Message from the Headmaster, Tuesday August 24 2021

I hope that you were able to enjoy a relaxed weekend with those in your 'bubble', as we all adjusted to the extension of our original three day Lockdown at Level 4. 
it has been a challenging week, for all in our school family.
 
It has been a continuing challenge for many of our students over the past six days. We began with the knowledge that school would be closed for three days. For many, the brevity of this time prevented a full commitment to online learning. We then learned that we would continue for an extra two days, and now, for at least another three. Because of this understandable lack of certainty from the beginning, it has, for some, taken time to adjust.
 
However, the reality for our young men is that, at the end of this week, we will be half way through the term. Term Three is our time of dedicated, significant teaching and learning, as we prepare our Senior school for their practice exams and for NCEA. For Years 9 and 10, this term provides the uninterrupted weeks of teaching and learning so essential to eventual success at the end of the year, and beyond. 
 
Yesterday morning, I wrote an email to staff, emphasising the very real truth that at this point of the year, every day matters. There will be no time to catch up. The uncertainty we face in the weeks ahead may well mean that the senior examinations, scheduled to be held in only a few weeks, could be used to assess final results if NCEA cannot proceed. If we remain in Lockdown at Level 4, or 3, and the practice examinations also cannot occur, the work done during these weeks will contribute to eventual results.
 
The work your son does now is so important, and we appreciate your support in minimising the impact of this lockdown time, on his learning. Sadly, we have students who have still not engaged. If there is a valid reason for this, please connect with a member of staff, so that we can support him in any way possible. If there is not, then please continue to support us by discussing the significance of maintaining routines with your son, as quickly as possible.
 
The reality of Lockdown at this time of year reaches beyond the classroom, with the cancellation of Winter Tournament week. I have been looking forward, as so many have, to experiencing the joy of this very special week, where so many of our students represent our school with so much pride and commitment. It is, for our Winter sports teams, the culmination of the season, and it is so disappointing that it has, for absolutely valid reasons, been cancelled for the second year. I sympathise so much with our families, and especially our students, and our coaches, as we accept the reality of another consequence of COVID. 
 
But at the same time, we must remain focussed on ensuring that each young man in our world has every opportunity to feel cared for, and that he is encouraged to make every effort, through these days. I speak to the boys so often about arete, of the virtue extolled by ancient Greece, of being the best that you can be, in all aspects of life. At this time, our young men must recognise the need to have the courage to do the right thing, the courage to commit to working with us to maximise their opportunity to continue learning, even in these difficult circumstances. Our mantra must be that "every day matters", as we work through the impact of Lockdown on the experience of 2021 on each of us.
 
Thank you all for your faith in us. We must, now, continue to share this opportunity to work together, as a school community, to face the challenges of our situation, as a family, and to respond to any and every situation with shared courage and determination. 
 
Please do not hesitate to contact myself, or any of our staff, if we can help in any way.
 
Warmest regards
Susan Hassall