Kia ora e te whanau
Refreshed and refocused. That’s how we hope to begin this school Term under new Covid requirements. It would be great to be able to say that this Term will be less disrupted by illness and home isolation than last Term, but we must not become complacent. Covid is still very much active in our community. We are hopeful the main ‘Covid surge’ will be behind us soon. Masks continue to be one of the most effective measures to prevent the spread of air borne infections and all staff and students will continue to wear these next week, when it will be re-evaluated again next Friday.
Case numbers in the South are still high and Dr Michael Butchard, the Medical Officer of Health for the Southern District Health Board shares this statement strongly encouraging the wearing of masks:
“When you leave your home, wearing a well-fitting mask when indoors is still one of the very best ways to protect yourself, your whānau, and those around you from Covid-19. The Southern DHB region currently has one of the highest rates of Covid-19 in New Zealand, higher than all of the North Island DHBs and the larger South Island DHBs, so please still keep up your mask wearing.”
Dr Michael Butchard, Medical Officer of Health
This Term, we will begin to move towards more in-person gatherings, in well ventilated and larger venues, for our students. We know that the opportunities to get together, as larger groups, have been very limited over the past three Terms and we want to ensure we can continue to build community, especially for our younger students who have just joined our learning community. We will have whanau conferencing later this term in school and more information about this will be available in the coming weeks. We were so thankful to be able to run our annual cross country this week and it was lovely to have parents back onsite again showing the children encouragement. We look forward to celebrating the Academic Blues Excellence recipients next week at the Blessed Sacrament Church and welcome all family members and supporters to attend.
Encouragement is an important word and concept in our vocabulary. In an online dictionary, it is defined as, “the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.” It is the action of cheering someone up, uplifting them. By encouraging others, we are giving them “courage.” We are scaffolding others’ self-esteem and belief in themselves as being able to keep going and slog on through. Runners of marathons often say that it is the encouragement and cheers from the crowd that keep them going even when it is hard.
By giving encouragement, we embolden and empower people to know that they are doing a good job, or they are doing all right and their efforts are appreciated. Everyone thrives on praise and on being told that they are doing a good job, they are good at something. Who doesn’t like to get a smiley face or positive comment on their work or even a sticker?
Why is it, then, that, most of time, the first thing we say is a negative word or a criticism? If we include our own self-talk in this, then I have no doubt that you are your own harshest critic. Why so often when we are given compliments do we simply shrug them off and find something negative to say about ourselves or our performance instead. Words of affirmation and encouragement are so important – in the way that we speak to ourselves, but also in the way we talk to others. I encourage all of our students to talk nicely to themselves and use encouraging words:
When you get a test result back and it’s a high grade, don’t think, “I’m so rubbish, I should have got the top grade”, try to think of something positive. Remember, there may be someone sitting next to you who is not capable of getting the grade you got, let alone the top grade.
Try to encourage your siblings if you can or even tell your parents what a good job they’re doing (even though it might not always feel like they are). I am sure they’re probably being negative enough about themselves so don’t need you to be!
Try to catch those negative thoughts before they cause you to spiral into a day of negativity.
If all else fails, take a deep breath and focus on one good thing that you can see. If it’s not you, it might be your friend. If that’s the case, tell him or her. Give your friend some encouragement.
Charity Fulfils the Law