The term has drawn to a close. The first term is a difficult one for a lot of students as they settle into new classes and, for those students attempting NCEA for the first time, things seem more daunting. The Education Review Office visited us during the term and they have reported very favourably about the direction and priorities of the school. The report is currently in draft form and I hope to be able to share that with you early next term. One of the talking points of the review was defining success. When we interview students before enrolment at Wellington High School we always ask you, the parents, what success looks like for your young person. I am always heartened to hear when the response is “I would like my son / daughter to be happy” and this is in most cases. If our primary focus is that our children are happy we have started them on the pathway to success. And we know that success is multi-faceted and quite personal.
Thank you for your understanding in relation to the lockdown drill that we ran last week. I think it is very important that we rehearse our behaviour in situations such as evacuation and lockdown procedures so that everyone is clear on what they need to do. I see that the media created a story out of our situation (see https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/354637/hundreds-of-schools-getting-private-lockdown-training) questioning the relevance of such a procedure whilst carrying headlines on the banner at the right of 4 lockdown situations that had already occurred this year in NZ schools. Somewhat ironic and not really a story. I spoke to the reporter but wasn’t quoted in the article. I had suggested that a better story would be to report on our Young Physicists who recently became the national champions in the International Young Physicists’ Tournament. This has been reported elsewhere in our weekly updates but Luke Roeven, Sai August and Zuni Preece not only won the national competition but all three have been selected to represent New Zealand in an international competition in China in July. The team that New Zealand will send is only five students so it is quite remarkable that all three have been chosen for this. I must also extend my congratulations to our two outstanding Physics teachers, Kerry Parker and Murray Chisholm, who have been spending long hours coaching and preparing the students.
Finally, some of our sporting teams were recently involved in a sporting exchange with Newlands College. It was a relatively small affair with only 7 sporting teams competing but we hope for this to become a regular feature of our sporting calendar in coming years. As winter approaches, try to encourage your young person to get involved with one of the many and varied sporting or cultural opportunities. School is a wonderful time to be involved, experience something new and possibly find one’s passion.
I hope you are able to spend some good family time with your young person over the break.