In the week prior to our boys in Years 11, 12 and 13 moving into exam mode, it is most appropriate to acknowledge them and our wonderful teaching staff as the academic phase of this unusual school year comes to an end.
There is no doubt that teaching and learning has been challenged by the events that have led to school closure and changed expectations around NCEA outcomes by the government. What I have been encouraged by here at College, is the adaptable nature of both staff and students as a very well established routine has needed to change and shift. In its own way, this is a sign of one of our most important life skills and represents flexibility and resilience in reality, rather than what is often the case in schools, where we tend to learn vicariously. I am absolutely confident that our boys will do well in the exams and I encourage them to finish well, demanding of themselves that which is best, motivated not by external reward but by internal aspiration. We will acknowledge the Year 13 students with greater focus at the end of the year, but I want to take this opportunity to thank our Year 13 cohort for all they have done for the school this year. The pockets of leadership that they have shown have really made a difference and they can be proud of so much of what we have achieved under their watch.
This week is the end of our Immerse & Inspire programme for Year 10 students for 2020. This programme, led by Darrell Thatcher, has now been in place for four years and it was some of our current Year 13 students who were the first in what has now become a rite-of-passage in some respects for our Year 10 students. This year, although punctuated in time, the programme has been modified in ways that have added real value. I know that when speaking with day parents and boys alike, they have particularly valued the opportunity to live-in at College and learn to live with others.
I thought you might be interested in this upcoming IBSC (International Boys' School Coalition) Parenting Boys Speaker Series – Boys and Social Media on 17 November. Click here to register. Get insight into boys' social media use from South Africa's leading expert on social media law. Emma Sadleir discusses the responsibilities of parents in the digital age and explains the legal and disciplinary consequences you and your children can face for online activities.
Finally, in staff news, last week I accepted Robert Aburn's request to relinquish his role on the College Executive team as Assistant Principal – Planning and Administration and to step forward in the substantive role which he has carried since 2002 as Director of Music. Over the past eight years Robert has coordinated the school's programme while juggling this significant additional responsibility. He has helped guide the school through a range of challenging circumstances post-earthquakes and during the pandemic. I, like Robert, am excited by the potential of his extraordinary energy focussed once again solely on our music department and our wonderful choirs.
End of year
We know the end of year gets incredibly busy, please ensure you have the below dates locked in your calendar. For a comprehensive list of all activities, please click here.
Friday 6 November
Last day for Year 13 students/examination briefing
Monday 9 November
Last day for Years 11 & 12 students/examination briefing
Thursday 12 November
Greymouth Community Visit
Monday 16 November–Wednesday 9 December
Tuesday 17 November
Blenheim Community Visit
Wednesday 18 November
Nelson Community Visit
Thursday 19 November
Canterbury Teacher Only Day
Sunday 29 November
Chapel Advent Service (compulsory for Years 9 & 10)
Thursday 3 December
Junior prize-giving, 3pm
Carols on the Quad, 6pm
Friday 4 December
Thank you breakfast for Year 13 boarding parents (Flower’s, School, Richards)
Senior prize-giving, 6pm
Leavers’ service, 7.30pm
Saturday 5 December
Leavers’ Ball (parents and students), 7.30pm