Kia Ora Koutou
Do you remember this from my first Newsletter?
“I come into this year with three wants- Hope and Gratitude and You. Hope – because I expect with confidence that positive outcomes will come from events and circumstances in one's life or the world at large. So, it is fair to say that I will "expect with confidence" and to "cherish desires with anticipation." Secondly, gratitude, thankfulness, or gratefulness, is a feeling of appreciation felt by and/or similar positive response shown by the recipient of kindness, gifts, help, favours, or other types of generosity, towards the giver of such gifts. Jeepers- it is not rocket science is it that we put a real emphasis on this. We certainly talk about it, and I see so much evidence of it, but let us encourage it as a habit. Finally, get involved Parents and grandparents. We want to see you and value your help.”
A positive attitude always makes the difference. It will not stop bad stuff from happening but it makes a massive difference to how you deal with the not so great stuff. I am hopeful that we will have a great year- it has certainly started out that way.
There is so much for which we should be grateful. The drizzle today although putting a dampener on some activities today, it has taken the pressure off precious water supplies in the region so for that I am grateful.
As I stated previously making positivity a habit is definitely the way to go.
We are a week into the new conditions for mobile phones onsite. You were sent the expectations, and these were delivered verbatim to the students in years 7-13, in the first two days. But for certainty I repeat them here.
Going forward girls will not bring phones to school on any day. If girls need to have them at school, they should not be seen at any time of the day between 8:10am and 3:10pm. If teachers request them for a class activity this will be advised. Staff are also adhering to these expectations as a way of role modelling what we expect.
If phones are seen being used by a staff member during or out of classtime:
1. The staff member will ask for your phone.
2. It will be taken to the office.
3. Mrs Traill will make a note on your file (KAMAR) that it has been taken from you.
4. She will pass the phone onto the senior manager with oversight to your year group.
On the first occasion the phone is to be collected from the senior manager at the end of the day. On a second occasion, parents will be contacted and asked to collect the phone for their daughter. Further occasions are continual disobedience and will be treated as such.
Parents needing to get a message to their daughter are asked to phone the school or boarding house and the message will be relayed to the student. Students needing to contact parents between 8:10am and 3:10pm must go to the office and will be instructed to use the school phone to do so.
Boarders will get access to their phones in the mornings before 8:10 so that they can read app messages, and of course my Atamarie. Other notices will go on Student Notices which are also printed every day and placed on the student Common room boards.
Students who are sick should go to the office as normal to sign out to the sickbay and if parents need to be contacted to collect their daughter then Mrs Lapslie will make the phone call.
Previously we had an expectation that all girls had Family Zone on their phones which families installed at home. There is now no longer that requirement from the school. As a parent you can still look to provide cyber security for your daughters( and sons) by going to the Family Zone website to learn how to install the app. It is a good system and although we do not need it during the school day, as a parent it is worth investigating for your family’s cyber safety.
How do we ensure the security of the girls on their laptops? We have N4L, Linewize and Classwize which have the security features we require. As soon as students have their devices on the school network all activity can be monitored and apps can be removed if needed.
Hats for 7&8
From this year all years 7 & 8 are expected to wear sunhats when outside on sunny days. The black school cap is available for purchase ($20), but equally if you wish to wear a plain (no writing or labels) green or plain black bucket (wide brim) hat, that is also acceptable. Mr Davidson will talk to the students in these cohorts about the ‘sunny days’ guidelines.
Makeup and Hair and Earrings
The detailed guidelines about these things will have been communicated at Whānau time but will be updated soon by Miss Glass. Basically:
- No makeup (that also includes nail and toe enhancement)
- Hair natural coloured, tied or clasped back if long enough to do so.
- Earrings- studs one in each ear lobe in pearl, gold or silver. Please note that invisible means that it cannot actually be seen. If someone has to tell you when they are questioned that what they are wearing is invisible, then it has failed the invisibility test.
Any further details about this can be discussed in the first instance with the Whānau teacher.
There are a few of these in the first few weeks to help girls bond and develop stronger relationships. Camps will also act as team building opportunities and give the different cohorts time to look at the year ahead, the school’s values, and to set some goals.
I introduced you to the new staff in my first newsletter and I am excited about what they will bring to the school. We now also welcome Miss Olivia Goodsir who joins the Social Sciences department from week two.
New families and students in 2021
On Sunday evening, as has become the practice, I invited all parents whose daugters are new to our school this year to my and Lindsay’s home, for drinks and nibbles. Without bragging it was a very successful event made so by the company of parents and the assistance of SMOGA, the Friends, Linda and Dave for the Lobsters ( how spoiled are we?) and the St Matthew’s Board.
I thank you all for being there and invite you to think about joing the Friends or SMOGA, or letting me know if you would like to help in the school in any way. I will never say no to another helping hand.
I give a plug here for the parent collectives which we have at year 9 and 10 thus far, who work to bring parents together at social events so you get to know each other.
New Zealand History in schools
Education Minister Chris Hipkins says what Kiwi students will learn about New Zealand history at school is up for public discussion.
Public engagement on draft curriculum content for Aotearoa New Zealand’s Histories to be taught in schools began yesterday and will run until 31 May.
To read more about this, put this URL into your browser: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/teaching-nz%E2%80%99s-own-history-moves-step-closer
Covid Safety and Awareness
I will close with this by saying we as a school do not lose sight of being alert and aware of our health and safety needs. As we watch our neighbours both close and distant going in and out of Lockdown we cannot afford to be complacent.
We are making sure our protocols are in place and are being adapted as required.
Until next time...
Around School this Week
Senior College News
It was a great pleasure at the beginning of the week to welcome officially the new cohort of Year 12 girls onto the Rathkeale site, and both Year 12 boys and girls into the Senior College. For the first time, a whakatau took place in beautifully warm sunshine. This week we also welcomed Mrs Angela Lammas into the Senior College team as one of the Deans in Year 12.
Our new Senior College tie has arrived and will be issued soon. Students in Year 12 will be required to have one as part of their uniform. Ties will also be offered to students in Year 13 and my hope is that many students will want to have one. The cost is about $22.
Taking on the responsibilities of a School Prefect is a significant step, and I very much enjoyed the opportunity to support the girls at the St Matthew’s Collegiate Prefect Commissioning service earlier in the week. The Rathkeale School Prefects have now been announced and their Commissioning Service takes place next Tuesday morning, in the auditorium.
Our Year 12 Activity Day is in full swing, concluding with a presentation by Dr Farah Palmer and Wesley Clarke. The hope of today’s activities is that through a series of fun activities, all students will start to make some connections, complementing those that will have already started to develop in the classroom.