25 November 2022
It has been a busy couple of weeks since my last pānui, not least for our senior students who are now past the halfway point in their NCEA Examinations. Likewise, our junior students have had their junior examinations, for some – their first real experience of an examination setting. It is important that we prepare our students for this experience, as the impending changes in NCEA will see a greater portion of the credits available to them coming from external assessments.
Our students have two weeks of school left this year. The final week for our Year 9 and 10 students consists of Junior Activity Week (a selection of on-site and off-site activities for all) and Junior Prizegivings. A reminder to all, students are expected to be at school each day, regardless of the activities they are involved in.
We held the first of our two remaining Accord Days on Friday 25th. We have our second, focused on Mana Ōrite mo Mātauranga Māori on Monday 28th November.
It was great to welcome back our Lead Nurse Ruth Bunney, who returned to Massey High School after spending a year based in Antarctica. Our team of school-based health professionals are looking forward to a well-earned break after what has been an especially busy year for them.
I had the immense privilege of attending 3 days (spread over two weeks) of professional learning and development alongside members of our SLT and a number of our middle leaders. It provided me with an opportunity to gain further insight into the real quality of leadership that we have within our school.
Tiriwā Kāhui Ako Te Ao Māori Transition Days
We commenced with a new initiative aimed at strengthening ties with the Tiriwā Kāhui Ako. Each of the schools in our Kāhui Ako have been (or will be over the next week) in our school for a Te Ao Māori Transition Day. Years 6,7 and 8 students have been welcomed into the school with a Whakatau, before attending workshops on Te Reo Māori, Kēmū Māori, and Mahi toi. Each workshop has been facilitated by students in Te Whare Āhuru who earned NCEA credits for those workshops that they organise and run. Each day finishes with a Hāngī, again prepared by our students and staff. Unfortunately, the event scheduled for Thursday was postponed due to the torrential rain. However the Hāngī had to go ahead, with all food prepared being donated to the Salvation Army for distribution to families in need.
With the majority of our enrolments each year coming from our Kāhui Ako schools, these days are just one of a number of ongoing events designed to aid in the transition from primary to secondary school. A number of events are also planned for next year for those schools in our wider catchment.
I met last week with the Ministry about Ka ora ka ako – In School Lunches. Massey High School has agreed to take part in this programme, with all students being eligible to receive lunch each day. During Term 1 next year we will be working with students and the community to establish preferred suppliers/menu and methods of distribution. This with a view to commencing the programme at the start of Term 2.
My thanks to Mark Jones, Hone Tobin, Katie Thompson, Mere Willi, Scott Jones, Tarewa Williams, and Jenny Marshall (and to all students who made the days incredibly welcoming for our visitors) for their mahi.
On the sporting front, a number of our volleyball teams have been competing at National competition. Our Girls came 5th out of 16, our Boys 6th out of 16. Whilst I haven’t been able to attend – I’d like to extend my thanks to the staff and parents involved with volleyball, particularly Rudy Aso and Aroha Williams. Nikki Witehira says she was blown away by the amount of parents who travelled to support, and by how our students conducted themselves.
Those who follow rugby maybe aware of Massey High School alumni in action over the past few weeks.
Mark Telea (2014) became Massey High Schools sixth All Black, scoring 2 tries on his debut against Scotland. As he ran out on to Murrayfield it was a great moment to hear the commentator say “out of Massey High School, Mark Telea”. Last week he played the full 80 minutes against England, with the British press referring to his “devastating accuracy on defence”. We look forward to a long and productive All Black tenure for Mark.
Christian Lio-Willie (2018) played at Number 8 for the All Blacks XV at Twickenham. I was in touch with Christian after the game to ask if he was soon going to be our sixth All Black. Humble as ever he replied “I hope so, sir”.
Demolition work on old classrooms has now been locked in. Work will commence around the school a few days after the end of term. Likewise, works on access points continues so that areas of the school are readily accessible by all students, staff, and visitors. We ask that any users of the school grounds over the Summer break be mindful of where these works are taking place.
The Ministry of Education has signed off on our 10 Year Property Plan which allows for substantial refurbishment of a number of our classroom blocks (notably B and C blocks) and our Whare nui.
Finally, a reminder that the PPTA Paid Union Meeting takes place on the afternoon of Wednesday 30th November. Classes will finish at 12pm that day to allow those teachers who are members to travel to the meeting.