12.22Read Now
Kia ora e te whanau
And just like that, our last full week of the 2022 academic year draws to an end. We have seen the final NCEA examinations take place for our seniors, and our junior students have been involved in a range of different activities, including Retreats and Camps. Staff have been busy preparing for 2023 and are already looking forward to the many exciting opportunities that the new year will bring to the students of St Peter’s College.
Next week we will conclude the academic year with the whole school prizegiving. Although not all students will be recognised at this prizegiving, each and every student should be very proud of what they have achieved this year. By contributing to our wider community, through participation in sport and cultural events and by making the most of learning opportunities in class, our students continue to develop the skills and attributes to be empowered through their Mercy and Rosminian education to challenge and shape their futures. We strongly encourage all members of our community and all of our students to attend this Wednesday night at 7pm at the Gore Town and Country club.
All schools, no matter how good their academic results, cultural and sporting track records, will have its challenges and improvements to be made. We will never be a perfect College, but we are very proud of the place this school has in the community as the Catholic touchstone for past, present and future families. St Peter’s College could not exist without our mission, vision, motto and values. I will take this opportunity to remind you all of these values at this time: Compassion, Commitment, Community “It is important for our students to follow in Jesus Christs footsteps through servant leadership. Consideration for others is evident in all that we do, and St Peter’s College exists to ensure all students are grounded in the Catholic faith through living these values.” If we get this right, then everything else needed will follow.
The summer break is nearly here and as we head into the festivities of Christmas, not only is this a pivotal time in our Catholic calendar as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, it is also a time for each of us to stop, reflect and evaluate, to learn from our mistakes and celebrate our successes. One way we can support our young people is by encouraging them to reflect on what has worked well this year and what hasn’t, and look at reasons why. There are opportunities to learn and strategies to develop which can then be put into practice as our students prepare for 2023 and another stepping stone along their personal journey.
I also challenge our students over the Christmas break to find a balance between rest and recuperation, and preparation and self improvement. Yes, our students need 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 to enjoy time reconnecting with family and friends.
Loving God, during this holy season of Christmas we ask for your blessing on our all families.
Let Mary’s openness to your wondrous ways be an inspiration to place all trust in you.
Let Joseph’s courage provide hope during times of anxiety and uncertainty.
Let Jesus’ life ignite all families with a spirit of light and love. May the grace that encircled the Holy Family widen to embrace all families. Amen.
Charity Fulfils the Law
Principals comments 25.11.22Read Now
Kia ora e te whanau
As the year slowly winds down, it is only right that we take time to recognise the contributions made by our Year 13 students in the time they have been at St Peter’s and farewell them. These young people have grown in wisdom and stature over time and have rallied to enhance the traditions that have existed here at St Peter’s College. They have been role models and brothers and sisters to the students who have joined us, as they progressed through the college. They have built strong relationships with their teachers and strengthened life long bonds with their peers. We are blessed by their presence here and wish them well as they complete their external examinations at this time.
Next Friday we have the opportunity to host our 2022 Leavers’ Dinner at the Gore RSA. We hope all of our year 13 parents and caregivers can join us to witness and enjoy this last rite of passage at St Peter’s College. So, as we farewell one group of leaders, we look forward to the establishment of the next group of student leaders. We received 21 year 12 applications for the 5 student executive roles for 2023. It is never an easy task to choose just 5 but we feel that is the optimal number required to get the job done and lead the school well, alongside myself and the year 13 dean.
I am often asked what the criteria is for choosing the top 5 student leaders and it is an impossible one to answer as no criteria will ever be able to truly sum up what it takes to be a servant leader at St Peter’s College. Instead, it is a mix of the student and staff vote, application letter and interview and the balance of a proven servant leadership record throughout the years and the potential leadership qualities we are just beginning to see at the right time. There is also a myth out there in the community that having a leadership title helps you in future tertiary applications like getting into the halls of residences. We know from our feedback from tertiary institutions that this is not the case. All year 13 students are leaders in the school and all year 13’s not selected for the student executive team automatically take on the role of house captains for their whanau groups and houses. Therefore, all year 13 students at St Peter’s College have a leadership title.
I don’t usually mention individual students in the weekly newsletter but I would like to recognise a year 13 student this year who did not have a traditional leadership role but who excelled at leadership and was rewarded for it. Eden McPhail was a house captain for McAuley. Not only did she encourage, organise and lead her house to win both the waiata and singing sections at the Eisteddfod she has exemplified servant leadership through never giving up and through her ability to get her peers to follow her. Eden was pivotal in getting our very large ball committee to function effectively this year ensuring a very successful evening. All of this was done without expectation and with very little adult support. That is why she receives the Principal’s Leadership Scholarship for Otago Polytechnic next year.
I am also asked to share what it is that our servant leaders do here at St Peter’s College, and I am pleased to share with you the basic requirements of each role as we look towards the future in appointing these leaders for 2023, see below.
Charity Fulfils the law
Newsletter Week 6 Term 4Read Now
Principals Comments 18.11.22Read Now
Kia ora e te whanau
Over the next few weeks there are a number of key dates that we wish to highlight:
Saturday 19 November: Southland Primary Athletics, Surrey Park Invercargill,
Sunday 20th November: Gore Interschools Equestrian competition, Gore Showgrounds
Week 6 – Wednesday 23rd November
Week 7 – Tuesday 29 November
Week 8 – Monday 5th December
We are looking forward to an exciting yet busy end to the school year. To our junior students I would like to remind them that through their participation, by being involved in various activities and opportunities, they will develop the skills and attributes to be equipped and empowered to pursue their own personal excellence and will be prepared to challenge and shape their futures. So please encourage your children to make the most of the final weeks of 2022.
Lastly and sadly, our prayers go out to the Hokonui Runaka whanau at the news that Kaumatua Taare Bradshaw has passed away. Kaumatua Taare was pivotal help to us during our Ta Moko consultation and he will be greatly missed.
Charity Fulfils the Law
Newsletter Week 5 Term 4Read Now