For the last four days of the term our Year 9 students have been involved in rich learning based on the topic of Migration. During the first two days students were able to hear stories first hand from migrants from a range of countries, ethnicities and religions as well as taste a range of ethnic foods. They also heard from the Invercargill-based Red Cross Refugee Resettlement Officer. During the last two days the 13 groups of students worked extremely hard to produce 3-minute-long videos showcasing Gore to a migrant family, as well as prototyping a welcome pack for a refugee family to the Gore District. This learning has been authentic, relevant and, for many students, has had a significant impact on their world view. Students acknowledged this relevance saying that it was important “because many people are immigrants and refugees and it is a large problem facing the world at the moment. We also all have an immigration story and “migration is a common occurrence in the news and is something being discussed often”. Shocking statistics such as, “worldwide, people are forced to leave their homes every 4 seconds” have left students feeling “how grateful I should be for where I live with no wars, or a dangerous environment” and, that “I will be more considerate to those who are refugees or are migrants after learning the hardships they have been through to arrive in our country.”
Bridget Ryan - Assistant Principal
Congratulations to Year 12 Ella McGuigan who recently won 2018 Otago Daily Times Secondary Scene Award for Excellence in Writing. Well done Ella! Read the article below from the ODT.
It's not that scary.
I know people say it is, but it's not. The scary part is lying in the hard hospital bed, in a wing where people go in but don’t always come out. The nightmare comes and goes. It’s the same every time. It starts happy, with the sky a deep blue, the colour that always brings a cheerful day. Yet it ends with a jerk, then complete darkness. I hear my mother. I live for the sound of her voice, the comfort she brings. She has barely left my side since the accident.
"How is she today, Mr Franks?" I hear her ask in a tone that is beginning to lose hope.
"Still the same," replies the doctor. "It was an extensive brain injury, and her brain scans still show very little sign of activity."
It's funny though, how I'm telling this story. How I can remember all this, and still have all these flashbacks. Nothing physical works, but I suppose my mind still does. It kind of floats and it’s the most peaceful feeling. Like a sunset, the feeling a sunset gives you. The entire sky filled with reds and oranges, setting the clouds alight.
I hear my story all the time. Mum reads the local newspaper to Dad to pass the endless hours spent sitting at my bedside.
"Local 17 year old girl, Anastasia Hill, is still in a critical condition after crashing her Toyota Surf on Redford Road."
The sensation of my mind floating is the most unbeatable feeling, but after days of this solitary existence I am beginning to feel lonely and lost. At night, among the bright hospital lights, fear grips me. I realise how much I will lose if my 'physical' being does not wake up. Even under all this bright artificial light and surrounded by night-shift nurses, I feel in the dark and very, very alone.
I come and go from my room...mostly I go. Being on “the outside” looking down at my body causes me to lose hope. I can sense myself getting weaker, losing signs of life. I'm done fighting. It's hard and I may not even be the same if I wake up.
Mum can sense it too. "I don’t want to lose her Dan. I can't."
I think it's time though...to let go. Maybe it's for the best. My mind is lonely and all I'm able to reflect on is being knocked around in a twisted piece of metal. I'm torn. The thought of death frightens me, but so does living.
A soft, flowing breeze ruffles my hair, giving me a sense of freedom. It takes a few minutes to realise where I am, what I am. I know people think it's terrifying, but it’s not.
It's not that scary.
The Year 10's are working on a rich learning, collaborative project over 4 days. 'Our Future, Our Whenua'. The students walked to the Hokonui Runanga on Wednesday morning where we were welcomed with a Mihi Whakatau, watched a documentary on sustainability then took part in an 'environmental speed dating' session where we had speakers from Environment Southland, Wastenet, NZ Fish & Game, Department of Conservation, HVS motors (electric cars) and the Runangas Koura breeding program.
We returned to school at lunchtime and the students were set their task of working in groups of 3-5 on a project of their choice under the brief of 'small difference, big change'. Teachers were available to facilitate and guide them during the 4 days. The groups are going to presenting their work to each other on Monday afternoon.
Year 10 Learning Tutor, Science teacher
Year 7 and 8 students took up the challenge to read seven books and complete seven activities over 9 weeks. Not only were they treated to the delicious Hell's Pizza as a reward, the Invercargill Library provided activities for them to do and we finished off visiting Queen's Park for a play.
In Term two selections were held to create two Year 8 Debating teams. Team one included Rachael Miller, Louisa Kotkamp, Bonnie Miller and Georgie Crowley. The other team consisted of Sophie Ansley, Molly Haisman, Maddie Cockburn and Kate Perkins. The moot for the first debate was ‘School Uniforms are good for us’. Unfortunately Sophie's team was knocked out of the first round after losing to Northern Southland College. Rachael's team won their first round against Blue Mountain so they were through to the next round. The next moot was ‘Plastic is the last straw’ in which luckily they were the affirmative team. It was a tight round but fortunately they came out ahead of Fiordland College. The final round was against Blue Mountain and the moot ‘Monopoly mirrors life’. They were thrilled to win the competition and their main highlight was winning this for the first time since the competition began running in 1991.
Start of Year Dates…
Wednesday, 16 January Uniform Shop open from 12noon until 2pm (last chance to order shoes before school begins if they are not in stock)
Friday, 25 January - Sunday, 27 January 50th Anniversary Celebrations
Friday, 25 January - Tuesday, 29 January Senior Course Confirmation
Tuesday, 29 January Junior Support Training (Year 13’s)
Wednesday, 30 January Orientation Day for Year 7 with Year 13’s
Uniform Shop open from 12noon till 2pm
Friday, 1 February - Sunday, 3 February Rosmini House Retreat
Monday, 4 February Term one begins for all students
Monday, 4 February Year 13 Retreat
Tuesday, 5 February Year 13 Retreat
Wednesday, 6 February School closed for Waitangi Day
Thursday, 7 & 8 February Safety Matters Course Year 12/13
Wednesday, 13 February Class and Individual photos
This Sunday 2nd December will be the first Sunday of Advent. For Christians, this is a time to prepare for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. Once Advent arrives, at school we know that we nearly finished for the year, however most staff are still very busy living in two years – finishing off this one and preparing for the next! You will see from the calendar below and the writeups within this newsletter that nobody can complain of being bored at the moment – there are plenty of exciting things happening!
This coming week is our prizegiving ceremony. I encourage you to join us at the parish church as we celebrate the academic achievements of our students this year. Students will find out on Wednesday afternoon if they are receiving a prize on Thursday night. If this is the case, they will attend a prizegiving practice at the church on Thursday morning. Students will otherwise be dismissed from school on Wednesday afternoon after our Christmas Liturgy.
As we farewell two of our long serving staff in the next couple of weeks, we also begin to welcome our new appointments. As mentioned previously, Aidan Forbes will be moving to Gore High School in the new year after nearly ten years with us and we also farewell Robyn Young after many years at St Peter’s. Mandy Pearce (HELA English) is taking a year’s leave and we will see her back in 2020.
Meanwhile, new appointments for 2019 are Kate Sinclair (ex-Longford) into the year 7&8 area, and Laura Staveley (ex-Auckland) into English. Lisa Sanson will be teaching part time in the junior school, and we will also have John Watkins join us from Gore High School to work alongside Brian Coyle in the Technology area, as well as supporting our IT systems.
On Wednesday we enjoyed welcoming all the new enrolments to years 7, 8 and 9 into school. Staff and senior students enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with them and their parents during the day. We are looking forward to a great 2019!
Good luck to our Rugby 7’s team who fly to Auckland tomorrow to compete in the national school tournament this weekend. Keep an eye on the rugby facebook page for score updates.
Have a great week,
The DigiGirlz event is coming to Dunedin on December 6th. To register please use the email on the registration form . This was hosted at St Andrew’s College in Christchurch last term and saw very strong attendance from girls across the city and it would be awesome if girls from your school could also attend.
Date: Thursday, 6th December 2018
Time: 8:15am – 3pm
Venue: University of Otago Business School, 60 Clyde St, North Dunedin
RSVP: Send completed forms by Wednesday 28th November, midday.
First 40 spots will be filled first in first served and the rest by random ballot so get in quick!
Any questions? Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org
8:15am Registrations Open
8:45am Welcoming Address
8:50am Key Note
9:15am Breakout Session 1
10:45am Morning Tea
11:05am University Lab Tour or Kahoot!
11:30am Breakout Session 2
1:00pm Lunch (Roundtables with Microsoft+EY staff)
1:40pm University Lab Tour or Kahoot!
2:05pm Panel: Women in Technology
2:45pm Closing Remarks
Breakout Rotations: (Each girl will experience all sessions)
• Technology Ideation Workshop
• “Thinking Epic Thoughts” – Positive Mindset Workshop
• Microsoft Hololens Demo
A large group of teachers has been working collaboratively to plan an exciting four-day project-based learning experience for our Year 10 students. During these four days students will have the opportunity to learn more about Sustainability and the big and little things that each one of us can do to make a difference and look after our planet today.
The learning experience will begin on Wednesday 28th with a visit to the Hokonui Runanga. In keeping with the theme of sustainability the students will bike or walk to the Runanga. Once there they will listen to a wide range of outside speakers from local sustainability organisations in a ‘speed dating’ session to get a better understanding of environmental issues facing our planet, New Zealand and Southland directly.
They will also learn about the practices that are being undertaken to tackle those issues, as well as investigate the sustainable freshwater crayfish (koura) programme at the Runanga that was featured on Country Calendar.
From Wednesday afternoon until Monday the students will be working in groups on projects of their choice and presenting their work to each other on the Monday afternoon. On Friday we will be providing a substantial lunch, which will all be locally sourced produce, a recognition of the fantastic job that our local farmers and community do.
While we have been fortunate to have some of the resourcing for the days sponsored, the significant cost of making it all happen will be made possible by the Year 10 Activity Days charge of $12 which you will notice on your latest invoice. Unfortunately, an oversight meant that this was not invoiced earlier in the year.
Please feel free to pop in and see what’s happening at any stage during the four days. Check in with your young people and see how it’s all going for them and we’d welcome any feedback at the end of it all.
Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if you’d like to know more about any of this.
Assistant Principal Teaching and Learning
With the end of the school year rapidly approaching our year 9 Retreat and Migration cross curricular unit will run for four days from Thursday 29th November.
Retreat Days are a significant part of St Peter’s curriculum. They give students an opportunity to step back from the routine of school to focus on their personal development and relationship with God and others.
During this learning experience, the pupils will discover why people choose or are forced to migrate, social and economic conditions in other countries and learn about the experience of immigrants settling in the Gore district. We will have guest speakers in to discuss their personal migration stories.
We will also provide ethnic food from a range of countries for the students at lunchtime on two of the three days. To facilitate this as well as other expenses, a $10 Year 9 Activity Days charge will be added to your account. Due to oversight this was missed earlier in the year and has just been put on to the Year 9 accounts. We apologise for the lateness of this action.
This is an eye-opening experience for our pupils which in the past years has made a lasting impression. We look forward to working with your children on these rich learning days. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to be in touch.
Louise Grogan, Bridget Ryan and Brendan Terry