Principal's Pānui - 28 October 2022
The celebratory stage of the year kicked off this term with Sports Prizegiving last week and two wonderful events this week – Academy Showcase on Wednesday 26th and Pō Whakanui on Thursday 27th.
Our Sports Department (Nikki Witehira and Georgie Simmons) organised a superb evening at the Swanson RSA, allowing us to celebrate a full season of sport for the first time in a couple of years. I am a firm believer in young people participating in organised sport regardless of the level of competition. Indeed, as part of my address I urged our Year 13 students who were present to continue with sport after they leave us, as too many let it slip down the list as lives become busier. The last few years of COVID interruptions meant that previous seasons had either been truncated prematurely, or in some instances, been unable to even commence, so to be able to celebrate our student’s achievement was particularly poignant.
I would like to reiterate my thanks to those members of staff, parents and caregivers, members of the community, alumni, and in some instances current students who give their time to coach, manage, or provide transport for teams. Without that time, many students would simply not be able to participate.
Thank you to Nick Hackett and his team for the organisation of the Academy Showcase – speaking to John Tinling on the night you could gauge the pride in his voice as he described how the evening had grown from 20 odd people attending 10 years ago, to being a near capacity audience on Wednesday. There are around 250 of our students engaged in an Academy programme (either full time or part time), and they are programmes that provide purpose for those students as they pursue a field that they are passionate about in an authentic learning environment. The showcase is the event that highlights to all the amount of time that John Tinling has invested in the Academies over the years and shows that he is still as motivated as ever to grow the programme and provide further opportunities for students.
Thanks also to Whaea Katie and her faculty for an amazing and at times very emotional Pō Whakanui on Thursday night. As with the Academy Showcase, a near full house to celebrate the success of Māori as Māori, and the growth of Te Whare Āhuru. There were a few moments where I think we all had to choke back some tears as the success of our ākonga was acknowledged by staff and whānau. As always, wonderful to see Whaea Awa as sharp and effervescent as ever. Among many highlights, some of the Te Whare Āhuru students shared their experiences of the year with the gathered staff and whānau.
Both events held this week provided appropriate platforms for acknowledgement of the service and contribution of two long standing staff members who are retiring at the end of the year, Jenni Douglas (Academies) and Whaea Mere Willi (Faculty of Māori).
We also celebrated the end of the year for our International students thank you to Shirley Cranston, Catherine Linnen, and Jin Soon for the organisation of this – we sometimes forget the road that has been travelled over the past few years by our international students, some of whom were unable to get home to see family for several years.
Next week we continue with the acknowledgements and celebration with our Pasifika Awards on Monday night, Year 11 Prizegiving on Tuesday afternoon, Senior Prizegiving on Wednesday night, and Year 13 Graduation on Friday. We are also holding our traditional farewell lunch on Thursday 4th November, a lunch provided by staff for all our Year 13 students. We acknowledge the support of The Massey High School Foundation, John Garelja, and Good Planet (Home of ZaberriWorld) for making the lunch possible.
This week we also met with our dedicated ERO Evaluation Partner, who will work alongside Massey High School as part of the new developmental approach (Te Ara Huarau) to evaluation that supports each school’s improvement over time. This differs from the previous one-off event that characterised ERO visits in the past.
For our parents of students in Year 11, 12, and 13 although study leave starts for many from Wednesday next week, please keep an eye on your email. Over the next day or so, those students who have been identified as needing additional support for completion of existing assessment opportunities, additional tuition, or provision of new assessment opportunities will be contacted individually – this contact will be copied to caregivers as well.