Principal's Blog: Term 1 Week 7
Thursday, 9 March 2023
Kia ora whānau
Hot off the press is the nationwide news of industrial action from the PPTA with teachers striking on Thursday 16 March, and the primary teachers’ union, NZEI, following suit. Please be reminded that such industrial action does not extend to Marsden, with our independence bringing individual employee contracts outside of the PPTA and NZEI collectives. We continue to be open for the business of teaching and learning.

The education conversation is shaping up to be a political hot potato as we head into the next election. Doom and gloom saturates the media, highlighting poor attendance rates, failing standards of literacy and numeracy, and the ‘dumbing down’ of the national curriculum. What I can tell you is that none of that rhetoric applies here. We value and appreciate the irrefutable benefits of doing the basics brilliantly, and bring necessary rigour to ensuring our students are well-equipped and well-supported in doing their very best. The school is in excellent shape.

We are in the middle of our first Open Days of the year, with an excellent turnout at the Upper School event, which looks to be replicated with strong interest for our Primary School event to be held on Tuesday. Families who visit Marsden for the first time consistently comment on the spacious and calm environment and the warm and welcoming atmosphere. They are also astounded at the obvious culture for learning engagement evident in a real-time authentic snapshot.

The Marsden Foundation has been deliberate in its intent to extend a Marsden education to students who might otherwise not have the opportunity. Launched only one year ago, the initial emphasis of the Foundation has been to fund student scholarships, with its newest Ad Summa scholarships being advertised for the first time this year, applicable to new or existing students in Years 11-13 from 2024. This 100% fees scholarship is a welcome addition to our existing suite of wide-ranging scholarships on offer, providing increased equity of access. Scholarships are now open to new and existing students. Details can be found on our website.

Embrace Equity was the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day breakfast, attended by some at Parliament, and others at Marsden via live-stream. The guest speakers were passionate, trailblazing women who shared their leadership journeys, and reflected upon challenges they had faced in overcoming inequitable constructs. Particularly compelling was Marsden Old Girl, Founder and Director of Yu Mei, Jessie Wong, who spoke of re-writing rules and being purposefully rebellious. Jessie’s story is one of bravery and persistence and is an inspiring tale of trusting in a vision and being true to herself. A common theme across the outstanding presentations was that representation matters. It is only because we see ourselves represented in others that we can truly begin to imagine what is possible. If you can see it, you can be it. Read more about our International Women’s Day celebrations here.

Ngā mihi nui
Paula Wells