Principal's Blog: Term 3 Week 1
Friday, 21 July 2023
Kia ora whānau
Welcome to Term 3.  I know that many folk have taken the gift of the three-week school holiday break, leveraging the opportunity to travel and re-connect with loved ones in other parts of the world, something we no longer take for granted.  Our second ever Matariki Public Holiday provided a reminder of 'the important things', pausing and remembering loved ones who are no longer with us, reconnecting with whānau and being grateful for spending time and sharing a meal together, and refreshing ourselves physically and spiritually in order that we are more able to look forward with optimism to what's ahead.  Time spent at our turangawaewae on the Taranaki coast with family and friends was nourishing food for my soul, and I hope that you and your families had an all-important opportunity to connect and fill your metaphorical tanks too.

We are delighted to be welcoming 10 new students at the beginning of Term 3 at mihi whakatau across a wide range of year levels, predominantly to our Primary school.  A slightly more informal welcome to pōwhiri, mihi whakatau enables us to officially welcome manuhiri/newcomers at the very start of their first day, removing tapu to make them one with tangata whenua/the Marsden school community.  It is also a wonderful way for the whole school to gather to celebrate the beginning of our term together.

We're excited to begin telling the story about our innovative approach to NCEA Level 1 to the wider community in the lead up to our August Open Days.  With some schools having dispensed with NCEA Level 1 altogether, it is important to us to be able to communicate widely about the reasons we will continue to embrace the entry-level formal qualification, and to be able to share in our innovative interdisciplinary offering, NCEA+ in which students will choose from one of three authentic future-focussed themes (Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Identity, Belonging and Expression), complementing our tried and true traditional, rigorous curriculum that relentlessly pursues individual excellence for every learner.  We welcome NCEA+ curriculum questions to Deputy Principal, Jenny Caldwell.

We know that Term 3 holds infinite opportunities in our classrooms, on the stage and on the sports fields and courts, and for some on the dance floor too!  It is our pleasure to be providing a well-rounded education to our learners, with every individual finding their passion and moment to shine. We continue to hold unapologetically high standards and know that our students have no problem living up to these whatsoever, most especially when we take the time to explicitly state those expectations. The manner with which our students conduct themselves is a constant source of pride, and I gently remind all that uniform must be worn correctly and whilst representing the school, including when coming to and from school.  We are strengthening our expectations around non-uniform, branded apparel and look forward to greater consistency (and ultimately less cost) for families.  Travelling teams and choirs will receive clearly articulated uniform messaging from Teachers in Charge as we prepare for Junior Pent, Tournament Week, AIMS Games, Big Sing Finale and more! It is definitely set to be an exciting, adventure-packed term ahead.

Congratulations to our Anglican neighbours St Mary's Church on the opening of its stunning new community facility, Te Korōria, right across the pedestrian crossing from Marsden Primary on Karori Road. Te Korōria contains a not-for-profit café, soft play area for children and offers other community services. The beautiful space is a great place to grab a coffee or a bite to eat and enjoy its stunning views.  Te Korōria is open Wednesday-Sunday. What a wonderful addition to Marsden Village St Mary's; such good news!

I look forward to welcoming everyone back to school at mihi whakatau, directly following Form Time on Monday morning.