A year ago in this message I was talking about our roll growth and the future plans that were in place to address a growing school. Since then, the Ministry has put in place four classrooms on the edge of our field to ease some of the congestion and these have been welcomed by the teachers and the students who have used them so far. We are also expecting another four to be in place for the start of term 2 and work has begun on this. However, these are temporary measures to help us with our growing pains.
We are working with the Ministry and a team of designers to plan what our future school will look like and our designers ran a number of sessions last year, just before the COVID lockdowns took place, to get input from staff, students and our community. Some of you will have attended these sessions.
When we look to the future it is always pertinent to keep an eye on our past and one of my favourite stories from our past is that from the beginning of Māori occupation, Puke Ahu was ngakinga (gardens) feeding different communities of hapu and iwi at different periods of time. It is nice to think of our space feeding the Māori communities at the time and how our current school has fed our community’s needs for well over a hundred years, albeit in a more metaphorical way.
In planning what our future looks like it is important that we do this in a way that confidently reflects our past, our present and our future. On Saturday 10 April we are holding a hui in our marae, Taraika, which will be an opportunity to share and hear the stories from our place so that we all can benefit from this knowledge. We will soon send out invitations to our school community and we urge you to come along and share this precious time.
Summer sports have got underway and it’s wonderful to see the number of students getting involved. Hopefully, all of them are finding a level that is suitable. At this point I would also like to thank all the teachers and volunteers who are helping out with sport this term and this year. One notable addition to this team is Thomas Gibson who has taken charge of our junior boys’ volleyball. Thomas is an ex student and ex sports captain of our school who left in 2016 and who has been studying in Otago for a number of years. He has returned to Wellington and it is lovely that he has reached out to us to offer his support for our sports programmes.
Our recent Aroha Day was a chance for all students in the school to see the wide range of clubs and activities available to them. Sign ups were at a premium which means there is intent. I hope that all of the students who have expressed an interest in the various activities find the time to get involved as these aspects of what we offer, greatly enrich their time here and provide opportunities to meet and work with other students.
Unfortunately, we were unable to hold our ‘Meet the Teachers’ evening for our year 9 whānau because of the challenges presented by the timing of the COVID rise in alert levels. With fingers heavily crossed, the next opportunity to meet will be Learning Conversations at the end of March and we will send you more details in relation to this soon.