Week 6 was a celebration of the achievements of our students. Our Scholars Assembly on Tuesday saw the welcome return to our school of some of our Year 13 students from last year. These students had gained NZQA Scholarships as a result of their efforts in Scholarship Examinations at the end of last year. We encourage our students to undertake Scholarships – they provide students with financial reward, a deeper understanding and application of subject knowledge, and tangible recognition of their high level critical thinking. The assembly also acknowledged our current Year 13 students who achieved their Level 2 NCEA Certificate endorsed with Excellence.
We rounded off the Scholars Assembly with the naming of our Silver Badge Prefects for 2023. This year, the team is made up of 25 young adults who have either shown demonstrable leadership skills, or display potential that can be grown through the course of this year. They will work closely with our Gold Badge Prefects and House Leaders.
Tuesday night continued the celebratory theme. Fiafia Night showcased the dedication, hard work, and commitment of a number of cultural groups. Whilst not all were preparing for Polyfest, the importance of these groups in the lives of those students taking part was readily apparent.
For those that competed at Polyfest it provided them with an opportunity to fine-tune aspects of their performances, the results of which were seen on Wednesday and Friday this week.
Our Tahitian Group were the first of our three competitive groups to take the stage. Despite preparation being cut short by the delayed start to the school year, this group set the standard for the day with an outstanding performance. They were followed soon after by our large Tuvaluan Group who also gave a performance that was polished and professional (without losing any of the sheer joy that they bring to the stage). Our Samoan Group were on stage in the rain on Friday. I know they were their own harshest critics (they set themselves incredibly high standards) but they should celebrate the many positive aspects of their performance, a performance that wowed the audience and made the members of staff present incredibly proud.
Prizegiving on Friday afternoon saw the Tahitian Group walk away with three awards. They were the overall winners of the Diversity Stage, picked up the Mana Motuhake Award, and were placed second for choreography. To come away as overall winners is a superb achievement for the students, tutors, and family involved. Our Tuvaluan Group collected a Judges Award – being recognised for the best incorporation of their Reo into their introduction and performance.
Whilst these accomplishments are worth celebrating – I was incredibly impressed by the demeanour of all students involved, they represented their school and families well. Standouts for me though were two students in particular – Owen Tito and Makelita Saamu – they each gave interviews at the end of the Tahitian and Tuvaluan performances respectively. They were incredibly articulate and insightful, as ambassadors for Massey High School they could not be faulted.
I’d like to thank our teachers, tutors, and volunteers that made the week possible. I’d also like to thank all of our students who committed to the groups.
The large number of students involved in cultural groups is wonderful to see. As I mentioned to our Year 11 students at Assembly this week – involvement in wider school life is incredibly important. Whilst the highest qualification in their chosen pathway is of utmost importance – we also strive to ensure that our graduates leave us as articulate communicators, who think critically, who are open minded and accept diversity, who understand respectful relationships, and who have had a rounded experience and enjoyed success. Involvement in sport, the arts, cultural groups, and other activities provide a strong foundation for success in other areas. These activities also provide a strong sense of engagement and belonging.
My thanks as well to the large number of parents and caregivers that made it along to our Year 9 Whānau Evening. The event focused on Whanaungatanga and Manaakitanga, with our Tutor Teachers and our Year 9 Ākina Leader Mr Wheeler providing insight into their roles and the importance of their relationship with our parents and caregivers. Indeed, our Tutor Teachers are often the one teacher that students will see nearly every day over the next five years, regardless of the subject choices they make. It was also wonderful to see a good number of whānau of students new to Massey High School in other year levels coming in to meet their Ākina Leaders, learning about key processes at Massey that will support their children during their time with us.
Our Parent/Teacher meetings in week 9 will provide an opportunity for these relationships to develop further as they discuss the academic progress of their children with our staff.
PPTA Industrial Action
A reminder that our school will be closed for instruction on Thursday 16th March. If supervision is needed for students under the age of 14, please contact the school to advise of that requirement.