First Week Back ...
Whilst there was naturally some apprehension amongst staff and students following the short notice announcement of the return to school for Years 11, 12, and 1 our first week back has shown there is simply no substitute for seeing our students face-to-face.
The collective relief of seeing people from outside their own households, and the human interaction that is so important for teenagers contributed to the subsidence of that apprehension.
As you are aware, measures were put in place to best safeguard the health and safety of staff and students under the Stepped Down Alert Level 3 conditions not least being the revised timetable – shortening the school day for students (whilst still ensuring they have quality contact time with their teachers) and minimizing unstructured student movement around the school. Our Year 9 and 10 students have continued with their distance learning (additional hard copy materials continue to be prepared for those Year 9 and 10 students who need them).
Many of our teaching staff have timetables split between on-site teaching of their senior students, with flexibility provided to teach their junior classes remotely from home, or from school – allowing staff to make arrangements for the care of their own children where necessary. It also ensures that numbers of staff on-site at any one time meet the requirements of our senior students.
Our staff and students have adapted quickly to the mandatory wearing of masks, and are well versed in sanitizing on entry to classrooms etc.
The first two days saw the completion of our Massey High School Exams, a vital component of student preparation for NCEA exams with the full 3 period timetable coming into play on Thursday. Many of our students sat exams in person whilst others sat their exams online.
Each day has seen more students returning, with many citing the reassurance provided by their friends, and many more mindful of the value of the face-to-face support available for completing assessments etc.
Indeed, the first three days have seen students returning making the following gains, an indication of the value of the return to classrooms:
- Year 11 students have collectively earned 257 credits, and an additional 8 students have gained NCEA Level 1
- Year 12 students have collectively earned 881 credits, and an additional 15 students have gained NCEA Level 2
- Year 13 students have collectively earned 962 credits, and an additional 18 students have gained NCEA Level 3
Students engaged with technology subjects have found the return particularly beneficial – being able to reconnect with the practical aspects of their studies as seen below.
Our Academy students have also been back on site – and have made progress in completion of building houses for Kāinga Ora. As can be seen, two of the houses are now being prepared for the move to new families (thank you to Craig Walker Building Removals)
We look forward to next week seeing the return of more of our senior students. Our Deans continue with their work in connecting with the families of students who have not yet returned, being mindful of the circumstances that may be delaying return on a case by case basis.