I had the pleasure this week of working with a Special Character Review team as they reviewed one of the Dunedin Diocese’s primary schools. As you will know as parents, a primary school is a very different environment to a secondary school however the experience reminded me of the key things that I value in Catholic education. Even the youngest children could articulate the gospel values and how it relates to their actions; gratitude was important to these children and I know that all our students recognise how their lives are very different to the poor and marginalised throughout the world; their recognition that they are part of a much bigger supportive Catholic community; and their sense of social justice. It is always refreshing to hear the single mindedness and confidence with which our young people intend to make change in the world – let’s keep on encouraging and supporting them to do this as they move through our schools.
We only have three weeks left of term 2 and the excitement and energy are growing as we head towards the 51st Eisteddfod. There is a huge amount of work that goes into timetabling the three days, organising judges from around Otago and Southland, and ensuring that venues are set up ready to allow students to perform to their best. The skills that are learned by students and refined over years of Eisteddfod participation should be truly valued – resilience, courage, organisation, self-management and, of course, the practice required to produce a polished performance in front of one’s peers. These are the soft skills we so often talk about in preparation for life. Please support and encourage your children to make the most of this learning opportunity and be well prepared for their items. As part of our celebration week, we will also be celebrating our Feast Day Mass on Friday 28th June followed by a whole school lunch to celebrate the first 50 years of St Peter’s College.
It is a very busy time for everyone at present. Senior students are right in the thick of NCEA assessments, school production practices are ongoing, Eisteddfod performances are being created, sports and cultural groups are working hard, fundraisers are going on, and rep sports teams are underway as an extra thing to fit into the week. Please be mindful that our young people need to rest when they can and eat and sleep well. I often talk about balance – now is the time to make sure this is happening! None of this happens without huge staff input and I am forever grateful to our teachers who create opportunities for our students to have fantastic experiences and opportunities. Please be considerate of them as well – they get tired too!
I have been overwhelmed by the lovely messages of support and congratulations after my new position at Kavanagh College was announced last week. It is certainly with mixed emotions that I will leave St Peter’s at the end of August, and I am very confident that our Board will be very mindful of appointing the right person to continue the great work our staff are doing, and someone who will value this community as much as I do.
If you are at a loose end this weekend, take the opportunity to support some of our sports teams at the stadium or at school on Saturday.
Nga mihi nui,