Kia Ora Koutou Whānau
When I heard the clinking of glasses in the early hours of the morning my immediate reaction was that our big dog Ubu had banged into the China cabinet. When the noise continued it became apparent it was an earthquake. When nature makes a decision one simply has to be prepared and know what the next response should be.
The COVID-19 setting has put different demands on us and how we fare is actually in our hands. To that end I have repeated my mask wearing information sent to you on Monday because we are all part of the solution.
At Alert Level 1, 2, and 3- You must legally wear a face covering on public transport, domestic flight, and by taxi and ride-share drivers — while it is not compulsory for passengers to wear them in a taxi, we strongly encourage you to. The expectation is because it keeps the wearer safe. Wearing a face covering helps keep others safe also.
A face covering helps stop droplets spreading when someone speaks, laughs, coughs or sneezes. This includes someone who has COVID-19 but feels well or has no obvious symptoms.
Face coverings are particularly useful when physical distancing is not possible like in crowded indoor places, like in supermarkets.
The Government has also provided this information which could provide some general information about assistance that can be sought. You may find it useful or know someone who could benefit from its suggestions : https://education.govt.nz/assets/Documents/School/SchoolsBulletin/2021-Bulletins/2021COVID/2021MAR05SupportInformationSheets.pdf
Camps complement the academic life of our students. A holistic approach to education develops well-rounded, resilient, and connected students. Students are strongly encouraged to be involved in these opportunities as they provide an important balance to the academic programmes at the school.
What I have written here is found in any document about the benefits of camps. They provide a fantastic opportunity for children to develop new skills, friendships and interests. However, for many kids (and their parents!) just the thought of sleeping away from home can provoke high anxiety. Some of the common worries about camp include:
• Not being able to sleep properly.
• Not liking the food camp will offer.
• Who they will be sharing a cabin with?
• Not enjoying the activities camp will offer.
• The biggie- Feeling homesick.
Although these are understandable concerns the benefits of school camp are numerous:
- Development of social skills. Most activities at camp involve team work, which is great to strengthen established friendships and also to develop new friendships by connecting with children they do not regularly talk with at school. They can develop supportive relationships not only with different children, but also with their teachers. At camp, children learn about acceptance, caring and understanding.
- Development of independence skills. For many children school camp is their first time away from family and home for a few nights. Parents are not there to remind their kids to eat their vegetables, brush their teeth, or to have a shower. Most students do rise to the challenge and learn to rely on themselves when they spend time away home.
- Development of decision-making skills. Should I stay up or go to bed? Supervising teachers are not able to hover over each child all the time, so at camp, children are responsible for making more of their own choices (which are generally the right ones).
- Increased environmental awareness. During camp, children are exposed to authentic experiences. Children become more aware of the environment, develop outdoor skills and appreciation for nature.
- Learning new skills. At school camp, children will be exposed to a range of activities that they may not have tried before. The objective is that they are often more adventurous and willing to try new things.
We have had two camps thus far for years 7 &8, and year 9, which have been very successful. On Sunday year 10 venture out and then later year 11 journey north. I will be getting out my sleeping bag for the year 10 camp at Kaitoke, and journeying to the Whanganui to spend time with the 11s.
Have a great weekend, play it safe, and be your best selves.
St Matthew's Athletics Championships 2021
Dale McLachlan – 100m Senior Champion Pippa Raleigh
Open 200m Champion Milly Hewitt
McGregor Cup – Open 400m Champion Lily Allan
Jennifer Breukers Cup – Open 800m Champion Lily Allan
Tina Simpson Cup – Open 1500m Champion Ruby Matthews
Rosemary Moore Cup – Most Points – Field – Open Mia Hewson
Cameron Family Cup Most Points – Track (16+ age group only) Kianna Dawson
Borland Cup - 3000m Champion (Open) Ruby Matthews
Mountford Cup – Primary Runner Up Mia Hewson
Dr Archer Hosking Cup – Primary Champion Ava Edge
Under 14 Runner Up Lucy Wyeth
Under 14 Champion Ruby Matthews
Under 15 Runner Up Amber Wellington
Sellar Challenge Cup – Under 15 Champion Emma McLeod
Under 16 Runner Up Amelia Percy
Amanda Herrick Cup – Under 16 Champion Jasmine Wellington
G & B Rayner Cup – Senior Runner Up Kianna Dawson
A C Major – Senior Champion Pippa Raleigh
Ellen Schaef Sprint Cup 100m, 200m and 400m (Open) Arna Williams
The Blundell House Cup
Around School this Week
This week on Thursday afternoons we began activities where the girls were given the choice of a group to go into. This mixed the girls up across year groups. The focus for these Thursday is personal development, trying something new and having fun! Below are photos from some of the options.
Olivia Kirkup and Lily Reynolds sparring in the ring at Boxing
Ocean Bartlett and Chici Beck playing Squash
Amica Valencia at Rock Climbing
Meet Our Teachers
On the 7th and 9th of April we will be holding our Curriculum Interviews from 3.30-5.30pm. Booking details will be published to parents nearer the time. In the meantime we would like to introduce our teachers so when the time comes you will know a little bit about them.
Pictured above is our English Department. From left is Miss Olivia Hammond, Miss Susanne Richardson (HOD) and Mrs Vicky Harper. Being a small school, these women also have other roles in the school. Miss Hammond also teaches Drama and Social Studies. She will leave us at the end of the term to go on maternity leave. Miss Richardson also teaches Drama and is in charge of our Year 11 Shakespeare group. She will also be the producer of our Junior Production this year. Mrs Harper is our HOD of Health and helps out with the cycling team.
Introducing our Mathematics team! Pictured left is Miss Sue Robertson and right, Mrs Penny Walker. They teach all the Mathematics across the school, and with this in mind do not get the chance to venture into other subjects! Miss Robertson takes a running group on a Wednesday lunchtime, and Mrs Walker also helps out the cycling team.
More teacher profiles in next week's newsletter .........
Senior College News
As we approach the halfway stage of this term, students are now meeting their first academic deadlines. Many are juggling significant sporting and other extra-curricular commitments as well, some of which necessitate time out of the classroom. It is timely to remind everyone that support is always available to deal with managing and juggling commitments. One of the most important things to remember is that communication with teachers and Deans should take place earlier rather than later. Good organisation and planning are also vital.
Auditions are approaching for this year’s major production and we wish everyone the best for these. For those who would like to be involved, but perhaps would prefer not to be on stage, there are always a variety of opportunities available to support the cast. Please talk to the music and drama staff if this sounds like you!
Education outside the classroom continues. Although the opportunity to take part in this year’s Golden Shears Competition did not eventuate for our growing team of shearers, students taking Geography have been out of school and those taking Agriculture and Agribusiness have opportunities to look forward to next week.
University liaison visits start next week, with visitors from Massey University here on Monday. Even if you are not sure that Massey would be a choice for you, it would be very worthwhile to come along and see what is on offer.
Adam Gordon - Head of Senior College/Rathkeale Deputy Principal
Coming Up on the Calendar......
Term One Week 6
Monday 8 March - Year 10 Camp, Whanau Time, Junior Choir, Viva Rehearsal
Tuesday 9 March - Year 10 Camp, Senior Chapel, Attitude Presentation, Intercollegiate Athletics, Year 13 Geography Trip
Wednesday 10 March - Prefect Assembly, Year 10 Camp, Year 13 Geography Trip, Orchestra, Cultural Group, Viva Rehearsal
Thursday 11 March - Junior Chapel, Jazz Band, Year 10 Camp, Year 13 Geography Trip, Wellington Regional Athletics, School Activities
Friday 12 March - Year 11 led Assembly, Year 10 Camp, Year 12 RYDA, Effort Grade Report One Published to the Portal
Term One Week 7
Monday 15 March - Whanau Time, Summer Quad (Iona), Year 11 Camp, Junior Choir, Viva Rehearsal
Tuesday 16 March - Senior Chapel, Year 11 Camp
Wednesday 17 March - School Singing, Year 11 Camp, Masterton Primary Swimming Championships, Orchestra, Cultural Group Rehearsal, Viva Rehearsal
Thursday 18 March - Year 11 Camp, Wellness Day (Y7-13 at SMS), Mufti Day (Foodbank Appeal), Jazz Band, School Activities, Central Districts Field Days,
Friday 19 March - Whanau Time, Year 11 Camp, Central Districts Field Days
Term Dates 2021
Term One 2021
Monday 1st February – Friday 16th April
Term Two 2021
Monday 3rd May – Friday 9th July
Term Three 2021
Monday 26th July – Friday 1st October
Term Four 2021
Monday 18th October – End of Year Date TBC
Year 9 Connecting Years - Postponed