On Strowan - Volume 14 // Issue 2 // 7 March 2019
The Secondary School covers Years 9–13. Head of Secondary School is Evert van Florenstein.
We have had an incredibly busy but successful start to the year with a number of ‘special’ assemblies, whole College student events, parent information evenings, and a very busy co-curricular programmme.
Our Mihi Whakatau or Welcome Back Assembly began our year. It was a real pleasure to have our new Te Reo/Tikanga teacher, Mr Pete Westrupp reply on behalf of the manuhiri. We are extremely excited that all our Year 9 students will be receiving one hour every week of Tikanga and Te Reo. I have already had several good news stories about this new initiative.
Our Year 9 students will also be benefitting from the revised Technology Curriculum, which becomes compulsory in all Schools’ in 2020. This new Technology Curriculum will cover computational thinking for digital technologies, together with designing and developing digital outcomes. Students will have one hour a week of core Technology.
Our first day of classes was started with the investiture of the College prefects as part of our traditional Leadership Assembly, at which we acknowledge and congratulate all senior student leaders.
I reminded the students that successful leadership requires hard work and at times making difficult decisions, being given a badge only provided them with an opportunity which they needed to grab with both hands and leave behind a legacy. The students who did not get a formal leadership position were told that there are many opportunities where they could lead for which they did not need a badge.
During the investiture, the prefects were also reminded that along with the honour of their position, goes responsibility. As they perform a range of duties inside and outside the College they are expected to display the values and attitudes important to St Andrew’s and conduct themselves in such a way that the younger students will ‘look, listen, and learn’. Indeed, the importance of good role modelling is impressed on all our senior students, but especially expected of the student leaders.
In their traditional first address to the students, the two Heads of College, Luca Vinnell and Juliette Newman, spoke about the personal pride they both felt about their appointments .They shared their theme ‘PRIDE’ with the school and what this could mean for the year ahead; pride in yourself, pride in your peers, and pride in your school.
At our Academic Assembly we acknowledged and congratulated all the students who excelled in last year’s NCEA examinations. So many students managed to exceed many of their goals – a reflection of both their ability and effort, and the work of the teaching staff. Year 13 leavers from 2018 returned to receive their Board of Governors Scholarship for their Level 3 Excellence endorsement, three subject Excellence endorsements, and NZQA Scholarships. In 2018, our students achieved 43 Scholarships, 13 of which were Outstanding Scholarships.
In addition to this, Amy Wells achieved the top subject scholarship award in Agriculture and Horticulture, Quinan (Velia) Men and Zachary Scheiwe were awarded top scholar awards, and Russell Boey was awarded the very prestigious Premier Scholarship award. Only one other student in the country achieved as many Outstanding scholarships as Russell.
Due to Russell’s stellar achievements in the Scholarship examinations, he was asked to give the address to the Academic Assembly. He spoke of the many wonderful years at St Andrew’s College, and the enormous amount of support he had enjoyed from so many of his teachers. He also spoke about the importance of following your dreams and not someone else’s, to find what you are passionate about and try and turn this passion into your lifetime’s work. Russell’s address to the assembly was extremely well received by all who were present.
The College’s annual Secondary School Athletics Sports Day is a gala event designed to involve as many students as possible. The event also encourages House rivalry, as well as supporting the efforts of our best performing athletes. The students rose to the occasion and the day was a great success – from fiercely fought House events, through to some outstanding athletic performances and broken records. Many of our long serving staff hailed this year’s Athletics Day as the best they could remember, with respect to participation and supporting House events.
Thank you to the many parents who, over the past five weeks, have joined us for beginning of year parent information and orientation functions. Quite apart from parents meeting teachers, these evenings have seen parents meeting parents and there is huge value in this.
This year the Parent–Student–Tutor conferences were held at the beginning of Week 4. This was done to allow new tutors and students to get to know each other before the conferences. The conferences are an opportunity to meet and begin, or re-establish, a relationship with your son/daughter’s tutor who has the responsibility to monitor both the general well-being and the academic progress of all the students in their tutor group. A second follow-up conference meeting is scheduled for the beginning of Term 3.
As well as the tutor, please feel that you can contact classroom teachers, the year group Dean, Head of Middle School or Senior College, should you have a question or a specific concern or issue you would like to raise, or simply provide information you think we should know.
Outlines for learning and assessment in courses from Years 9–13 are in the process of being finalised. We are planning on having your son/daughter’s course outlines available on the Community Portal and will let you know as soon as this happens. The course outlines include course topics, specific assessment dates and deadlines.
Just a quick reminder that the second round of Fortnightly Notes will have been sent out by the time this issue of On Strowan has been published. The Fortnightly Notes are designed to keep you up-to-date with how your son/daughter is progressing with their attitude and effort in each of their classes. Please use the indicators as a discussion point with your child. I urge you to contact the classroom teacher or the Dean if you have any questions or concerns.
With kind regards,
Evert van Florenstein
Head of Secondary School
Deputy for Rector