On Strowan - Volume 13 // Issue 1 // 29 January 2018
The Secondary School covers Years 9-13. Head of Secondary School is Evert van Florenstein.
We have been blessed with a wonderfully warm summer this year. I hope that Christmas was a special occasion for you and your families, and an opportunity to recharge the batteries after an extremely busy year. My best wishes to current staff, students and families, and a warm welcome to all of you who are joining the College this year.
The start of the school year is almost upon us and this will have prompted students to reflect on what they achieved in 2017; their successes and what they might have done better. Coming back to school is always filled with a mixture of excitement and anxiety; catching up with friends, new teachers and subjects, new sporting and cultural opportunities. Fortunately, we have plenty of support and guidance available as students start the new academic year.
Our commitment to student and staff well-being continues in 2018. Students, will have a programme delivered to them by their Heads of School, Deans and Tutors that will focus on their well-being. Student wellness is recognised as being a key component of their success both in and out of the classroom. We will also hold a number of seminars and presentations for parents that focus on the issues our adolescents currently face, well-being and positive education, and how you as parents can help them.
The ‘Family Zone’ App will not be rolled out at the beginning of the year for Year 7 -10 students, as there are still a number issues we are working through with the supply company. The ‘Family Zone’ App will allow the school to block all social media such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram etc. and age inappropriate sites during school hours on the student’s smartphones and laptops. The ‘Family Zone’ App will also give parents control over what their children have access to outside of school time. We are confident the roll out will take place at the beginning of Term 2.
The year will once again begin with Parent/Student/Tutor Conferences, which have proven to be a very valuable addition to our Pastoral Care system.
The focus questions that we will discuss with the students will be:
These conferences also allow you the opportunity to speak directly with your son and/or daughter’s Tutor who has the primary responsibility for their overall pastoral and academic well-being.
The Mihi Whakatau or Welcome Assembly will start the formal proceedings for the year. The mihi is a formal way of respecting people by acknowledging their mana and tapu and requires the current staff and students to formally welcome the manuhiri, all those who are ‘new’ to the College.
The next formal event will be the Leadership Assembly to be held on Friday 9 February. This will include the induction of the 2018 Heads and Deputy Heads of School and Boarding, and College Prefects.
We will continue to use the Fortnightly Notes to keep you updated with how your son and/or daughter is contributing to their learning through their attitude and effort in class. In the next edition of ‘On Strowan’ I will provide more information about the ‘Fortnightly Notes’ and explain how they work and the very valuable role that you as parents play in supporting this process. Access to these scores is via the Parent Community Portal from the College database, which also provides assessment and attendance information. Instructions on how to access the portal will be sent out to you prior to the first set of Fortnightly Notes.
The College said farewell to a number of teaching staff at the end of 2017. These included Mr Andy McIntosh, Mr Cameron Pickering, Mr Ben Hilliam, Miss Phoebe Wright, Miss Esther Liong and Mr Jo Gallagher. Mrs Fariya Naseem and Mrs Anna Hood will be on maternity leave while Mr John Quealy will be on study leave.
We welcome a few new teachers to the College for 2018.
I would also like to extend a very warm welcome to all new families joining us this year. I hope you quickly come to be part of the College ‘family’ and understand that together we will do all that we can to both support the academic learning and overall well-being and development of your son or daughter, and to ensure that they grow into positive, resilient and well informed young adults.
We have very high expectations of our students with regards to their conduct and appearance, and we appreciate your assistance in setting and maintaining a high standard. I thank you in advance for your support. We will remind the students of our expectations on their return to school and we will contact you immediately if there are any issues.
I wish every student in the Secondary School all the best for the year ahead.
Evert van Florenstein
Head of Secondary School